It is 1911 in Skip Rock, Kentucky. Armina Tippen decides to pick blueberries along Tattler's Branch Road. She has an episode where black spot appear before her eyes and she blacks out. When she wakes, Armina sees a man and a woman physically fighting. The two fall into the river. Then, in horror, Armina watches as the man raises a large rock and hits the woman in the head, blood flying everywhere. She watches as the man gets a shovel and supplies for what Armina assumes is to dig a grave when she hears a baby cry. While the killer is digging, Armina sneaks to an open window in the bedroom where she finds the baby in a basket. Armina takes the basket, grabs some cloth diapers off the clothes line and runs as fast as the dickens can carry her.
When Dr. Lilly Corbett Still arrives home from work, she finds her kitchen table is empty. Lilly's little sister has not seen Armina since breakfast. Worried, Lilly sends Mazy to Armina's house to check on her. Mazy finds Armina lying on the floor making an awful gurgling sound. With the help of a neighbor, they carry Armina to Doc Lilly's house. A quick exam proves Armina is suffering from "Saint Vitus' dance brought on by untreated rheumatic fever." Armina is in for a rough few days.
When Lilly is ready for bed, her dog begs to be taken out. Usually Kip is good about staying in the yard without a leash, but tonight he makes a mad dash to Armina's house. When Lilly enters, she hears a baby cry. Confused as to why Armina would have a baby, Doc Lilly sets out to exam and feed her. She finds that the baby girl has a weak heart, a cleft palate and is a mongoloid. Three strikes against this baby's life. She brings the baby to her clinic where one of her night nurses offered to take the baby home and act as her wet nurse. Armina's memory is foggy at best. She does not remember the day she took the baby. No one in town is looking for a baby, so who does she belong to?
I GIVE THIS BOOK: 3 Stars
While this story only lasts for a week, it is slow going. I had an ARC eBook and it was not unto 40% into the book that we find out if someone is looking for the baby.
I found the description of things to be confusing. I could not visualize anything. The personality of the baby's father does not match his actions and I did not find it believable. Yet everything gets tied up with a bow at the end. This book, simple as it was, just did not sit right with me.
Tattler's Branch is a novel that continues the story of Lilly Corbett from the Copper Brown Series and also the charters from Troublesome Creek Series. Tattler's Branch is a novel that even though is a continuation from these previous series, is a good stand alone novel. I have not read any other book by Jan Watson yet, but I was not lost in Tattler's Branch.
The story follows Lilly Corbett Still through her life as a wife and doctor to the small mining town in Kentucky. Lilly has settled in and enjoys her life in the house her husband had built for them and their Jack Russel Terrier named Kip, however, her time with her husband is few and far between. Tern Still, Lilly's husband, is away quite a bit inspecting the mines around the country for safety.
Tattler's Branch was a very researched and detailed book. From the medical techniques of the early nineteen hundreds to the mining life in mountains of Kentucky, Jan Watson was able to pull you into the story with her detail.That was actually my favorite part of the story, the historical accuracy that Jan Watson put into the book. I was able to picture the surroundings with wonderful clarity. The character's also have a wonderful detail and strong back ground behind each of them, which is portrayed on the pages well.
The only downside I found for me was the pace of the story. The flow of the story was smooth, but the desire to solve the problems in the book took a little longer to get to than what I'm use to. The historical detail was great, but it did take away a little bit from the plot.
Thank you to Tyndale House, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.