Favorite Book Winner – Religion

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Sherry Meyer,
Milwaukie writer
Her blog, Found between the covers

“Favorite Book” Writing Contest Winner. $50.00 Religion Category Prize.
– Check Thursday for the final winners.

Review of the book When Mockingbirds Sing by Billy Coffey

When Mockingbirds Sing is the epitome of the book which leaves you wishing there was one more page to turn and then one more and then . . . well, you get the picture, don’t you?

Billy Coffey is a masterful storyteller. His characters come alive, and some jump off the page into your heart. Others you don’t care for at all. Scenes evolve before your eyes as if an artist was wielding his paint brushes across the canvas while you’re reading. The plot maintains a highly readable pace, holding your interest which is captured immediately upon reading the first page.

Coffey has created a small town with its foibles and quirks and yes, its characters. Into Mattingly, Virginia, he has dropped some city folk from Away. Being from Away tends to make life difficult for those who come from there. Add to that the fact that young Leah Norcross stutters, and life burgeons from difficult to impossible and miserable.

Fortunately, during a birthday celebration, Leah is befriended by Allie Granderson, whom I believe senses Leah needs a friend. Allie is bold and steps right up to fill the job.

Enter Leah’s friend, The Rainbow Man. However, only Leah sees him and hears him. But Leah believes in him with all her might. Leah’s Rainbow Man concerns her psychologist father, Tom Norcross, who has demons he struggles with from a previous life it seems. And his marriage to wife Ellen isn’t going so smoothly either.

When the Mattingly folks learn of Leah’s Rainbow Man and her belief in him plus his ability to help Leah foretell the future, they begin to take sides — some against Leah because they are afraid, others standing with her because they are enchanted with her abilities. And the town’s minister begins to fall apart at the idea a child could hear more clearly than he the voice of God.
Has Billy Coffey imagined Mattingly, or has he described for us any town in America? Has he opened the door for us to take a closer look at how we treat our neighbors? Is he attempting to open our hearts to something bigger than ourselves?

For the answers, you’ll have to read When Mockingbirds Sing. You will not be disappointed, whether you read it as Southern fiction or Christian fiction. Coffey’s transcendent writing style will hold your attention and engage you.