Every homeless person has a story and this novel lets us in on the story of crotchety Lucy Tucker, from the Yada Yada House of Hope series. Her family lost their farm in the Dust Bowl era and were now migrant workers. Fifteen year old Lucinda meets a “carnie,” Bo, who works for a traveling carnival. Bo saves Cindy when she was sexually attacked by the farm owner. One defensive blow and the man is dead. Bo and Cindy run off.
The story alternates between the present and the 1940s. In the 40s, we follow Bo and Cindy as they try to find employment and carve out a life, all the while hiding from the law. In the current time, we observe Lucy as she finally encounters an old woman and a dog who need her.
With subtle weaving of the story, we see how Cindy became Lucy, how she found and lost love, and how she came to the place she is as an old woman.
This novel is long and slow moving. As we follow Bo and Cindy, they have the same kinds of experiences over and over again. I felt the novel could have been about a hundred pages shorter without losing any essential aspects of the story.
I didn't like Lucy. Saying she is crotchety is putting it mildly. She is argumentative and crabby. Underneath it all she has a good heart but I was puzzled as to why she kept hiding it all the time. People kept on being nice to her which was amazing to me.
I got tired of the “down home” language of Lucy. Even as an eighty year old residing in Chicago for sixty years, she still spoke as if she had just arrived from Arkansas.
Lucy fought God's invitation time after time. Her feeling she was just too unworthy to be loved by Him was very realistic. The issue is unresolved in the end. I would have rather seen Lucy finally be reconciled to God, but it doesn't always happen that way.
Dave and Neta Jackson are award-winning authors living in the Chicago area where Lucy's story takes place. Together they have authored or coauthored over 100 books. Visit www.daveneta.com for more information.
Castle Rock Creative, 424 pages. Please visit your local Christian bookstore to buy this book.
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I received an egalley of this book through LitFuse Publicity for the purpose of this review.