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Christy (1967)

by Catherine Marshall

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,862293,345 (4.17)60
Christy Huddleston left home at 19 to teach school in the Smokey Mountains. There she came to know and love the wild mountain people with their fierce pride, their dark superstitions, their terrible poverty, their yearning for beauty and truth. Christy found her faith severely challenged in these primitive surroundings; and, confronted with two young men of unique strength and needs, she found her own growing yearnings challenged by love.… (more)
  1. 00
    The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson (cbl_tn)
    cbl_tn: Both books are about young women in the early 20th century trying to educate Appalachians and break the cycle of poverty.
  2. 00
    Tisha: The Story of a Young Teacher in the Alaska Wilderness by Robert Specht (dara85)
    dara85: Both teachers go into isolated areas, Tisha to Alaska and Christy to Kentucky. Both deal with illness in the story.
  3. 00
    The Thread That Runs So True by Jesse Stuart (JenniferRobb)
    JenniferRobb: Both discuss schoolteachers in rural settings. Marshall's is set in Appalachia while Stuart's is mostly in rural Kentucky.
  4. 00
    The Water Is Wide by Pat Conroy (JenniferRobb)
    JenniferRobb: Christy goes to teach in the Appalachians and Conroy goes to teach on Yamacraw Island, but both deal with students who don't know the basics of education as we think of them.

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» See also 60 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
Christy has long been one of my favorite books. I think I first read it in my late teens; it was one inspiration that influenced me to want to be a teacher. Christy's story is inspirational and captivating, with a touch of romance.

I'll admit, I also purchased the audiobook, which is narrated by Kellie Martin (who played Christy in the TV series). Superbly done!

It was a pleasure to revisit a longtime favorite. ( )
  WendyKA | Jul 12, 2020 |
Originally published in 1967, Christy is a historical fiction novel based on the experience of the author's mother teaching at a Christian mission in the Smoky Mountains in the early 1900s. Both the real Leonora and the fictionalized Christy at 19 leave their homes in North Carolina to teach children of poverty in the mountains of Tennessee. Having grown up with Leonora's stories, Catherine Marshall was able to make the people of Appalachia come alive. She told the story of their hardships, but also of their hearts and spirits. Marshall allows us to experience vicariously the difficulty of living without basic necessities in situations we would find primitive and grossly unclean. She then leads us to see the mountain people as valued individuals rather than being identified by group stereotypes. We celebrate their achievements, sorrow over their losses, and cheer on their best efforts. The mentoring character of Miss Alice Henderson, a Quaker mission worker from Pennsylvania, helps Christy, the young pastor David Grantland, and the reader come to deeper spiritual understandings.

Christy is not a book that you will soon forget, and is likely one that you will want to reread from time to time. I owe, in a large part, my going into the field of education to having read this book while in high school. Having read it again over the years, it was like coming together with old friends as I read it again five years into my retirement. While the book is based on the community of Chapel Hollow in the Morgan Branch Valley of Tennessee, I am always transported back into the book each time I visit Cades Cove just outside of Gatlinburg, Tennessee and near the town of Townsend where the television story based on this book was filmed. The cabins there are much as I picture those belonging to the book's characters.

I highly recommend this book to all readers, no matter what genre one usually prefers to read in. This timeless classic is too good to miss, and will live in your heart for years to come.

I am grateful to NetGalley and Evergreen Farm an imprint of Gilead Publishing for providing me with a copy of Christy in exchange for my honest opinion. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review and received no monetary compensation. ( )
  claudia.castenir | Oct 16, 2018 |
I loved the book all the way through until the very end...and then I was thinking, "What? That's it? That's the ending?" You have to make so many assumptions in that last line of the book. I hated the ending so much that it skewed my perception of the entire book. :( ( )
  Liladillerauthor | Jan 20, 2018 |
Confession time: I had never read the best-selling classic Christy by Catherine Marshall before I opened its pages last week. I know! I have been missing something very special for a very long time. This book made Christianity Today‘s most influential book list for a good reason. This 50 year-old classic tells the story of young Christy Huddleston, an earnest young woman who sets out to teach the children of Cutter Gap in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Idealistic and enthusiastic, Christy finds herself in a poverty-stricken area where superstitions run deep, literacy is rare, and disease often brings heartache to an already hard existence. And while Christy brings considerable energy and talent to the job, she ends up learning more than her pupils. The insights she gleans from her friends are ones that the reader can cherish as well. I loved, loved, loved this book! If you haven’t read it yet, you must! If its been awhile since you’ve visited the community of Cutter Gap, what are you waiting for? And if you are looking for a Christmas gift for that special someone (especially older teen girls), Christy is the perfect choice.

