Customer Reviews


51 Reviews
5 star:
 (43)
4 star:
 (7)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Catching Moondrops
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...
Published on November 8, 2010 by Trisha Turner

versus
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Catching Moondrops
I've read the second book in this series, Cottonwood Whispers, so I knew who the characters were. If you haven't, don't worry- it won't leave you hanging, wondering what or who they are talking about. Jessilyn is strong-willed and tends to go off when she gets mad, not thinking about the consequences afterwards. I don't know if that is a character flaw or a teen thing,...
Published on March 18, 2011 by L. Slawson


‹ Previous | 1 26 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Catching Moondrops, November 8, 2010
By 
Trisha Turner (Ottawa, ON Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Catching Moondrops (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.
I really like how you forget that Jessilyn is only 19. She encounters things that no one, no matter what age, should have to deal with. I have a very hard time imagining what it must've been like for someone to live during that time period, but Jennifer Valent really paints the picture of the language, mannerisms, and conflicts that were rampant in the south. One of my favorite parts of the book is the dialect. I can really "hear" the southern drawl of the characters. You can, based on the dialect, picture the mannerisms that the characters must've been using (i.e.: a curt nod of the head, a little curtsy, etc.)
Again, a very well written book and I highly recommend it!

This review was possible because I received a copy of the book from Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Catching Moondrops, December 25, 2010
By 
Benjamin (Snohomish, WA, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Catching Moondrops (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Another Incredible Effort from Ms. Valent!, February 7, 2011
This review is from: Catching Moondrops (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. It has been fun to get to know her virtually, and I have also loved reading her wonderful writing.

This book opens on a powerful note:

There's nothing in this whole world like the sight of a man swinging by his neck.
Folks in my parts like to call it "lynching," as if by calling it another word they could keep from feeling like murderers. Sometimes when they string a man up, they gather around like vultures looking for the next meal, staring at the cockeyed neck, the sagging limbs, their lips turning up at the corners when they should be turning down. 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. (p. 1)

That is a strong statement that brought two thoughts to mind: 1) shock that lynching were still happening as late as 1938; the thought that the abortion industry does the same thing with semantics as the Ku Klux Klan did with lynching.

The first appearance in town of Tal Pritchett was also enlightening. This scene includes Tal, Jessilyn, Gemma, and a young black man, Malachi; the story is written from Jessilyn's perspective:

The man who helped Noah shoulder the burden of Malachi reached out to take the gauze from Gemma. "Why don't you let me get that?"
Gemma didn't much like being told what to do, and she glared at him. "I can clean up cuts and scrapes. I worked for a doctor past two years."
Malachi nodded toward the man. "This here man is a doctor."
I was putting iodine on a piece of cotton, and I near about dropped it on the floor when I heard that. Never in all my born days had I seen a colored man claiming to be a doctor. Neither had Gemma by the looks of her.
"A doctor?" she murmured. "You sure?"
He laughed and extended his hand to her. "Last I checked. Tal Pritchett. Just got into town yesterday. Gonna set up shop down by the tracks."
Gemma handed the gauze over to him, still dumbfounded.
"What d'you think about that?" Malachi grinned and then grimaced the minute his split lip made its presence known. "A colored doc in Calloway. Shoo-whee. There's gonna be talkin' about this!"
The doctor went to work cleaning Malachi's wounds. "I ain't here to start no revolution. I'm just aiming to help the colored folks get the help they deserve." (p. 3)

That passage clearly shows to me how well Jennifer handled the dialogue of this period piece so very well.

I love the relationship between Jessie and Luke. Here's an exchange after a long separation:

He strolled slowly up the walk, a smile building with each step, and when he came within two feet of me, he stopped. "Jessilyn, you're a sight for sore eyes." Then he tossed his hat on the porch step behind me and pulled me close.
Even though his arms didn't embrace me in the kind of way I wished for, there was no better place to be in all the world, and I wanted to stay there for the rest of my life. Even at five-feet-eight and in my pretty new shoes, I had to stand on tiptoe to reach his neck.
"It's been two long months," I whispered in his ear.
He pulled away from me to look at my face, and for one flickering moment I saw the brotherly smile slip from his eyes to be replaced by something far more to my liking. "Two days is too long." (p. 15)

What you might be hearing is the heavy sigh from me all the way from Metro Detroit here in 2011!

