Monday, November 13, 2017
Description: The train taking nineteen-year-old teacher Christy Huddleston from her home in Asheville, North Carolina, might as well be transporting her to another world. The Smoky Mountain community of Cutter Gap feels suspended in time, trapped by poverty, superstitions, and century-old traditions.
But as Christy struggles to find acceptance in her new home, some see her — and her one-room school — as a threat to their way of life. Her faith is challenged and her heart is torn between two strong men with conflicting views about how to care for the families of the Cove.
Yearning to make a difference, will Christy’s determination and devotion be enough?
My Thoughts: The last time I read this, I was in middle school in Michigan, reading novels meant for much older readers. Now, I'm finally the target audience and am reading the 50th anniversary edition in a city mentioned on the Cutter Gap map. How times have changed!
One of the most upsetting things for me as a child reader was that there had never been a sequel to Christy. I'm even more heartbroken about that now that I have read this over and fallen in love once again with the setting and the characters who are both familiar and yet foreign. Living in the Smoky Mountains of Appalachia has given me a new appreciation for Christy's many jaunts into the forest and her desire to stay even when her family would wish her home.
Something I was unable to fully grasp in my childhood was the faith journey that Christy embarked upon. Now that I have passed the age she was in the narrative, I have found the questions she grappled with to be just as important and thought provoking as she did. What does it mean to love thy neighbor? Especially when that person is someone who you feel lives in a world of ignorance and hate. Do you have to like them still? And what is the best way to live and preach the gospel when you know your neighbors are engaged in illegal and dangerous acts?
Christy was a courageous woman, one that many of us can only hope to be like, as she dove not only into a culture alien to her, but also into deeps of faith she had never dared tread. While there are portions of this new edition that could have used updating, such as where there are two people speaking in one paragraph without much distinction between the two, there is a wealth of storytelling that stands on its own as a classic that will remain for generations to come.
I am glad to have provided an honest review after having received a copy of this book through Litfuse.