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Christy (1967)

by Catherine Marshall

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3,626443,424 (4.13)71
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 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 00
    The Moonlight School by Suzanne Woods Fisher (JenniferRobb)
    JenniferRobb: In both books, an educated young woman ends up in an area of poorer people with less educational opportunities.

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» See also 71 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
This warm and heartfelt novel is Catherine Marshall's loving tribute to her mother Lenora Woods' journey to Cutter Gap, in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, to teach its children shortly after the turn of the century. The effect it had on her mother's life and faith is captured with warmth and beauty in this fine audio book. It is made all the more special because it is read by Kellie Martin, who starred in the two-hour television adaptation, and the series that followed.

It is rare when an audio book is this good. Though nothing is ever a substitute for reading the book, having both read this fine novel in the traditional manner, and listened to this audio reading, I can honestly say that if you loved the television series, you will love this. Just as she did in the series, Kellie Martin perfectly captures the great beauty of these mountains and the poverty of its people. Occasional and brief interludes of banjo music frame this heartwarming — and sometimes heartbreaking — thinly disguised biography of a young and exuberant 19 year old girl who falls in love with the children of Cutter gap.

This seems more like a telling of a story than a reading, and that in itself separates it from many other audio books. Martin captures the joy and humor of Christy's time in Cutter Gap, as well as the conflict and resentment as the school and church butted heads over moonshine. She captures the romance that begins to blossom and her divided heart, as her inner emotions are torn between two very different men.

This may be warm family entertainment but it has substance as well. Those who are fans of the beloved bestseller and/or the fine television series it spawned will not be disappointed. The emotions of Christy and her resolve to stay in this place and teach are lovingly brought to life in Kellie Martin’s voice as she reads the wonderful words of Catherine Marshall. Particularly moving is the relationship between Christy and Fairlight Spencer, a strong but delicate woman who offers her friendship. The sadness these mountains could bring upon such a fine and delicate soul is movingly rendered by Kellie Martin. As Fairlight's inner flame begins to grow dim from the blowing winds of hardship and shadows of poverty, we are deeply moved.

I highly recommend this one, even if, like me, you've read it already. It is a loving tribute to Catherine Marshall's mother and the life she chose to live. Filled with love and joy, this is one audio book read by Kellie Martin that you'll savor and enjoy over and over. ( )
  Matt_Ransom | Oct 6, 2023 |
Christy Huddleston from Asheville, North Carolina, leaves home to teach in Cutter Gap in Tennessee in the Old Smokey Mountains. When she arrives by train, she has to walk 7 miles through snow to reach the mission house where she will live and teach. She is appalled by the conditions in which these proud people live. She looks forward to working with Alice Henderson, an older Quaker woman who supervises 3 schools in Appalachia. Other main characters are the mission's minister, David Grantland, and the local physician, Neill MacNeil, a descendant of the colony's founder from the Highlands of Scotland. This book has a lot of description as Christy goes about defining her relationship with God and navigating her relationships with the parents and children of Cutter Gap. ( )
  baughga | Jul 6, 2023 |
  WBCLIB | Feb 19, 2023 |
This book contains a story of the rape of a teenage girl and may not be suitable for all audiences. It is not particularly graphic but has very raw emotions.

This book is very real. Real emotions, real situations. Real characters.
As such it is at times emotionally jarring and at others, nearly blissful.
We can all take lessons from Christy and Miss Alice. ( )
  FaithBurnside | Aug 17, 2022 |
I first read this book when I was a teenager, and I remembered really nothing of the story except that Christy was a girl who left her home in Asheville to work at a mission in the Appalachians and that I had liked the book. I think this book was more geared to my younger self, that youthful person still searching for her own path in life and wanting to codify her beliefs.

There is much truth, and dozens of truisms, in this book. Catherine Marshall was married to a famous pastor and she has a serious purpose in mind in writing this book. It is a Christian story and meant to be a serious search into what Christianity entails for the individual.

Already I could see that although I tried to capture truth, truth could never be wholly contained in words. All of us know it: at the same moment the mouth is speaking one thing, the heart is saying another; or events are carrying us in one direction when all the while the real life of the spirit is marching in another.

Embedded in the novel are some beautiful observations and descriptions of life in the mountains of Tennessee and the troubles and joys that come with an isolated life. Living among descendants of Scottish clansmen, the girl, Christy, is forced to look at life through a different lens and put aside some of the ideas that come from a privileged, educated city life.

Once I began to notice I heard the old ballads everywhere. Strange how music and poetry can preserve the feel of another way of life. Sitting on a cabin porch, I’d see an English manor house with clipped lawns and lords and ladies strolling arm in arm.

The first half of the book seemed quite lovely to me. The weight of the second half was at times overwhelming. It simply went on too long. The religious philosophy stretched itself into passages that seemed more like sermons. I agreed with Marshall’s points and themes, but I admit to wanting to get back to the story, and ultimately to the end.

So many people never pause long enough to make up their minds about basic issues of life and death. It’s quite possible to go through your whole life, making the mechanical motions of living, adopting as your own sets of ideas you’ve picked up some place or other, and die–never having come to any conclusion for yourself as to what life is all about.

On how to justify a belief in immortality:

Because man’s a part of the natural order, and dying each winter and being resurrected each spring is part of the rhythm, the normal ebb and flow of life. Surely if it happens to mere flowers and trees, it happens to us.”

There is wisdom in both those passages, and one that struck me as quite significant to today’s world circumstances was this one:

I’d long since learned that no difference in viewpoint should ever be allowed to cause the least break in love. Indeed, it cannot, if it is real love.

I am not sorry to have read this book, and I would heartily recommend it to anyone who is soul searching or trying to understand the nature of God and the struggles of what God might have planned for your life that you cannot know to plan for yourself.

( )
  mattorsara | Aug 11, 2022 |
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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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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.

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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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