Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Splendor of Ordinary Days by Jeff High

This is the third book in the Watervalley series and I enjoyed it every bit as much as I did the first two. I am delighted at the ability of the author to craft such a compelling story of life in a small Tennessee town.

Luke Bradford is the medical doctor but he heals much more than physical bodies. He has a genuine concern for his patients and others he has come to know in the short time he has been in Watervalley. This novel deals with a few veterans and the after effects of war. Luke is so good at helping these men heal the hurt that has settled deep inside. The Doc is a great character, one I admire more with each of these novels. His relationship with Christine is maturing and it looks like he might spring the marriage question.

Watervalley is a small town where everybody knows what everybody else is doing. It is one of those towns where there are summer outdoor movies with families spread out on blankets. But it is also a town that has a hard time accepting new comers. There is a new veterinarian in town, a slight woman. She has a special rapport with animals but has difficulty convincing the rough and tumble farmers she can handle their livestock.

We also get a little insight into the Amish community that lies to the north of the town. Luke is instrumental in uncovering a decades old mystery and mending a few fences between people separated not so much by miles but by belief and practice.

I love the dialog. Luke is a witty man and the dialog between him and Christine is great. Here is an example of the dialog between Connie, Luke's sort of cook and house keeper, and her recently arrived younger sister, Estelle. Estelle says she has an hour glass figure and Connie responds, “Don't look now, but I think the sands of time have shifted on you.” (238) There's other humor too, like the elderly woman who has her driving license revoked because of her eyesight. The next time Luke sees her she is tooling down main street perched on her riding lawnmower.

Yes, there is some cussin' and some drinkin', just like in any small town. Yes, there are some angry people and some compassionate ones, just like in any small town. In the center of it all is Luke, trying to be the best man he can be to his new found friends. I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy novels about small town life in America and are not put off by a little reality.

You can find out more about Watervalley and read some stories about the quirky town characters at www.watervalleybooks.com.

I am taking part in a blog tour of this book and you can read other reviews here.

You can read my reviews of the first two books in the Watervalley series, More Things in Heaven and Earth, and Each Shining Hour.

My rating: 5/5 stars.

Jeff High grew up in rural Tennessee. He has degrees in literature and nursing and is a three time published winner, in poetry and fiction. He now lives in his hometown, near where he works as an operating room RN in cardiac surgery.

New American Library, 401 pages. You can purchase a copy here.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Litfuse for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
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