I thoroughly enjoyed this book as much as Fireflies In December. In Cottonwood Whispers, Ms. Valent continues the story of Jessalyn a young girl in the south. It is now 1936 and her dear friend, Gemma, takes a job and their relationship changes. Jessalyn's relationship with Luke is changing as well. A young girl is killed in a hit and run, and a sweet elderly man is falsely accused and jailed. Jessalyn tries to make sense of this and find the real killer, learning some hard painful lessons in the process. I highly recommend this 2nd book in this series and am anxious to read the 3rd one to see how Jessalyn and those around her deal with the next phase of their lives.
I loved this! Excellent book with fantastic morals
February 18, 2013
A Simply Enchanted Life
I was so excited to pick up this book. It is book two in the Jessilyn Lassiter series by Jennifer Erin Valent and picks up several years after the events in the first book, Fireflies in December. I can't brag on this series or on this author enough. She's one of the authors that connects with her fans on social media and is so open and inviting that it really makes you want to read her booksâ€”and if you haven't? You really should! These books capture the heart of the Deep South in a time when prejudice ran deep and weaves a tale of hope and faith in times of adversity.
About the Story:
The year is 1936 and Jessilyn Lassiter is turning seventeen years old. Her best friend is a black girl which is highly unusual for the time period. Of course there is a back story to this friendship and it all began with deep prejudice, threats and fear as the family lived under the watchful eyes of local Klan members. Things have greatly improved but change is slow in coming and things are still difficult at times for the Lassiter Family.
When Gemma starts working for the Hadley family she takes a brief interest in Joel Hadley. Jessi knows from the get-go that something isn't right about this situation. Gemma becomes distant and withdrawn which brings further worry to Jessi.
When tragedy strikes the town and an innocent man is accused of committing a terrible crimeâ€”Jessi turns her suspicions to Joel Hadley and she is determined to find out the truth behind Gemma's secrecy so that she can save the accused, Mr. Poe. Now, Mr. Poe isn't like everyone elseâ€”they say he's "special" and it doesn't take much variation from the normal for people to become suspicious.
This book was so heart wrenching and the characters were incredibly well written and loveable. I especially loved the simple wisdom in Mr. Poe and the trust in the Lord that Miss Cleta possesses. I think the best quote in the entire book was said by Miss Cleta and it was a calm reminder for me to put my worries in the Lord.
"Hear that breeze?" She closed her eyes and a sweet smile spread out across her face. "It's like the breath of God washin' over me, stealin' away all my worries, whisperin' precious words."
This book was absolutely fantastic. I can't brag enough on it or on the words of wisdom within the pages. Oh, and before I forget to mention itâ€”there's also a budding romance in this story that is absolutely sweet and realistic. I can't wait to pick up book three of this series!
A while ago, Tyndale Blog Network sent me the book Cottonwood Whispers by Jennifer Erin Valent. I hate to say it, but it kind of got lost and I just ran across it again this past week. So, I FINALLY had a chance to read it. Cottonwood Whispers is the follow up story to the award winning novel, Fireflies in December. Valent does a fine job capturing the turmoil of the time and her writing is beautiful and true to life.
Synopsis of Cottonwood Whispers
Cottonwood Whispers takes place in 1936 Virginia, a time and place still deeply rooted in prejudice. The story centers around 17 year old Jessilyn, her best friend Gemma (who was raised by Jessilyn's white parents), Jessilyn's relatiship with Luke Talley, and the death of a young girl. The summer of1936 finds Gemma pulling away from Jessilyn. This sets Jessilyn adrift. Not to mention that her relationship with Luke Talley has become awkward and confusing.
When a little girl is killed, the town is split apart and an innocent man is wrongfully accused of the child's death. Jessilyn works to discover the truth and bring the real killer to justice. She must find the truth before the town's vigilante mob hangs the wrong man. Meanwhile, Jessilyn discovers Gemma's secret. She has fallen in love with an older white man, whose family she works for.
My thoughts on Cottonwood Whispers
Cottonwood Whispers transfers you back to a time with the deep south was rife with hate and prejudice. Not just against blacks, but also against anyone different. Valent's story is authentic to the time and rich in historic detail. I really enjoyed the book and loved the character of Jessilyn. My only issue is that you really need to read the first book, Fireflies in December, to fully understand some of the plot lines. I hadn't read the first book yet, and I got a bit confused until I was better able to familiarize myself with the characters and plot. Regardless, I would highly recommend Cottonwood Whispers and look forward to reading more from Jennifer Erin Valent.
NOTICE: Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this item free from the creator. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Having read the first book in this series, I was very eager to see the story of Jessilyn, Luke and Gemma continued. This book delivered! It was so captivating I could hardly put it down for a minute. Christianity is portrayed so powerfully, in different ways. I can't wait to read the next one.
This very entertaining and page-turning novel is the second by Ms. Valent. This is the sequel to Fireflies in December, which won the 2007 Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel contest. The book, which has been compared favorably to Harper Lees classic, To Kill A Mockingbird, is set in the South in 1936. The main storyline centers on Jessilyn Lassiter and Gemma Teague. Jessie, 17, and Gemma, 19, have been friends since they were little girls. Jessies parents brought Gemma into their home after her parents perished in a house fire four years prior to the events of this novel. This novel picks up the story of the girls and their lives.This novel transports you to the South during the Depression, complete with vivid descriptions of the landscape, and the dialogue is written very accurately. Ms. Valent is a native southerner, and does a marvelous job of translating that unique way of life to the reader. As a native Michigander, I have visited the South since I was a child and consider it to be my second home! This novel is appealing to me for that reason. There are some intriguing subplots - including a death and a false accusation which are handled very expertly by Ms. Valent. And Jessie still has a crush on her friend Luke Talley. Luke is finally starting to realize she is no longer a little girl. Their relationship is sweet and authentic. I also enjoyed seeing Jessie grow closer to making a decision for the Lord.I really enjoyed this novel. I may have to read Fireflies in December, before Ms. Valent brings the characters back to life again. Her third novel is called Catching Moondrops and will be released in the Fall of 2010. I look forward to seeing how the lives of Jessie, Gemma and Luke continue to interact and where Jessie and Lukes relationship evolves! Please note that Tyndale House has provided a complimentary copy of this book to me for review purposes.