Title: Night Bird Calling
Author: Cathy Gohlke
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publishing Date: Jan 5, 2021
Publisher: Tyndale House
Length: 432 Pages
About the Book:
From award-winning author Cathy Gohlke, whose novels have been called “haunting” (Library Journal on Saving Amelie) and “page-turning” (Francine Rivers on Secrets She Kept), comes a historical fiction story of courage and transformation set in rural Appalachia on the eve of WWII.
When Lilliana Swope’s beloved mother dies, Lilliana gathers her last ounce of courage and flees her abusive husband for the home of her only living relative in the foothills of No Creek, North Carolina. Though Hyacinth Belvidere hasn’t seen Lilliana since she was five, she offers her cherished great-niece a safe harbor. Their joyful reunion inspires plans to revive Aunt Hyacinth’s estate and open a public library where everyone is welcome, no matter the color of their skin.
Slowly Lilliana finds revival and friendship in No Creek–with precocious eleven-year-old Celia Percy, with kindhearted Reverend Jesse Willard, and with Ruby Lynne Wishon, a young woman whose secrets could destroy both them and the town. When the plans for the library also incite the wrath of the Klan, the dangers of Lilliana’s past and present threaten to topple her before she’s learned to stand.
With war brewing for the nation and for her newfound community, Lilliana must overcome a hard truth voiced by her young friend Celia: Wishing comes easy. Change don’t.
WOW. I am quite literally speechless. I’m quite positive that anything I say about this one couldn’t do it justice. I don’t remember the last time I was left in a book fog this thick after finishing a read. It gripped my heart right from the beginning and held it captive until… well… I think I’m still waiting to get it back haha. The author went into several deep topics and didn’t shy away from any of their ugliness. Instead, she grabbed them by the horns and and went through the muck with the reader instead of beating around the bush or skipping to the easier parts. Faith played an integral role without coming off as cheesy or shallow. The characters were truly sent through the ringer, but it was through those hardships that Jesus was able to meet them where they were at and draw them into His embrace. THIS is Christian fiction done right. Everything about this piece was masterful. The character development was impeccable and each one had their own story to tell. Lilliana tugged at my heartstrings, and I know she is a character I will never forget. I highly recommend this one to anyone and everyone. Despite the story taking place in 1941, the truths revealed are not only still relevant today, but needed. I can guarantee this one will make my annual favorites list at the end of the year.
*I purchased my own copy of this book. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.