Billy Coffey's newest novel, "When Mockingbirds Sing," kept me guessing to the end. It's kind of a bizarre story, but gives a worthwhile message at the end. A few questions are left unanswered, but I suspect that was intentional. Coffey's next book, which comes out in March 2014, will be set in the same town. I'm already curious to see what will happen next in Mattingly.
"When Mockingbirds Sing" is the story of a little girl named Leah and her invisible friend, the Rainbow Man. Leah and her family are new to the town. Because Leah is quite shy and tends to stutterÃ¢â¬âa lotÃ¢â¬âher parents throw her a birthday party and invite the whole town. There Leah meets Allie who chooses her as her new best friend. Barney, the town's toy maker, brings an easel as Leah's birthday gift. This is where the troubles begin.
Leah's mysterious paintings seem to predict the future and quickly divide the town. Is she gifted or cursed? And is the Rainbow Man real? Each person, including Leah's parents, Allie, Barney, and the town's minister, must choose what to believe and how to respond to this young girl.
I received a complimentary copy of "When Mockingbirds Sing" from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for this honest review. I was thankful for the opportunity to read this intriguing book.
The best part of a great book is when you can take a few moments after the final page has been turned, you close your eyes, sigh, and remember just how great a story that was you just read. One that will live long in your soul like a priceless memory. In fact for as far back as I can recall, almost anything that author Billy Coffey has written has lingered in my mind and touched my heart in profound ways. In his latest novel, When Mockingbirds Sing is definitely not like anything I had ever read from him before. This one gripped me from the first chapter and wouldn't let me go. I quite literally couldn't do anything else until I uncovered the magic that was taking place in the small town of Mattingly, Virginia. Think of it like your personal Mayberry of sorts. The kind of town where everyone knows one another, where often times they can rally together for the good of the community. It's also a place where when things can't be explained that people can assume to worst in others. But all that is about to change when one little girl, Leah Norcross came to town and brought the magic with her.
Leah is the only child of Tom and Ellen Norcross. Your average family from the looks on the outside. Tom is a full-time psychologist in town and has cut back his hours to spend more time with his family. Something he promised them before they moved here. But something in Tom's past won't let him go and he'll have to decide where his true priorities lie when no matter what he tries, he can't seem to heal his own daughter, Leah of her ability to stutter. What's even worse is the divide it has been causing in his own marriage to Ellen. They are more like room mates than husband and wife lately and he is struggling to find a way to create bridge to bring his family back together. Will Leah's magic be enough to heal her family as well?
Leah's only goal in life to to have friends, but she has learned long ago that when you are different like she is, people will often go to great lengths to be mean and stay away from you. So she is more than thrilled when the Rainbow Man appears and offers to work with Leah to help what is ailing this small town. The only problem with the Rainbow Man is that no one can see him but Leah. Leah and the Rainbow Man are about to change the lives of the people living in Mattingly like they had never imagined and all those prayers to God are about to point to what Leah can paint in her remarkable pictures handcrafted just for each one of them. What is really going on with Leah and her paintings? Just what is the Rainbow Man? Is he sent from God or somewhere else?
For that answer to the mystery of the magic in Mattingly, you'll have to pick up a copy of When Mockingbirds Sing by Billy Coffey. After picking up a copy of this novel, you'll want to carve out a good portion of time to sit back and watch the real storytelling magic of Billy Coffey's writing transport you as a silent observer into the lives of the people in Mattingly. The interesting note I found when I began my own journey is that the voice in the story reminded me of the narrator from the movie Charlotte's Web (1973), Rex Allen, whose gentle and warm voice lulls you into a magical world that only Billy Coffey can create through his words. This is one not to be missed and will change how you see things in the world today. There is magic alive all around us if we are only willing to look for it.
It's been a true pleasure to review When Mockingbirds Sing by Billy Coffey compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers and the down to earth author Billy Coffey, himself. I received no monetary compensation for a favorable review on this novel and easily give this one a 5 out of 5 stars. I've had the distinguished pleasure of adding so many of Billy Coffey's short stories to my personal library through his novels but also through his blog, What I Learned Today. Make sure you grab a comfy spot on the porch swing, make a tall glass of some Southern Sweet Tea and prepare yourself for a truly unforgettable journey into the world of Billy Coffey today! To wrap up this novel in one word would simply be "Awesome Sauce!"
Leah Norcross is the nine year old daughter of the town psychologist in the small town of Mattingly. Seemingly inhibited by a stutter, she lives in a world all her own. Drawing pictures that are breathtaking in detail, and talking to an invisible man she calls the "Rainbow Man", she is not exactly the most popular kid in town. While some of the townspeople seem amused by Tom and Ellen's daughter, others are leery of someone so unlike themselves.
Barney and Mabel Moore are part of the accepting group. Explaining that the small town does not easily accept strangers from Away, Barney tries to smooth things over for everyone. When he wins the lottery from numbers that Leah painted, the lines are drawn. The minister refuses to believe a child can hear from God even more clearly than he can. Leah father, Tom, is equally as confused, but sticks with his daughter, even though he cannot understand what is happening to her. Can he save his daughter from the clutches of her own mind? Or is there really more to this Rainbow Man than he is willing to admit?
This is definitely an ambitious novel. But more than that, it hit the mark. I was expecting a quaint little town with a quaint, backwoods feel to the story. I got so much more than a nice story with a feel-good ending. Coffey takes you on an adventure that leaves you pondering the tale long even when you're not reading it. He sometimes raises more questions than he answers, and then in a breathtaking, effortless sweep brings you to understanding without even trying. It is very different than what I've ever read, but it was worth every word. If you don't read a lot, make the time for this novel. You won't regret the remarkable journey.
This book was provided by Thomas Nelson Publishers for free in exchange for an honest review.
If you love Peretti, you will love Billy Coffey's latest book. It contains all the elements of a fast-paced novel right up to the dramatic ending. The story kept me guessing page after page, wondering how the town will survive a young girl's friendship with her invisible Rainbow Man and what her paintings meant to the townspeople. If you are looking for a heart-stopping read this summer, this is the book.
When Mockingbirds Sing by Billy Coffey is poetically breathtaking. This is the story of Amy and the wonderful townspeople who are in for a life altering experience, to say the least. This story weaves the struggles of belief and understanding like no other novel has done in quite a while. It was stunningly descriptive and transportive because at times when ever anyone asked what I was reading I would answer, "this movie is a must see" followed by laughs on both our parts because I was clearly holding a book not a tablet of some sort. This has only ever happened to me once before when I was reading a thriller and it has taken 15 years for this to happen again. In the end I am extremely glad I read this story and have a new author to follow, he is amazing.