An incident that happened in the second book in this trilogy, `Cottonwood Whispers,' changed and touched Luke in a profound way:

The sight of Mr. Poe giving up his life so willingly was stamped on his consciousness like he'd been branded, and it changed him for good. It was like a switch had been flicked, and that light that I'd seen in my family and in Miss Cleta suddenly started to glow inside of him. It was a change that brought him closer to the God that has always been a dividing line between me and those dearest to me, and it didn't settle well in my heart.
"It's the best thing possible for Luke," my momma had told me a short time after. "And any woman who loves her man wants what's best for him no matter how it makes her feel."
But I was a selfish girl, I knew it well, and I didn't want there to be any kind of separation between the two of us for any reason. It only served to rough up my heart like that sandpaper Luke had in his hands. I said as much to Momma once, and she told me sandpaper eventually smoothes things out, so my heart should be good and ready soon. But I wasn't keen in being roughed up, and when Luke stood and stretched, I pushed through all thoughts of God and Bibles aside and called out a hello. (p. 51)

This book includes some wonderful lessons on forgiveness and what bitterness and anger can do to us. Here's an exchange between Jessie and Miss Cleta; Miss Cleta begins:

"No, forgivin' them cleans up our hearts. Unforgiveness is a poison, Jessilyn Lassiter. A poison! It'll eat you up inside sure as you're sittin' there. Don't you go throwin' your life away on it. You do, and you're better'n they are." (p. 149)

And here is Jessie's reaction/perspective:

Bitterness and anger are evil twins that follow a body around wherever she goes, and they whisper things in her ears that don't do much but make bad things worse. Maybe I didn't know much about most things, but I knew there wasn't much good in me that day, and I walked away from Miss Cleta's house stewing in hot juices, just wishing for my chance to give back some of the bad stuff that had come my way. And that's why when I decided to walk into town I took the long route instead of the short. (p. 151)

There are also other spiritual truths:

Gemma believed in Satan and demons and all that sort of thing. I believed in God and heaven and hell, so I figured there had to be someone in charge of hell, but I didn't quite believe in the kind of Satan Gemma did. The way she saw it, this whole earth was just covered in good spirits and bad spirits, all fighting against each other every day like some sort of perennial battle of good and evil. But Gemma was a hand-raising, Jesus-praising Christian, and I figured her ideas of such things were as dramatic as all her other church ways. I'd told her as much in the past. (p. 156)

This book ends on a positive note in many different areas (you will have to read it to find out!). I also read the second book in the series, `Cottonwood Whisper' (you can read my review here - [...]. I thought it was so well written, and Jennifer did a great job writing fully developed multi-faceted characters. It is important in a novel that the characters are sympathetic; this trilogy is full of them. I am sorry to admit that I still have not read `Fireflies in December,' which I do own. I plan on doing that sometime in the future (when my pile of books requiring reviews is depleted). I congratulate Jennifer on her debut trilogy, and I greatly look forward to reading more books from her in the future. I hope Tyndale House or another publisher brings more of her work to the market soon! I certainly hope we have not seen the end of the stories of Jessilyn, Luke, Gemma, Tal and the rest!

The Advance Reader Copy of this book was provided by the publisher, Tyndale House, and provided by them for review purposes. The quotes and associated page numbers may not exactly match the final product, which is currently available.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars History through the Eyes of a Child, November 2, 2010
This review is from: Catching Moondrops (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.".

Skillfully woven through these crazy times is a love story between Jesslyn and Luke. The love story has been brewing in all three books and comes to a delightful conclusion in Catching Moondrops. Gemma, Jesslyn's best friend, has a love interest too. Jesslyn thinks, "Young love in a step apart from reality. It paints over the crudities of the world with pretty colors and strokes until everything's just a watercolor. Only problem is, when you cover something up, you don't really get rid of what's beneath." But, just because Jesslyn and Gemma were in love, the harsh reality of life was all around and broke through their love bubbles in unexpected ways.

