Friday, March 4, 2011

Say To This Mountain by Bodie Thoene

book cover

Say To This Mountain
by Bodie Thoene

ISBN-13: 9781556611919
Trade Paperback: 447 pages
Publisher: Bethany House
Released: August 1, 1993

Source: From the local library.

Book Description from Back Cover:
City-boy Davey Meyer, street-smart and gutsy, had this inner longing too belong to somebody-.Max Meyer, a city-boy grown up and a Wall Street regular, also wanted to belong.

Jefferson Canfield had been unjustly incarcerated for a decade. But his escape didn't mean freedom--he didn't really belong anywhere until he came home to Shiloh...Lily's husband had died not long after their baby was conceived. Could she ever feel she belonged to anyone again?....Willa-Mae and Hock Canfield had belonged to each other for nearly as long as they could remember. And for ten years they had made a life for themselves far away from Shiloh and the killing. Now it seemed to have found them once again.

Like his father before him, Ellis Warne belonged in the medical profession. But now he was required to do some things that made him wonder if he could remain a doctor...Becky Warne's empty arms reflected her empty heart. A baby belonged there! Why couldn't Ellis have saved his own?...And two little boys who had a mother, but who didn't really belong to anybody.

These characters and more fill the pages of Say to This Mountain with the stuff of life tragedy and laughter, pain and joy, the dramatic and the ordinary. And through it all over it all is the sense, the wonder, of faith that moves mountains.

My Review:
Say To This Mountain is set in 1929 right after the stock market crash. It picked up immediately after the end of A Thousand Shall Fall. This book was my favorite of the trilogy and was the third in the series. You really need to read at least A Thousand Shall Fall before this book to fully understand the events in this one. Besides, reading this novel out of order will spoil many events in the previous two novels.

There were several point of view characters from different parts of America and different stations in life. The characters were interesting, engaging, and dealt with realistic struggles. However, one character did do a pet peeve of mine: he decided not to tell his wife and child that they were in danger might worry them.

The story was a fast read. The suspense was fairly high from beginning to end due to relationship tensions and threat of physical danger to several of the main characters. The historical and setting details brought the story alive in my imagination. The backdrop of this book was the fall-out from the market crash and how it affected various types of people.

Several of the main characters were Christians. There were multiple occasions where the characters briefly had conversations about God and how He worked, but they flowed naturally as a part of the story and weren't "preachy."

There was no explicit sex. There was a minor amount of "he cussed" style bad language. Overall, I'd highly recommend this enjoyable, well-written historical novel.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from Chapter One
November 1929

The storm arrived in the late evening. A slow drizzle erupted into a torrent that drenched the carpet of fallen leaves beneath the old hickory tree in the yard. Raindrops drummed a rhythm against the roof and windowpanes. A steady stream gushed from the water spout into the enormous oak rain barrel beside the back steps. Single drops joined company to become rivulets in search of the low places on the rutted roads of Shiloh. The James Fork Creek swelled and tugged at the roots of water oaks. Leaping up, the flood buried the fording place beneath two feet of rushing water.

In the hills, deer took cover in thickets. In pastures, mules and cattle clustered together and stood with drooping heads as water dripped from hides and ears and tails. In farmhouses, families gathered around kitchen tables and looked out from silver windows at the darkness that hid the storm from view. Wood stoves crackled and cast-iron kettles rattled on the burners, while outside the downpour rumbled on.

And then it was over. As suddenly as it had begun, the roar abated and the world became a melody of single sounds again. Water dripping from the eves. The distant rushing of the James Fork. The bellow of a cow answered by the indignant croak of a bullfrog turned out of his burrow. Voices dropped to a whisper...

Jefferson Canfield stepped from the warmth of the Tucker farmhouse into the cold night. He breathed in the sweet scents of rain-washed air and raised his face toward a still black sky. The moon was full and bright behind the clouds, yet not a glimmer of silver light showed through. The storm was not yet spent. Soon enough rain would begin again.

Jefferson frowned up toward where the moon should have been and hoped that Birch Tucker would make it back with Doc Brown before then. He thought of the waters of the James Fork streaming across the road down at the ford. Birch had ridden out toward Hartford four hours ago, before the full force of the storm hit, and even then the creek had been high. The young mule Birch rode was strong enough to handle the current, but there was no way Doc Brown's old Model T could cross over now.

It was a bad night to need a doctor. A bad night to be out.

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