Sunday, October 24, 2010

Catching Moondrops by Jennifer Erin Valent

Rating: 5 stars

After reading Fireflies in December and Cottonwood Whispers several months ago, I anxiously awaited the release of Catching Moondrops.  The latest installment in the series does not disappoint.  At 19, Jessilyn Lassiter is still the spunky and determined heroine.  She is determined to win Luke Talley's heart once and for all and begins to see signs of success.  Meanwhile, racial tensions escalate in Calloway, with the arrival of a young black doctor, Tal Pritchett.  Love blossoms between Tal and Jessilyn's friend Gemma, but the beauty of new and true love is threatened by hatred as the Klan once again violently makes its presence known.  Jessilyn, her family, and friends find themselves fighting for morality and equality in the face of deadly threats.  As Jessilyn witnesses the evil actions of the Klan, the seed of hatred and bitterness that was planted in her heart several year prior grows into a poisonous vine that seems destined to destroy her life and her relationships.

Like the other novels in this trilogy, Catching Moondrops completely captivated me and whisked me away to Calloway, Virginia in 1938.  The southern dialogue is engaging and refreshing and the characters are developed and well-crafted.  I have been captivated by Jessilyn's love for Luke since Fireflies in December, and this novel provided the perfect conclusion to their story.   Catching Moondrops is not just a love story; it is also a drama, which examines the racial tensions and hatred that sadly defined the south in the early 1900s.  Valent touches the sensitive subjects of discrimination, cruelty, and hatred in each of her novels, which make them especially thought-provoking and meaningful. Each novel delivers a satisfying blend of love, drama, and several comical moments.  As a testament to the quality of Jennifer Erin Valent's novels, they have even engaged a non-reader in my family, which has always been a difficult task indeed.  I highly recommend all three novels to readers!  ~ M

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