This author is an amazing wordsmith and weaves a very natural and believable spiritual thread through the heart of Jesslyn. She wrestles with doing the right thing. Her parents, Luke and Gemma, trusted God and tried to explain things to her. But, Jesslyn couldn't trust a God that would allow bad things to happen to the people she loved. She wanted to treat the members of the KKK like they treated her friends. She knew it wasn't right, but she didn't care.

Jennifer gets to the heart of the issue in a unique way. She lets the reader see through Jesslyn's eyes, that there is nothing good in any of our hearts but Jesus. "Bitterness hardens the heart and corrupts the mind!" Given the right circumstances, hate can creep into anyone's heart and hold it hostage. We become just like our enemy seeking revenge. It's only through forgiveness and healing, that love can shine through our lives.

Jennifer Valent brings such insight and a whole new light into this matter for the reader. The spiritual element is seen through a child's eyes and is brilliant! Jesslyn made me laugh and cry, and I could relate to her spiritual struggle. I was reminded once again that God is in charge...I'm not. He brings me to a point where I can realize that I need Him. His love for me is so deep I can't grasp it all at once. He reveals parts of himself as I'm ready to receive it.

This entire series is a keeper. You'll definitely be reading it again, and telling your friends and family about these books. You won't view prejudice or God's love in the same way after reading them.

Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network [...]
Finding Hope Through Fiction [...]
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Without a doubt one of the best books I've ever read, period, November 1, 2010
By 
FaithfulReader.com (New York, New York) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Catching Moondrops (Paperback)
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
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Valent has amazing talent! Loved this book!, October 28, 2010
This review is from: Catching Moondrops (Paperback)
Jennifer Erin Valent's voice is so amazing in this book! All of the teasing the characters did toward each other and the southern sayings sprinkled throughout the book were adorable, too. In fact, I enjoyed the "voice" in the beginning so much that I read the first chapter out loud to my husband on the way to Church on Sunday. Less than four days later I'd finished the book. That's a good story. I would've finished even sooner, but I had to work. Anyway, I loved the dialog in this book because it planted me solidly in the setting. I could literally hear the characters talking in my head as I was reading.

There were so many things to love about this story. I thought it was awesome that even though it's the third book in a series, you can read it without having to read the previous books. I haven't read them and I didn't get the sense that it was necessary to enjoy this book because the facts were touched on enough to give you a sense of history with the characters. I loved how there was danger, intrigue, and heart pounding romance in this novel. There was also a great lesson in the story about what it means to really know Jesus compared to knowing about Him because you were raised going to church.

I appreciated the message that Jesus and hate can't live in the same heart. That was shown so well in the story! I also cried through a few of the chapters toward the end. The situation at the funeral was so beautiful that it really moved my heart. I loved how Jessie realized that one of the things that made the people she cared about so beautiful to her was their faith in Jesus. That was a nice touch and so very true.

Jessie's faith journey was genuine, honest, and realistically portrayed. Her insight into the darkness in her own soul was powerfully written. There were a few things that were vividly described and thus made me cringe, but it was necessary to appreciate the situation the characters were in. Some things just don't feel right when they are glossed over - like prejudice in the south. Thankfully the author didn't gloss over anything. This book was awesome on so many levels that I could go on and on. It's making my best fiction for 2010 list.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars In this breathtaking conclusion, Valent will delve into the two emotions of love and hate--exploring the very depths of each., October 26, 2010
This review is from: Catching Moondrops (Paperback)
Jennifer Erin Valent has come a long way. After winning Operation First Novel in 2007 with her book Fireflies in December she has made quite a name for herself since. "Fireflies" as well as the second book in the series, Cottonwood Whispers, have received many praises and accolades, including a much-sought-after Christy award. Her "Calloway Summers" series of books, as the series has been dubbed, cannot last forever, however. As much as I, and so many others, have come to know characters such as the headstrong Jessilyn, the sensible Gemma, the bold and brash Mrs. Cleta, it all has to end at some point. This third and final book in the series, Catching Moondrops, takes on the task of ending the series, and does so with beautiful finality.

Finality. I love that word. I can't stand for there to be none. I watch movies until the credits are done rolling, listen to a great song until the last note, or treasure and ponder the last words of a book. Especially the end of a series--A masterfully crafted one at that. You'd think I would have earned the trust of Valent in that she has what it takes to produce excellent title after excellent title, but I was nervous opening Moondrops. What if it just didn't measure up? My worries were soon obliterated.

