In the waning years of the 19th century, Bessie Daniels grows up in the small town of Hot Springs in western North Carolina. Secure in the love of her father, resistant to her mother's desire that she be a proper Southern belle, Bessie is determined to forge her own way in life. Or, as her Cherokee great-grandmother Elisi puts it, to be a whistling woman.
Life, however, has a few surprises in store for Bessie. First, there's Papa carrying home a dead man, which seems to invite Death for an extended visit in their home. And shortly before she graduates from Dorland Institute, there's another death, this one closer to her heart. But Death isn't through with her yet. Proving another of Elisi's sayings, "death comes in threes", it strikes yet again, taking someone Bessie has recently learned to appreciate and cherish, leaving her to struggle with a family that's threatening to come apart at the seams.
Even her beloved Papa seems to be turning into another person, someone Bessie disagrees with more often than not, and someone she isn't even sure she can continue to love, much less idolize as she had during her childhood.
Then, when Papa makes a decision that brings Death back into her life again, the course of Bessie's heart is changed forever.
©2012 CC Tillery (P)2013 CC Tillery (Christy French and Cyndi Hodges)
Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.
A mix of sorrow and joy, the Whistling Woman is a tale of growing up in North Carolina in a large family, with Cherokee roots, plenty of folk lore, fierce love and loyalty, and a daddy who is the constable. Bessie is the oldest and she butts heads plenty . . . she has a mind of her own . . . and that's just fine with her daddy . . . most of the time. I'm very familiar with the country sayings in the book, such as "fixin' to" . . . in Kentucky, where I grew up, we're always "fixin' to" do something, too . . . The narration is a delight. The entire story is honest, gritty, sweet, sad and rings absolutely true. Can't wait to listen to the sequel, Moonfixer.
Just a reader
I loved this book. In fact, I immediately bought the next two in the series. The intimate first-person narrative is a deeply touching and realistic portrait of the times and of families as they are in all times. The narrator was perfect for this book. C. C. Tillery is now a new Favorite Author for me. Anyone who enjoys stories centered on people and relationships,...you should read or hear this one!
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