Thursday, March 12, 2009

Christy

Christy is a powerful, historical fiction novel written by Catherine Marshall. Since its publication in 1967, it has remained a beloved classic and has also been the inspiration for a popular television series in the 1990's.

In 1912, a young lady's life was changed forever. Nineteen-year-old Christy Huddleston grew up in a sheltered home near the Smoky Mountains with her father, her mother, and her brother George. One day at a church conference, she heard an elderly man tell about the needs of the people in the hidden regions of the Great Smokies. Stirred by the words of a man with a true heart of service, she volunteered to go to mountains to teach and to minister to the needy people who walked for miles through the snow without shoes so that they could get an education.

Her heart was set on adventure then, but now she realizes that she didn't really know the reality of what she was getting into. Upon her arrival at Cutter Gap, she instantly comes face-to-face with the struggles and darkness of the "highlanders" whose clocks had stopped somewhere in the 1700's. She encounters superstitions, fears, poverty, unsanitary conditions, and feuds between "clans". Babies' needless deaths caused by mountain superstitions, secret blockading and warped and murderous views of justice, a tragic typhoid epidemic, and other oppressions of satan's stronghold in the mountains cause Christy to want to flee back to her home, to her "ivory tower", and forget it all. But does God have something more for Christy to do? Can the light and power of Jesus Christ break through these rock-hard strongholds and change lives for His glory? Will Christy learn for herself what it means to truly trust and know God? At the same time, as she is "confronted by two young men with unique strengths and needs" (quoting the back cover), will she learn the difference between true love and false?

Christy was truly one of the most incredible, heart-impacting books I have ever read. From this book I gleaned such a wealth of spiritual encouragement and instruction that are very applicable to my life right now. I learned how I, like Christy, am so ready to "hide in my ivory tower" and close my eyes to the tragic-- and yet very real-- needs around me. I learned with Christy about praying and going forth with faith, and about seeing beyond people's appearances or ways and loving the people themselves. This book also taught me the truth of, "If any man will do His [the Father's] will, He shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself." This is no fluff romance novel (though it also deals with the topic of true love.) This is a book to read with a fully active mind, drinking in the truth and then taking it with you after you close the pages of the book and living it!


The only disclaimer I must make for this book is that I do not recommend it for younger readers, due to some descriptions of factual life that might disturb young minds. I do, however, highly, highly, highly recommend it for girls in their later teens or early 20's-- which (I am finding) is an age full of questions and doubts, when they are needing to make the choice for themselves what direction they will take in life-- in their faith in God, in service, in marriage... Christy is a very real-life person (her character and the events in the story are actually based off of the life of the author's mother) and throughout the whole book, I found myself identifying with her thoughts, ideas, fears, dreams, and perspectives. I found my faith very challenged and edified, and have found my life very impacted by this book. I would wish the same for you as well!



Images are taken from www.erasofelegance.com and are of the TV series Christy, adapted from (though not entirely faithful to) the novel and starring Kellie Martin.

8 comments:

Rosebud said...

Oh what an awesome book!!!!

juli said...

Funny, I just read Christy for the first time last week. It was good!

Melanie said...

Oh that's funny, Ju!! :-D

I just wrote you a 5-page letter, should be going out in the mail tomorrow! :-D

Teddy said...

Oooo! As soon as I get the time I'm going to have to read that, it sounds like it's right up my alley!

steph12 said...

It sounds like a great book! I haven't ever read it, (though it has been sitting on our bookshelf for a long time!:-))I will have to read it!:-)

Alaina said...

It does sound like a really good book!

Toria said...

You MUST tell me which movie of Christy you've seen...the one we started watching was so horribly stupid that we stopped it within 10 minutes!! =P It was sooo confusing (prehaps because we hadn't read the book) and, like we said, stopped it after the girl puts a lucky penny somewheres to reverse bad luck...anyhow, I think we got the wrong movie. =P

Melanie said...

Toria,

Of the Christy shows, I saw the premier one, which is closest to the book-- except that in it Lundy and Birds-Eye Taylor set the schoolhouse on fire (not in the book) and it doesn't wrap up the story or anything, because, of course, it's a show. Then we saw the episode when they are putting up the telephone poles and when Dr. MacNeill's wife comes back (which again is NOT (!!!!) in the book-- his wife died years prior to the beginning of the story). I don't think we saw the one you mentioned, though I can imagine that would be in the shows.

There is some wierdish stuff a little like what you said, in the book, b/c the mountain people are so stuped in superstition. Which is why Miss Alice Henderson came, sharing the gospel of hope, that people don't have to be bound in fears and superstitions. It's really incredible to read. :-)