Moondrops takes place two years after Cottonwood Whispers when Jessilyn has just turned 19. As a new doctor, Tal Pritchett, enters Calloway, the townspeople's prejudice becomes rekindled anew. Tal is black, and this will cause trouble, as well as the resurrection of an old enemy. This man, combined with two black brothers of the town, one of which is a trouble-maker will make for more conflict than you might think. The book focuses quite a bit on Jessilyn and Luke Talley, as Jessilyn yearns for Luke to see her as the adult she now is--a subject I know many readers of Valent's previous books are looking forward to. But this book is no soap opera--a supposition that ashamedly crossed my mind when I heard of the book's premise. Love is a big part of this book. But not just romantic love. Valent expertly weaves us a story of the romantic love between man and woman, the love we must have for our fellow man, the hate that will rise within our hearts if we don't, and the downfall of this. This book gets dark. There have been those that have criticized Valent for writing a happy-go-lucky story with characters that are either all good or all evil. I haven't seen the evidence for this accusation in previous books, and I most certainly don't see it in Moondrops. Characters will struggle within themselves to decide who they really are and what they truly believe. There are scenes so dark and heavy that you will most certainly shed a tear if you have any soul at all. On the flip side of it all, this book will fill your heart with joy. You will laugh and smile, at the witty and well-crafted humor Valent gives us. In order to evoke these emotions, Valent's ability to create surreal dialogue continues. Those who criticize Valent for her lack of good dialogue have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. Never have I read a book in which the author was able to write dialogue that made the characters and world of the book become so alive and so engaging. You laugh with the characters, cry with them, and at times wish to share screams of anguish. Details are always a touchy things in books, as authors struggle between the issues of too much detail and too little. Valent never struggles with this problem, knowing exactly how much to explain the events at hand without ever boring or exasperating the reader. It should also most definitely be noted Valent's skillful way of working the spiritual things of life into Moondrops. Christian books and movies usually try to blatantly present the message of Jesus Christ's sacrifice for mankind in a way that usually comes off forced and tacked on. This usually just turns people off and causes them to laugh at the true, yet poorly presented message. Many will be amazed as I was, of how the book comes together near the end, ties up the story of Calloway, and brilliantly and masterfully tells the story of Christ.

It ends here. This book will mark the end of Valent's series--one that it has been an honor to read. I will not pick a favorite. All three books are masterpieces, and I'm sure whatever Valent has in store for us next will be just as much a treat as this series. Valent ends this journey with excellent and satisfying finality. The best kind. You'll be sad to leave these characters that have in a way become your friends, but you'll be able to walk away with satisfaction. Until your next book, Valent, may God bless you. He has great things planned for the talent he most certainly, on the highest level possible, has given you.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars "Catching Moondrops", October 18, 2010
This review is from: Catching Moondrops (Paperback)
In the Summer of 1938, Jessilyn Lassiter has just turned nineteen. Her love for Luke Talley has blossomed into full bloom, having known him for six years. He is just becoming aware of his feelings for her, and is ready to start courting her. Gemma Teague had lived with the Lassiters for those six years, as she lost her parents to a house fire. She was the first black girl to live with a white family.

One day, Tal Pritchett, a young, black doctor comes to Calloway, Virginia, stealing Gemma's heart. Luke and Jessie's romance is interrupted with Tal's arrival due to the stirring up of racial prejudice that had been simmering just beneath the town's surface, after he treats a white woman's illness. Then a young boy is lynched, changing the landscape of Calloway forever.

Jennifer Erin Valent's book, Catching Moondrops, is a story of sisterly love between a young white girl and her black `adopted' sister, a revealing, innocent, romantic love between two different couples, and the contrastable hatred of black people, escalated by the Klan activity in Calloway. It's a book of raw emotions as we `see' the lynching of a young boy. Jennifer doesn't mince words-she tells it like it is, and it's wretched. It turbulently tears at your heart, wondering how such hatred can exist, yet finding that we are all capable of that same level of hatred.

