written by Catherine Marshall
501 pages, adult fiction
originally published in 1967
Christy is a beautiful book that illustrates quality morals and character-building traits. This book is now considered by most a vintage classic, especially in the Christian community. Due to some of the content, I recommend it for high school students and adults.
In 1912, Christy Huddleston is a courageous 19-year-old, daring to shed her high-society life to become a schoolteacher in a little community set among the Appalachian Mountains. The rugged little village of Cutter Gap is quite different than young Christy's imaginings before leaving her comfy home. Nonetheless, she takes her monthly wages to work as the mission schoolteacher and does the best teaching she can, while she herself is learning on the job. The culture of the mountain folk is quite steeped in Scottish culture and beliefs. Each of the "clans" are set in their ways and don't take too kindly to change. Whether they want it or not, once plucky Christy Huddleston arrives, Cutter Gap won't be quite the same.
Although the reader may not have encountered the things that Christy does, most will still relate to her bold-but-impressionable inner nature. For example, I may not have to command a schoolroom full of 70 children, battle against the moonshiners in town, bear the sights of crude surgery performed in a rustic setting, or swallow the smells of too many people living in a two-room cabin... but as I read this book, I can understand her worries, discomforts, and also the utter joys, as will any reader.
It is a book to be cherished.
The story is inspired by the true experience of the author's mother, Leonora Whitaker, when she was a young and impressionable schoolteacher. Additionally, I was pleased to learn that the author herself, Catherine Marshall, was married to famed minister Peter Marshall – and I'm rather excited to read her biography of him, A Man Called Peter.
NOTE to the discerning reader & parents: There are 2 minor things to mention, although I don't feel that they mar the book on the whole. (1) A young teenage girl is taken advantage of by a man, and her story is told in some detail. (2) Some foul words are used throughout the book. (For these reasons I recommend the book for older teens and adults.)
Christy by Catherine Marshall is certainly a new favorite novel of mine. One day it will be worth a re-read.
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