Saturday, October 23, 2010

Catching Moondrops - Jennifer Erin Valent

Inspirational Historical by Jennifer Erin Valent - Reviewed by Ginger Simpson


It’s 1938 in Calloway, Virginia. Jessilynn Lassiter has grown into a young woman, and at almost nineteen, she still loves Luke Tally just as much as she did when they were kids. And...Luke is finally looking at her with the same emotion in his eyes. Her family is extraordinary, in that they don’t see color…they see people. Jessie’s best friend, Gemma, lives with the Lassiters. They took her in when her parent’s died, despite the narrow-minded bigots in Calloway who consider the Lassiter's good intentions as misguided.  After all what decent white family would associate with anyone of color?

It’s been six years since the last real Klan activity but the arrival of a young negro doctor, Tal Pritchett, stirs the group to action, especially when he tends to the ailments of an elderly, white woman. Flaming crosses, burning churches, and the hanging of Noah, an innocent young black, is more than Jessilynn can stand.

Love is in the air as Gemma and Tal grow closer, but Jessie has demons to fight. She wants revenge on the Klan for their prejudicial acts. With a lot of soul-searching and praye, she eventually realizes her hatred is no different than those she detests.

 Catching Moondrops by Jennifer Erin Valent draws you back to a time in history when bigotry and racial strife was at it’s worst. Although things have improved, this novel is a much-needed reminder that hate is hate and color plays no part in the load on one’s heart.

Jennifer Erin Valent won the 2007 Christian Writer’s Guild Operation First-Novel contest for her debut novel, Fireflies in December, so it's no wonder she writes with realistic dialogue and descriptions pertinent to the era and locale. Unfortunately for me, my dislike for first person didn't allow me to truly get into the character's POV and experience the story through their eyes. There are places where I felt the story was told rather than shown, but this may just be a personal problem on my part. Regardless, Catching Moondrops is a very entertaining read about a not-so-bright time in American history. I applaud the author for broaching a touchy topic and delivering a strong message.

The book is offered by Tyndale House Publishers, and you can read more about Ms. Valent on her website: http://www.jennifervalent.com/