Jennifer's characters are well defined and described, and fit the times and circumstances. She spares no emotion-love, hatred, rage, grief, terror, horror, forgiveness.

Jennifer makes us look at our own hearts through these horrifying circumstances. Anger, untamed, turns into bitterness, which leaves a soul cold and unfeeling. No one is immune without the love of Jesus in their lives. But it's clear that one has to receive that Love personally in order to change. Who will? And who won't?

Special thanks to Maggie Rowe of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. for sending me a review copy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read, October 14, 2010
This review is from: Catching Moondrops (Paperback)
It's 1938 in a small Virginia town. It's a time when the color of your skin determines the staion you hold in society. White men think they're superior, and in many of their eyes, it's okay to do anything, even murder, to put others in their place.

That's the setting for "Catching Moondrops", by Jennifer Erin Valent. Tyndale House Pubishers provided me with an advanced reader copy, and I absolutely loved it.

18-year-old Jessilyn lives in a time when it's not okay for black people and white people to be friends. But her family invited a young, black girl to live as a part of their family when her parents died. So, Jessilyn and Gemma grew up, not only as sisters, but as best friends. Jessilyn's parents even viewed Gemma as a daughter. That didn't sit too well with the town folk. Then a black doctor moved to town. As you can imagin, this ruffled a few feathers as well.

I loved this book. It attempts to break down the walls of prejudice. Several times in the book, a statement is made: Just because someone is born with darker skin (or lighter), doesn't mean the person is different, or bad, or not as good as you. I wish some living in today's society would realize this fact. Everyone loves, hurts, laughs, and cries.

This book is a love story, but it's also written by a Christian author. Many times, Christian authors leave details about intimacy out. I'm guessing they do this to keep from offending readers, but when they do that, they leave out some very real facts. Many will just say, then they kissed. Okay? Well what did they feel? This book describes kisses and touches, and tells you what Jessilyn is feeling in those moments. They are described in good taste, but the point is, they are described. I loved that because there's always a feeling that goes along with any intimate moment.

Many would believe fiction books are only that: Fiction. I would challenge that thought and say you can sometimes learn a lot from fiction. This is one of those books. Jessilyn and her family teach the reader a lot about love for your neighbor.

One of my favorite statements in this book: "The memories of where we were, remind us of how we got to where we are." We should always remember how we got to our place in life. That, my friend, is very important.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Catching Moondrops, September 28, 2010
This review is from: Catching Moondrops (Paperback)
Catching Moondrops by Jennifer Erin Valent is the third book in a trilogy. Although I did not read the first two books, I did not feel "lost" while reading the third. The story is about a nineteen year old girl named Jessilyn Lassiter in the summer of 1938. We find romance for Jessilyn with a young man named Luke Talley, a friendship as close as sisters with Gemma, and a controversial doctor named Tal Pritchett. Racial prejudice is the underlying theme. Tension mounts throughout the book and hate and anger swirl around Jessilyn, Luke, her black friend, Gemma, and the young black doctor Tal Pritchett. As the Klu Klux Klan becomes active, Jessilyn has to realize that her feelings of anger and hate toward the Klan members are just as wrong as the Klan members whose hate has terrorized her family, friends, and town.

Valent tells a powerful story. She gives just a glimpse of the hate that consummed the members of the Ku Klux Klan during this point in history. As I read I felt like I was transported back in time. It was difficult to keep from being sucked into the same hate and anger that Jessilyn found herself in. However, the message of God's love and forgiveness shown through even during some of the darkest moments recorded in the story. While we can hate what the Klan did to innocent people not just in this story but to real people, Valent helps us see through the character of Jessilyn that our own hate and anger must only be directed toward the sin and not the sinner. Valent also displays the principle of "If thine enemy hunger give him bread, and if he thirst give him drink" through the characters of Gemma and Tal. There are many lessons that can be learned through the reading of this book.

I think Valent did a great job on this book. It was thought-provoking with just the right amount of romance and humor sprinkled in. I had a hard time putting it down. I received a complimentary copy of this book or ARC from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 26 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Catching Moondrops
Catching Moondrops by Jennifer Erin Valent (Paperback - October 1, 2010)
Used & New from: $0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.