The Forgiving Kind by Donna Everhart, Tiffany Morgan (Narrator )
Published January 29th 2019 by Tantor Audio, Kensington
This was a well-written coming of age, historical fiction story taking place in North Carolina in the 1950s. The Creech family live on a cotton farm and all is going well. Twelve year old Sonny has recently found out she can divine water and is nicknamed “The Water Witch”. When her father is killed by a rattlesnake bite, the family is hoping to continue farming. As the heartbroken and grieving family try to move on and farm the land, their greedy neighbor, Mr. Fowler, comes over and offers them a deal. Sonny is instantly on edge. She does not like this man and her best friend, Daniel, knows that the man has ulterior motives. The saying nothing is free, is very true in this situation.
The author does an amazing job of creating a hateful character in Frank Fowler. He was sneaky, a liar, a bully, involved in the clan, hot headed and used his fists on weaker people. He is conniving and convinces Mrs. Creech to make decisions to save her family and farm that end up being the worst decisions she has ever made. I loved the relationship Sonny and her best friend Daniel have. They are best friends who share so much, until Frank destroys that bond. Family ties are stretched, mother/child love is threatened and the lives of this family will never be the same. This is a coming of age tale for Sonny, but it is also a story about loss, decisions, bigotry, friendship, grief, abuse, heartache, doing the best you can, regret, prejudice, forgiveness and survival. The author did her research into the time and the farming techniques which made the story very realistic and heartbreaking. The story was very well-plotted with a very surprising, yet satisfying ending. I was very interested in reading the author’s notes at the end of the story. It gave insight into her journey and thoughts while writing this book. I definitely recommend this thought provoking and riveting story. I thoroughly enjoyed it and think anyone who enjoys historical fiction, especially US history, will enjoy this story very much.
I listened to the audiobook of this book and the narrator did a wonderful job. She gave the story that slow, southern feel using a drawl and southern accent for the various characters. The inflection and emphasis used added to my enjoyment of the story.
About the Book: In this masterful new novel, set in 1950s North Carolina, the acclaimed author of The Road to Bittersweet and The Education of Dixie Dupree brings to life an unforgettable young heroine and a moving story of family love tested to its limits.
For twelve-year-old Martha “Sonny” Creech, there is no place more beautiful than her family’s cotton farm. She, her two brothers, and her parents work hard on their land—hoeing, planting, picking—but only Sonny loves the rich, dark earth the way her father does. When a tragic accident claims his life, her stricken family struggles to fend off ruin—until their rich, reclusive neighbor offers to help finance that year’s cotton crop.
Sonny is dismayed when her mama accepts Frank Fowler’s offer; even more so when Sonny’s best friend, Daniel, points out that the man has ulterior motives. Sonny has a talent for divining water—an ability she shared with her father and earns her the hated nickname “water witch” in school. But uncanny as that skill may be, it won’t be enough to offset Mr. Fowler’s disturbing influence in her world. Even her bond with Daniel begins to collapse under the weight of Mr. Fowler’s bigoted taunts. Though she tries to bury her misgivings for the sake of her mama’s happiness, Sonny doesn’t need a willow branch to divine that a reckoning is coming, bringing with it heartache, violence—and perhaps, a fitting and surprising measure of justice.
About the Author: Donna Everhart is a USA Today bestselling author who writes stories of family hardship and troubled times in a bygone south. Her debut, THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE was an IndieNext Pick, Business Insider’s Pick, Library Journal Top Pick, and long listed for the Southern Book Prize. Her second novel, THE ROAD TO BITTERSWEET was a Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Okra Pick. She is the Southeastern Library Association’s (SELA) Author of the Year in Fiction for 2018.
A native of North Carolina, she resides in her home state with her husband and their tiny heart stealing Yorkshire terrier, Mister.