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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The story of a young woman (19 or so!) who leaves her home in Asheville to go teach at a school for children in an impoverished area in the hills of Tennessee at a mission. She has almost seventy students of various levels and must learn how to teach them all .. but she also must learn to understand and value their culture, and most importantly she learns what she really believes about God. Before she heard Dr. Ferrand speak about the mission work that was being done in the poorer, rural areas of Tennessee and various states, she had enjoyed life and known all the right words. But in this new place she is faced with hard truths and people who are desperately in need, and her faith is deeply challenged.

Alice Henderson is a gift to all those she interacts with. She has experienced deep pain, and has chosen hope and love and care even in harsh places. Even those of the Cove (where they work and live) who do not easily accept outsiders into their lives have accepted her and value her input and care. Many of the truths that are clearly spoken in this novel are spoken by Alice Henderson. She wants nothing to do with easy religion, or those who say the right words but do not act on them, or those who have some sort of intellectual faith but don't believe in the real power of God. And of course, there is a man. Actually two of them. Who both fall for Christy. Both handsome and good at what they do. But oh, so different. David is the preacher for the mission and has strong convictions and wants to fight the evil he sees even though he doesn't understand the culture very well just yet. He is funny and works hard and wants to make a difference. Dr. Neil MacNeill grew up in the cove and through the kindness of outsiders was able to go to medical school and get topnotch training. He chose to return to the Cove and help as he can. He travels often, works hard to improve the lives of those around him, believes in science and tradition, and has no use for a God who allows such pain in the world. Christy enjoys both men, and both learns from and challenges both of them. But in the end she makes the only choice possible. choosing the man who really loves her and not the one who simply wants somebody to be loved by.

Author: Catherine Marshall
Date published:1967
Genre: fiction
Number of pages: 501
Notes: repeat reading


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