Friday, January 27, 2017
Author: Catherine Marshall
Genre: Historical fiction, Christian fiction
Rating: 5 out of 5 fairies
Where to buy: Amazon
Synopsis: In the year 1912, nineteen-year-old Christy Huddleston leaves home to teach school in the Smoky Mountains -- and comes to know and love the resilient people of the region, with their fierce pride, their dark superstitions, their terrible poverty, and their yearning for beauty and truth. But her faith will be severely challenged by trial and tragedy, by the needs and unique strengths of two remarkable young men, and by a heart torn between true love and unwavering devotion.
About the Author: Marshall was born in Johnson City, Tennessee. She was the daughter of the Reverend John Ambrose Wood and Leonora Whitaker Wood. From the age of nine until her graduation from high school, Marshall was raised in Keyser, West Virginia, where her father served as pastor of a Presbyterian church from 1924 to 1942.
While a junior at Agnes Scott College, she met Peter Marshall, marrying him in 1936. The couple moved to Washington, DC, where her husband served as pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church and Chaplain of the United States Senate.
In 1940, Marshall contracted tuberculosis, for which at that time there was no antibiotic treatment. She spent nearly three years recovering from the illness. Her husband died in 1949 of a heart attack, leaving her to care for their 9-year-old son, Peter John Marshall. He later also became a minister and author.
Marshall wrote a biography of her husband, A Man Called Peter, published in 1951. It became a nationwide success and was adapted as a film of the same name, released in 1955. Her success encouraged her to keep writing.
Marshall wrote or edited more than 30 books, which have sold over 16 million copies. They include edited collections of Peter Marshall's sermons and prayers, and her own inspirational writings. Her most successful books were A Man Called Peter (1951); and her novel, Christy (1967), which was inspired by the story of her mother's time in the mountains teaching the impoverished children of Appalachia. Christy was adapted as a CBS television series, starring Kellie Martin, beginning in 1994.
In 1959, Marshall married Leonard LeSourd, who was the editor of Guideposts Magazine for 28 years. Together they founded a book imprint, Chosen Books. They had three children, Linda, Chester and Jeffery.
Marshall died on March 18, 1983 at the age of 68. She was buried alongside her first husband.
Review: A book that has been on my to-read list since a librarian suggested it to me when I was around 9 years old, I'm sorry to admit it has taken me 18 years to read this powerful tale. Impoverished seems like such an inadequate word for the world encountered by Christy, the heroine of this at times heart-breaking story. There are heartwarming moments sprinkled in among the sadness as Christy finds her faith and her place in the world.
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