Christy is set in the backwoods of a time-gone-by Tennessee. Based on the real life adventures of Catherine Marshall’s mother, this book opens up a window on what mountain people had to combat in the early 1900s — an isolated area fraught with hygiene problems, ignorance, and suspicion of outside influences. The story is told in Christy Huddleston’s first person voice, giving fresh eyes to the world of Cutter Gap. I loved how Christy grew as a person as she came to love and minister to the children and women. Teacher was of great influence, yet Christy learned more from her interactions with mentor Miss Alice, friends Fairlight and Opal, and pupils like Little Burl, Ruby Mae, and Lundy. She learned to overlook the smells and dirt and the sometimes backward ways of men and women, as her view became colored by the love she grew to have for the people. The book itself is filled with flowing prose that captures the beauty of the mountains, the nobility (and meanness) of the people, and the work of God in nature and man. All the characters have a complexity that makes them so very real. And if you think that a book that was written 50 years ago about a place and time now remote to the modern reader, then you will be pleasantly surprised. Christy may tell of a time 100 years in the past, but has a relevance for 2017. God’s love is the prevailing theme of the novel, and many of the characters struggle to accept it or live it out in real and meaningful ways. Miss Alice’s character is the plumb line for all others, and she brought a wisdom to the book when others were struggling.

Christy set my imagination aflame! Cutter Gap is a place I know I will visit again.

Very Highly Recommended!

Audience: older teens to adults.

(Thanks to Gilead Publishing and LitFuse for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.) ( )
1 vote vintagebeckie | Dec 3, 2017 |
I remember reading this book when I was younger and watching the series when it was on television. As I read it this time, I found myself more involved with the story. I can’t imagine at nineteen to travel so far away from home. I thought Christy was a wonderful character and so brave. The shock she felt as she stepped off the train showed on her face. From a wonderful, comfortable life to poverty would scare off many. Christy was determined to make a go at bring the best teacher the children ever had.

The little place she traveled by foot was too much for me at times. I cried when I read about the children with no shoes, and little food to eat. The author describes a shanty town with no hope of improvement. I loved the story because it really shows how hard times were during that time period, and how the families did what they could to survive. What if you lost everything and had to live in a little place with no electricity or food? Christy was in for some hard times and I loved how she found ways to get donations for the school and children.

David is such a great character. As a preacher in this little backwoods area, he has his hands full with unruly men and secret stills that cause much danger to the people. I loved his sermon he gave after the still had been found out. It is so true that people who are doing bad things love the darkness. That way they think they are hidden and no one knows. But like Preacher David described in his sermon, God sees everything. You can’t hide from Him. Preacher David is so encouraging and a caring man. His devotion to the community is admirable.

The story is filled with how Christy adapts to her new life and the children that she teaches. Her compassion for the children is very heartwarming. I loved the interaction she had with several of the children. Some who needed to know they were important , while others needed guidance. It seems like there is always that one kid in class that is hard to reach. He wants to be tough and show off for the class. I was so intrigued with how Christy handled the boy who tried to intimidate her. If you haven’t had a chance to read this inspiring story, I encourage you to grab a copy. Travel back to the early 1900s and experience a woman with courage, love for children, steadfast faith and hope for a better life for her community.

I received a copy of this book from LitFuse. The review is my own opinion . ( )
  Harley0326 | Dec 1, 2017 |
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I wish to thank my many friends in East Tennessee (then it names some of them and why)
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On that November afternoon when I first saw Cutter Gap, the crumbling chimney of Alice Henderson's cabin stood stark against the sky, blackened by the flames that had consumed the house.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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At nineteen, Christy Huddleson left home to teach school in the Smokies - coming to know and care for the wild mountain people, with their fierce pride, terrible poverty, dark superstitions ... and their yearning fro beauty and truth.
But in these primitive surroundings, Christy's faith would be severely tested by the unique strengths and needs of two remarkable young men - and challenged by a heart torn between desire ... and love .
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