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Catching Moondrops Paperback – October 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (October 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414333277
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414333274
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #440,100 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

It's the summer of 1938, and in the rural town of Calloway, Virginia, something is brewing --- something that 18-year-old Jessilyn Lassiter has felt before. Amidst romance in the air and the brilliant colors of summer sunsets, Jessilyn and her best friend Gemma know racial tension is on the rise. Six years ago, that tension exploded with burning crosses and white-robed Klansmen. Their hate-filled, public displays were reduced to a simmer since then, but the two best friends --- one white, one black --- knew it was about to bubble over again. When a black doctor sets up shop in Calloway's "colored" district, he fans the flames of the Klansmen's hatred, setting in motion a series of events that will change the people of Calloway and leave two mothers grieving for their sons. Jessilyn knows how it feels to be in love, because Luke Talley stole her heart when she was 13 and never let go. She knows the joy of friendship, because she and Gemma are as close as sisters, and it never mattered to her that Gemma was black. She knows hate, because she's come face to face with it more than once since Gemma's parents died and the Lassiters took her in. But Jessilyn does not know the love and grace of God. Nor does she understand why all the people she loves most in the world worship a Savior who allows bad things to happen and forgives those who mistreat them. That kind of faith remains a mystery. Jessilyn and Gemma first meet Tal Pritchett, a young, black doctor, after their friend is beaten up by some white guys in town. By the time the doctor is done tending to the young man's wounds, his interest in Gemma is clear to Jessilyn. There is no doubt that Gemma has feelings for the doctor as well. While Tal and Gemma inch into their romance, Luke is finally admitting his love for Jessilyn. The two share moments so tender and touching that it will make your heart swell with emotion. Soon enough, Tal and Gemma are married, but the joy of love is overshadowed by a cloud of hate, as the Klansmen beat and hang a young boy who is a friend to all the main characters. The murderers then turn their attention to the doctor, angry that he treated a white woman, even though it was at her request. That anger boils over one evening when Jessilyn leaves Gemma's house and heads home. Something evil is lurking in the woods, and Jessilyn soon finds herself the prey of a white-robed predator. As he gains on her, she fears for her life, not knowing that Gemma and Tal are in the hands of the Klan as a wooden cross burns in front of their house. What God does with this hate-filled, terror-filled situation will open Jessilyn's heart and change a town that seemed hopelessly destined to oppression at the hands of the Klan. CATCHING MOONDROPS, the final book in a trilogy that began with FIREFLIES IN DECEMBER and followed with COTTONWOOD WHISPERS, is without a doubt one of the best books I've ever read, period. I could write endlessly about the clever dialogue, colorful imagery and unique voice. And I certainly can't leave out the depth and attitude of the characters, the compelling plot, or the way the book takes you on an emotional roller coaster ride. Yet none of this does justice to the novel or its gifted author. Jennifer Erin Valent possesses writing talent that will surely have her name on bestseller lists for years to come.

--- Reviewed by Susan Miura --Faithful Reader.com, October 30, 2010

From the Back Cover

“I knew that hateful hearts could simmer for only so long before boiling over. In May of 1938, that pot started bubbling.”
It’s been two years since Jessilyn Lassiter last looked evil in the eye, but she knew better than to think it was gone for good. At nearly nineteen, Jessilyn is more in love with Luke Talley than ever, and he is finally beginning to care for her in the way she always dreamed he would. But their romance is interrupted when Tal Pritchett—a young black doctor—comes to Calloway, stealing the heart of Jessilyn’s best friend, Gemma, and stirring up the racial prejudice that has been simmering just beneath the surface.
The tension escalates when Miss Cleta, Jessilyn’s neighbor, becomes the first white townsperson to accept Tal’s treatment, an offense that quickly leads to violence at the hands of the revived Ku Klux Klan. As Jessilyn dreams of vengeance, she begins to realize that in order to bring true peace, she’ll have to win the battle that’s waging in her own heart first.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Again, a very well written book and I highly recommend it!
Trisha Turner
I thought it was so well written, and Jennifer did a great job writing fully developed multi-faceted characters.
Andrea Schultz
Catching Moondrops is the third book in Jennifer Erin Valent's Summer series.
Narelle Atkins

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Trisha Turner on November 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
Read the Back:
Jessilyn Lassiter no longer has to convince people she has grown up. Having just turned nineteen in the summer of 1938, her love for Luke Talley has never been more real. And Luke is finally beginning to care for her in the way she's always dreamed of.
But their budding romance is interrupted when Tal Pritchett - a young, black doctor - comes to Calloway, stealing the heart of Jessilyn's best friend, Gemma, and stirring up the racial prejudice that has been simmering just beneath the town's surface.
The tension starts to bubble over when Miss Cleta, Jessilyn's neighbor, becomes the first white townsperson to accept Tal's treatment. And when a young man is lynched, Calloway is brought to its knees once again as Jessilyn realizes that anger can make her heart as full of hate as the Klan members who have terrorized her family and her town.

