Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Book Review: Still House Pond

I am a big fan of the Left Behind series published by Tyndale House Publishers. In fact, I already have 11 of the first 12 books and two of the prequels. I only have three more books to find to complete this wonderful set.

I also buy books in the Left Behind: The Kids series every time I see copies in the secondhand bookstores I frequently visit. I’m still a long way completing all 40 books though. But when I do, I might be able to finally convince my kids to start reading them since there would be a definite ending to look forward to.

Anyway, I chanced upon the Tyndale Media Center a few months ago and saw that they provide free books for review. I signed up and requested Still House Pond by Jan Watson. The book came in the mail last week. I read it the other night and became so hooked on the story; I was able to finish the whole book in less than 24 hours.

Still House Pond features some unforgettable characters. What I first noticed about this novel is that the story revolves not only on one particular person but on different personalities. The writer was able to successfully weave various individuals’ points of view and their personal trials and triumphs without confusing the reader.

Here’s what’s written on the book’s back cover:
Lilly Gray Corbett loves living on Troublesome Creek, but she would much rather play with her best friend than watch her little brother and the twins. Her mama, Copper, is often gone helping to birth babies, and Lilly has to stay home. When Aunt Alice sends a note inviting her to visit in the city, Lilly is excited to go, and Copper reluctantly agrees to let her. Later, when they hear the news that the train crashed, Copper and her husband, John, rush to find out if their daughter is injured . . . or even alive.

What Lilly went through are tests of faith and fortitude on her part and that of her parents. However, the story doesn’t just revolve around Lilly and her family. Readers will also come to know supporting characters better which makes the story’s tapestry richer. I also love how Jan Watson integrated Christian values within the book without coming over as too preachy.

I’d like to share two of my favorite quotes from the book which were uttered by the character called Darcy:

“Beauty is easy to find if you look through kind eyes.”

“Sympathy says, ‘I understand. I’ve been through it too.’ Pity says, ‘That will never happen to me. You brought it on yourself.’ Sympathy shares. Pity’s haughty.”

Very nice words of wisdom, don’t you think?

I soon found out that Still House Pond is the fifth of a book series which include Troublesome Creek, Willow Springs, Torrent Falls, and Sweetwater Run. I believe that it was no accident I was sent this book. You see, I am fond of reading books with stories that span generations. Some of the best series I’ve read were Barbara Taylor Bradford’s Emma Harte novels (A Woman of Substance, etc.) as well as the Courtney and Ballantyne family sagas by Wilbur Smith.

So after reading Still House Pond, I am now on the lookout for the earlier books of this Jan Watson series. It would be nice to find out more about Copper’s story (Lilly’s mom) as well as those people whose lives she touched along her journey.
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