Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Tattler's Branch By Jan Watson // Book Review + Interview

Tattler's Branch: A Novel
// Tattler's Branch //
A Novel
By Jan Watson
{Review By Bethany}
Title: Tattler's Branch
Author: Jan Watson
Source: Review copy from Tyndale Blogging Network
Number of Pages: 375
ISBN: 1414339151
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Publication Date: September 1st, 2013
Bethany's Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

// Book Synopsis //

"Lilly Corbett Still has grown to love her life as the small-town doctor of Skip Rock, a tiny coal community in the Kentucky mountains. Though her husband, Tern, is away for a few months at a mining job, Lilly keeps busy with her patients and her younger sister visiting for the summer.

Her hands full, Lilly turns to her good friend and neighbor, Armina, to help keep things in order. But when a mysterious chain of events leaves Armina bedridden and an orphaned baby on her doorstep, Lilly must trust in God and her resilient country neighbors to help her uncover the truth.
While working late one night, Lilly cares for a patient whose odd behavior sets her on edge, but she’s unaware of what a mess she’s found herself in until a break-in at her office puts her on high alert. Struggling between what is right and what is safe, Lilly discovers the strength of her neighbors, her God, and herself

// About The Author //
Jan Watson won the 2004 Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel contest for her first novel, Troublesome Creek. Her other awards include being named the best Kentucky author in 2012 by Kentucky Living magazine, a nomination for the Kentucky Literary Award in 2006 and second place in the 2006 Inspirational Readers Choice Contest sponsored by the Faith, Hope, and Love Chapter of the Romance Writers of America. Jan has published seven novels. As a registered nurse for 25 years at Central Baptist Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, she incorporates her nursing experience in the hospital's mother/baby unit into her novels. Jan resides in Kentucky.

// Author Interview // 

1. What was your inspiration for this book, Tattler’s Branch?

I wrote this book because the people from Skip Rock Shallows had more stories to tell. I was reading my local paper one morning and came upon a story concerning something dramatic that had happened on a creek called Tattler’s. I could see Armina there.

2. Tell me about your main character Lilly Corbett Still. Was this character based on anyone in particular?

No, Lilly Gray Corbett Still is totally a figment of my imagination. Lilly is one smart and courageous young woman. I do love anything medical, so Lilly allowed me to indulge a bit in the medical practice of the time. If I were to live any of my characters’ lives, I would choose Lilly’s. She is so strong and determined. And kind—Lilly is very kind.

3. What lessons or truths will your reader find in the pages of this story?

A central truth in each of my books is that everyone is important and unique. Every person has a story to tell and that story is worth hearing.

4. How do you expect Lilly’s story to resonate with your readers?

I believe my readers will appreciate Lilly’s strength in the face of adversity.

5. As a writer, what did you particularly enjoy about crafting this story?

I especially enjoyed the relationship between Lilly and Armina. Armina is naturally funny and Lilly handles her prickly humor with aplomb. I also liked exploring the character of Shade Harmon. I learned a lot from Shade (including some things I didn’t need to know). The relationship he had with his first wife is especially telling. The way he loved his baby girl touched my heart. Not to give anything away, but there’s a line in the book where Lilly says, “The ground at the foot of the cross is even.” I just love that she said that.

6. What is your hope for this novel? How would you like it to impact readers?
I want my readers to be entertained with wholesome, faith-affirming, thought provoking fiction.

7. What big questions will this novel get your readers thinking about?

 I hope this humble story will inspire readers to look beyond a person’s earthly circumstance and ask themselves who that being really is and what lesson God sent them here to teach.

// Bethany's Review //

This is the second book I've read by author Jan Watson, but certainly won't be the last! I was absolutely in love with the story and was constantly wondering what would happen to the characters next! Jan did a wonderful job of portraying the 20th century lives, and it was most interesting to read as I felt like I was there with the characters in Dr. Still's office or Armina's home.
One of the things that I loved so much about this novel is how low-romance it was. Like, there wasn't any. So while this wouldn't be the novel for a hard core romantic, it's the perfect story for ladies seeking novels that focus on family and friend's relationships versus a emotional romance. I also liked how even though there wasn't any romance, there was still plenty going on that make the novel anything but boring! Jan did an excellent job of keeping things interesting without involving romance, and I loved how she focused on all the characters lives so you got to know each of them well.
While this book does have the same characters as the books in the Copper Brown series, it most certainly can be read alone without reading the series first. I believe this book isn't in the series, but is more of a follow-up on the characters - a sequel to the series if you will. If you have the opportunity to read the series first I'd encourage you to do so, but it certainly isn't a must before reading Tattler's Branch. I read the last book in the Copper Brown series, Skip Rock Shallows prior to reading Tattler's Branch and I think it helped me to connect with the characters more since I already "knew" them and had seem a portion of their past in the previous book.
Another thing I'd like to comment on is Jan's lovely writing! I think the way she wrote both Skip Rock Shallows and Tattler's Branch with the rusty writing style, that it most definitely fit with the 20th century time period of the mountain people, and made the novels all the more authentic! Both times I've read her novels I found myself thinking over and over how much her style of writing reminded me of Christy by Catherine Marshall, which is one of my favorite classics. I just loved how she would use the speech you'd find in that time period and place and often times things the characters would say made me laugh!
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and would definitely recommend it, as well as read any of her future books! I'd highly recommend this novel to any ladies who love historical fiction and are looking for a non-romance that is interesting and faith-based, you should check out this novel!
N O  T E :: I'd like to sincerely thank Tyndale House Publishers and Jan Watson for my complementary copy of Tattler's Branch; which I received for free to read and review. I was not paid to write this review and all thoughts expressed are my own and 100% honest and unbiased.
// Favorite Quote From Tattler's Branch //
" 'What use would God have for a sinner like me?'
'We're all sinners' Lilly said.

'The ground at the foot of the cross is even.' "

~ Tattler's Branch by Jan Watson, page 321


  1. I loved that quote too! It's so true and this was a great book!

  2. Hello, this is Salyna from the blog Kissed Books and I wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Liebster Award! I have no idea if you have been nominated before, but if you have, well, I guess you are again:) So, feel free to stop by my blog post that I nominated you in and answer some questions! Thanks!


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