My Thoughts:
This is book 3 in a series of books by Jennifer Valent. The first book is called Fireflies in December, followed by the second book, Cottonwood Whispers. This book, Catching Moondrops, is incredibly well written. The author transports the reader back into a time when whites and blacks were separated from each other and the tension between them was at its peak. At times it feels as though you are reading two different books as you have the love story plot lines and the racial tension plot lines. This keeps the book very interesting. I found myself not knowing what could happen next. I really enjoyed the author's ability to portray the hatred that Jessilyn was feeling towards some of the characters based on their actions. I also really like how Jessilyn struggles with her faith like many people must have during that time period, and still do now for that matter.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin on December 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
Catching Moondrops is a sweet and engaging story by Jennifer Erin
Valent. It is all-around well written, with believable characters who make you laugh, smile, sigh and cringe as you sympathize with their escapades. Although this is the third book Ms. Valent has written about these characters, Catching Moondrops easily stands on it's own - I had not read the previous books and never felt like I was missing out on inside jokes between the characters and the author as often happens with book series. In fact, I didn't even realize that this was a book series until I was about halfway through and I decided to read the author's bio on the back cover. I recommend this book whole-heartedly, and am looking forward to reading more from Jennifer Erin Valent.

Tyndale House Publishers provided an Advanced Reader Copy of Catching Moondrops for reviewing purposes.
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Format: Paperback
In the little over a year that I have been reviewing books on my blog, one of my favorite new young authors is Jennifer Erin Valent. I had the pleasure to read the last book in her trilogy set in the 1930s, `Catching Moondrops.'

Here is the synopsis of this novel:

Jessilyn Lassiter no longer has to convince people she has grown up. Having just turned nineteen in the summer of 1938, her love for Luke Talley has never been more real. And Luke is finally beginning to care for her in the way she's always dreamed.
But their budding romance is interrupted when Tal Pritchett - a young black doctor - comes to Calloway, stealing the heart of Jessilyn's best friend, Gemma, and stirring up the racial prejudice that has been simmering just beneath the town's surface.
The tension starts to bubble over when Miss Cleta, Jessilyn's neighbor, becomes the first white townsperson to accept Tal's treatment. And when a young man is lynched, Calloway is brought to its knees once again as Jessilyn realizes that anger can make her heart as full of hate as the Klan members who have terrorized her family and her town.

Here is the biography of this talented young author:

Jennifer Erin Valent is the 2007 winner of the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild First Novel contest for Fireflies in December. Her debut was followed by Cottonwood Whispers, and Catching Moondrops is the third book in that trilogy. Jennifer lives in central Virginia, where she has worked as a nanny for over fifteen years.

I have had the pleasure to be Jennifer's friend on Facebook for the past year. She is a wonderful lady; we enjoy chatting up Godiva Chocolate, and she favors Pittsburgh sports teams, while I root for my native Detroit teams.
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Format: Paperback
I was captivated by the first two books in this series, Fireflies and Cottonwood Whispers, and anxiously awaited the review copy of Catching Moondrops - the last installment. I couldn't wait to be reunited with the characters I had grown to love.

Jennifer Erin Valent has masterfully written a series about a turbulent time in American history through the eyes of a child. Her characters are authentic and grabbed my heart from the beginning. I enjoyed hanging out with them in all three books and wondered how I would react if I grew up in a time like them. I loved reading about their challenges and seeing how the times affected them and American society.

I do believe Jennifer has saved her best book for last. This novel can be read as a stand alone, but I highly recommend getting to know Jesslyn, Gemma and Luke when they are young in the earlier books. This author shows the reader how horrific times were then and how this affected these dear ones as they got older.

Jennifer writes all three books in the first person through the eyes of Jesslyn, which I loved. Jesslyn is now nineteen, still bull-headed, knows what is unjust and is not afraid to speak her mind! She also has a strong sense of right and wrong. Her convictions and emotions often times get ahead of her safety and common sense.

Jesslyn says, "...from the day I'd come to know what prejudice could do to people's hearts, it had stolen from me. It had stolen innocence, security, loved ones...and now it had stolen my hope.". Jennifer says this about prejudice thru Jesslyn, "For some people, time has a way of blurring the good and the bad, spitting out that thing called conscience and replacing it with a twisted sort of logic that makes right out of wrong.".
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More About the Author

Jennifer Erin Valent is the 2007 winner of the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild's Operation First Novel contest and 2010 Christy Award winner for Fireflies in December. She lives in central Virginia, where she has worked as a nanny for over fifteen years. A lifelong resident of the South, her surroundings help to color the scenes and characters she writes. Visit her Web site at www.jennifervalent.com.

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