I enjoy period fiction but find that most modern writers do not properly capture the life of previous times. However, this book does a great job of realistically portraying period issues such as women's place in work and the home, relationships, and everyday life. There were many characters, but they were each well rounded, distinct and easy to keep up with. It was a great read that kept me captivated until the end.
Lilly Gray Corbett decided to take an internship in Skip Rock, Kentucky. Her fiancee was not so sure she should accept the internship. His main concern was it was in a coal mine camp with harsh conditions very unlike Boston. Lily was not taken as seriously in her profession as a man would have been. She had been raised in the Kentucky mountains under similar conditions, so she was not sure how she felt about his reaction to her going to Skip Rock. Although she knew she would miss him dearly and would write him often.
When she arrives in Skip Rock it is a shock to the residents because they were expecting a male physician. She knew ahead of time this would be a problem just like it would have been anywhere she went to practice her profession. She just hoped she could earn their trust.
Joe, one of the miners, tried to avoid the new doctor even though he was so drawn to her that he watch her every move. She was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Would he be able to hide his true identity from her? How was it possible that she was really here?
I really enjoyed this book, it was like reading about a family friend. I read several of the author's other books that have connection with this book. There was plenty to keep my attention it has suspense, action packed, and a possible love connection. The author writes of the conditions that existed in the camp which all came back to the importance for a doctor like Lily that actually cared about the miners and their families well being.
I am looking forward to reading the author's next book, TATTLER'S BRANCH to be released in September 2013.
I highly recommend this book.
Disclosure: I chose this book from Tyndale Rewards. I was in no way compensated for this review. This is my honest opinion.
Jan Watson is a favored author of mine, taking me deep into the mountain country of Kentucky, where I learn to know the people and their culture firsthand.
This story, told from the view point of Lilly, explores and protrays in detail the obstacles a young woman who was following her conviction of being a doctor would face both from the community she was trying to help to those of her own family. Lilly grows from a girl who has lofty ambitions of doctoring in the big city with all its amneties to a woman of strong belief in what and where she is called to serve. She has a secret, and this secret is what adds to her conflict.
As alluded to on the back cover of the book is another member of the mining community who has a secret. This character also grows through the novel from someone who is insecure because of his father's actions to one who is willing to stand up in the face of danger.
Jan writes a delightful novel, and though it deals with the harsh occupation of the mountain people which is coal mining, she also protrays the profound sense of family and community that exists in the midst of such coarseness.
While I enjoy the skilfull writing of the author, the word paintings, and the sense of being there at the time of the story, I also appreciate how she weaves the love and attributes of God into the novel without coming across as preachy! Thank you again, Jan for sharing this story with your readers. I will be recommending this to my friends and fellow readers.
I received this book free from Tyndale Publishers for the purpose of writing an honest review, which I have done. The opinions stated are my own
When I first read the summary of this novel, it struck a chord with because it seemed to be similar to the famous Christy novel by Catherine Marshall. While Christy is the story of a young female teacher journeying to the mountains of Tennessee to educate the people there, Skip Rock Shallows is about a young female doctor going to a Kentucky coal mining town. Both of these women face opposition from the townsfolk - an outsider coming to their town to supposedly help them, and a female at that.
The issues and troubles that Lilly encounters in Skip Rock Shallows keep the story moving for the most part, even though it didn't become really gripping until closer to the end. The secondary characters help in this aspect, as they were engaging and were able to keep things interesting. That was what was most fun for me in this novel - the adventures and people that Lilly encountered during her â€˜doctoring.' I always enjoy a fish-out-of-water tale.
However, the relationship and romance between Lilly and Joe felt kind of forced to me in this novel. I felt as if the reader was sometimes left out of the loop in that relationship. So, while the medical and community aspect of this book was interesting, one of the main plot points - the romance - sort of fell flat. I also thought that the writing was disjointed at times. There were times when I felt as if I had missed something, especially when large periods of time were skipped.
I did appreciate the author's use of scripture in this novel. That is something I really liked to see in Christian historical fiction.
Overall, this novel was an easy read that was a bit slow-moving but did have an interesting plot and conclusion.
A determined young woman becomes a doctor at the turn of the century, and finds herself in rural Kentucky tending to the needs of miners and their families. At the same time, she finds herself separated from her fiancee and attracted to one of the men working the mines. Lilly must learn to overcome the hostility of the rural Kentuckians, and must also decide what to do about the two men attracted to her.
The plot in this book is very easy to determine. By the time the author is finished introducing characters, there is only one way that the story could work itself out. This made for lack luster reading and a less than enthralling conclusion.
The context and events in this story are also pretty unrealistic for the time period. I sincerely doubt that any medical board at the time would send a woman doctor to Kentucky to work with a male doctor, and then leave her there when the male doctor dies. Lack of supervision, lack of a chaperone, etc. Further more, why would Lilly be attracted to a coal miner after engaging herself to a Doctor? She is educated, well to do, ambitious, and she would know that marrying a miner would lead to none of the things that she wants out of life. Even if her fiancee was merely the 'safe' choice, she would be smart enough to know not to abandon her future for a mysterious connection to a stranger.
This book frustrated me on many levels. But because the writing is decent, there is no language, and the innuendo and violence (mining accidents, injuries, union related beatings) are mildly portrayed, I'm going to give it two and a half stars.