Summer Reading Project Book One: Christy

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Back at the beginning of the summer, I thought it would be fun to revisit some of my old favorites books. I’m in library school, but I had a whole two and a half months without taking classes, and reading sounded like a great way to spend some of that extra time. I posted them on Facebook originally, and now I’m re-posting them here. Enjoy, and of course, feel free to comment!

My first selection was Christy by Catherine Marshall. I remember reading it sometime in high school, probably when the miniseries starring Kellie Martin was on the air. I loved it, cried at the ending, declared it to be my favorite book ever, and never read it again. So I decided to give it another go.

There is a sweet simplicity about this book that I really enjoyed. Christy comes on the scene as a pampered socialite in early twentieth-century North Carolina who accepts a position as a teacher in underprivileged Cutter Gap, Tennessee. She feels as though she has some great destiny to fulfill, and giving these poor mountain children a basic education just might be that destiny. The book covers her first year in Cutter Gap, and during that time she completely changes as a person, as a Christian, and as a woman.

The book focuses on the relationships that Christy establishes with the children, parents, fellow mission workers, and God. The descriptions of both the place and the characters are so well-done that they feel real. The setting is heart-breakingly beautiful, with the natural splendor of the Smokies providing a backdrop for the incredible poverty and squalor of the community. The people are superstitious, ignorant, and prejudiced, but for all that, Christy finds glimmers of light: bright minds, deep friendships, and sometimes an almost aristocratic culture. She also finds love…but if you haven’t read it I won’t spoil that for you.

This book is based on Catherine Marshall’s mother, and it took her years to write it. All that time, energy, effort, and research was well worth it, considering the final result. At one time it was considered the most influential book in the lives of you women ages 17-21. For me, it was just as good, if not better, the second time around, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. It’s a pretty quick read. I highly recommend it.

Book two, Anne of Green Gables, is coming soon…



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