Friday, July 15, 2016

When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin - a book review

This was my first time reading a Charles Martin novel. The book was recommended to me by a friend with high accolades. As I began reading it, I was pleasantly surprised to find the story was set in a small Georgia town. Since I'm a Georgia native, I knew immediately I'd find this book interesting. 
The story revolves around a little girl named Annie. Annie has a way of capturing the hearts of those around her and for a good reason. Annie has some major health problems. Her parents are dead. She has no insurance and though her life is full of struggles, she finds a way to keep a positive attitude. Annie has a small lemonade stand in the center of town. Every morning she greets the townspeople and offers them her sweet smile along with a cup of lemony drink. She sells her lemonade for 50 cents a glass but the jar beside her stand holds large bills. She's raising money for her own heart transplant and the people in this small town want to help. 
When a stranger comes into town, he has no idea what he's about to encounter. With a past filled with hurts, this stranger befriends Annie and their lives become instantly intertwined. The mysteries of a stranger named Reese come colliding in with Annie's need for a new heart and the healing of his own. 
I loved the way Mr. Martin wrote this story. He used such beautiful descriptive words and instantly drew the reader into the story. The book was filled with familiar Georgia towns and attractions that helped me visualize my native home and as the story unfolds, I felt like I was in the midst of the struggles the characters faced. 
When the book was recommended to me, I was told I'd cry before I completed the book. I didn't believe I'd shed tears but about midway through the book, as one of the characters prays for Annie, I lost it. The prayer was so heartfelt and genuine I couldn't help but be filled with empathy. 
This book is one I'll keep on my forever shelf. There aren't many books that make it to my permanent library but this one is a definite keeper. I loved the way the author allowed faith to be a central theme in this book, too. As a Christian, I love finding books of this caliber and enjoy looking for spiritual depth amid the story lines. 
I think you'll be pleasantly surprised if you read this book and I really hope you will. 


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