Monday, July 9, 2012

Skip Rocks Shallow

Title:  Skip Rock Shallows
Author:  Jan Watson
Pages:  370
Year:  2012
Publisher:  Tyndale
Note:  I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.  Follow my other reviews at  and on twitter @lcjohnson1988
                The year is 1908, and the setting is in the coal mining mountains of Kentucky.  At this time in history and in this area, there weren’t a lot of modern conveniences and the people weren’t “up with the times” according to the society at that time.  Will the character adapt or run for home?
                Lilly Corbett has just graduated from medical school in Boston and has agreed to a short 3-4 month stay in Skip Rock as the coal company’s physician.  The old doctor has passed away so she is just filling in until a permanent replacement can be found.  She has her fiancé waiting for her in Boston.  He is a surgeon and from a wealthy family.  Lilly grew up in the mountains not far from Skip Rock.  She has her life all planned out and can’t wait to get back to Boston.  At first, she is unwelcome by the town’s people because she is a female physician and no man is going to be treated by a woman!  Then, it is discovered that the man who has been working as her assistant is in fact her cousin.  He lets everyone know she is his kin, and Lilly becomes much more welcome.  She begins to treat more and more people and develops a love for this town and its’ people.
                Tern Still or is it Joe Repp?  Whatever his real name is, he is a coal mine worker who reminds Lilly of someone familiar.  Who does he remind her of?  Where could she have met him?  Why has he shown up here in this small town?  Is he following her?  Tern has eyes only for Lilly and begins to spend time with her in hopes that he can reveal to her the truth about himself.  He has strayed from being a practicing Christian and he has no prayer life.  In the midst of tragedy, does he remember what his mother taught him about God?
                Lilly receives a letter from her boss asking her to commit to five years as physician at Skip Rock.  The town desperately needs a physician and she is already there and begun to be accepted by the people.  What should she do?  Should she stay?  If she stays, will her fiancé support her decision?  Will they still have a relationship?  How does she really feel about Tern/Joe?  Will Lilly obey what she knows the Lord has put on her heart or will she follow her head and continue with her well-laid plans?
                Jan Watson does a nice job showing the interactions between the characters and gives them a depth so they are not just surface characters.  There is a great supporting cast of characters.  I loved the character of Armina!  She is sassy, but also a hard worker, and caretaker.   So come and spend some time with the characters of Skip Rock.
My rating for this work of fiction is three stars.

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