Saturday, June 30, 2012

Skip Rock Shallows (Tyndale Book Review)

Skip Rock Shallows, Jan Watson's sixth novel (but my first experience with her story-telling), explores coal mining in Kentucky, and the oddity of a female doctor in the world of coal-mining Appalachia in the early 1900's (Or thereabouts).

The narrative follows Lily Gray Corbett as she serves her internship as an interim doctor for the coal mining community of Skip Rock Shallows while she waits for her beau in Boston to finish his residency at a hospital there. Skip Rock Shallows is a very closed community that is suspicious of almost any newcomer, but even more-so a female doctor~ That is just about unheard of!

It is intriguing to me that this young woman actually grew up in Appalachia, but had the opportunity to study medicine in Boston, where she met her beau, Paul. Paul's "gentrified" background appears at times to be at odds with Lily's Appalachian roots, and her strong attachment to the people of Skip Rock Shallows.

Another player in the story is a miner who has an attachment to Lily, although she herself is unaware of it throughout much of the story.  There is a back-story to his attraction, which helps to explain much of what is going on.

I enjoyed getting to know the people who made up the community of Skip Rock Shallows (especially some of the children and women who are "supporting characters") and learning more about the life of Appalachian coal-miners and their families.

While some of the character development may require a little bit of reading between the lines (particularly in Paul's case, and Lily's feelings towards Paul and her admirer), that didn't interfere too much.

Skip Rock Shallows is a pleasant, light, summertime read with a variety of interesting medical and historical facts woven in.


Book~ Skip Rock Shallows by Jan Watson
Publisher~ Tyndale House
Pages~ 379
List Price~ $12.99 (Available from CBD, Amazon, and other retailers)

Disclaimer: Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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