I think Billy Coffey writes very well, and I did enjoy this story. It is well written and mostly fast-paced. Where I took exception is the idea that Jesus speaks to us/others/the world through non-believers. The main character has never heard of Jesus, yet "the Rainbow Man" uses her to bring messages to the town. That bothered me enough that I can't recommend the book.
This is the first book by Billy Coffey that I've read and I absolutely loved it! The storyline is great and filled with God. The author kept me on the edge of my seat and it was in no way predictable. I was constantly guessing and wondering. A great read! I look forward to picking up more of his novels!
good tale, though I like his two novels that came out in 2014 better
June 10, 2015
Billy Coffeys two novels titled, The Devil Walks in Mattingly, published in 2014 along with In The Heart of the Dark Wood. When Mockingbirds Sing is not as exciting to me personally as the other two books. The other two tales have tons of action, adventure and suspense that tend to keep me glued to the book more than the slower building storyline.
This story is about a little girl who has a speech impediment and tends to shy away from crowds plus her parents dont seem to be getting along well. Only little Leah can see a figure she calls the Rainbow Man who sings to her. No one else can see what she describes or refers to when she tells others about Rainbow Man. Another obstacle for Leah and her family in the small town is that they came from outside the town of Mattingly, which can make fitting into the nuances of a small town challenging.
Perhaps because I read Billy Coffeys latest work, this one didnt really hold my interest as well or the way the beginning to the story starts. Whatever the reason, it still made for an interesting tale to read and think about what the author might be trying to convey in the books themes. I felt like I was dropped into a story without much leading in the way of how Leah and her family got to this town.
I will keep this novel on my shelf in my personal library to read again in years to come. A lot of my time while in the story was trying to figure out who the Rainbow Man is supposed to represent and why is Leah the only one who sees and hears him? For me, I prefer action, suspense, thrillers with some mystery, but this tale just didnt seem to flow or make sense to me.
Like all reviews on books it depends on a lot of variables and the person reviewing the book. I can see why reviews are from one spectrum to the other. Readers seemed to either love it or thought it was okay at best. All I can say is the latest books written by Billy Coffey are much better and very captivating! Coming this August from this author is a novel titled, The Curse of Crow Hollow. Will you be reading this latest from the authors pen?
QUICK HIT - A suspenseful work that exposes the norms of small town Christianity. Can you believe in the Maybe?
After an unfortunate incident that almost cost Tom Norcross his therapist license, he moves his family away from the city out to the country life of Mattingly. Soon after their arrival, his daughter Leah begins to have conversations with a supposed imaginary friend she calls The Rainbow Man. After receiving an easel for her birthday from Barney Moore, Leah paints him a picture that she says was sung to her by the Rainbow Man. Her parents have never seen her paint like this before and wonder how it came to be. Barney and his wife Mabel, who never recovered from a stroke, accept the painting and he sees some strange numbers that he uses to fall into a large fortune, which causes quite a stir around town.
The local preacher, Reggie Groggins, is stricken that his flock could be led so wayward by a little girl's painting. As Leah keeps painting, the town looks to see if this painting is significant as well. Reverend Groggins rouses the head Deacon and the Mayor to find a way to put an end to the painting. After the expected result of the second painting fails, the town turns against the Norcross family. Leah's paintings begin to turn darker and the town tries to force them out, regardless of Leah's warning of an impending disaster to the town and its residents. In the end, is the Rainbow Man imaginary or is he something more spiritual?
I began this book with mixed expectations of what it would hold for me. It took a little bit to set up, but then it flew by. Coffey has brought a story that looks into everyday aspects of Christianity that we face every day, whether you are the unbelieving father, the struggling preacher, or the grief stricken husband questioning Gods' motives. All of the characters came to life in a great way that made me feel like I was in the crowd as events were happening.
The story is a push and pull struggle of several main characters that are all interwoven together. The suspense of the story drew me in relatively quickly and I didn't want to put it down once I was pulled in. The end of the book was left open for a possible future story that I will be looking forward to reading. This was the first book I have read by Billy Coffey, but it will not be the last.
Leah Norcross is the nine year old daughter of the town psychologist in the small town of Mattingly. Seemingly inhibited by a stutter, she lives in a world all her own. Drawing pictures that are breathtaking in detail, and talking to an invisible man she calls the "Rainbow Man", she is not exactly the most popular kid in town. While some of the townspeople seem amused by Tom and Ellen's daughter, others are leery of someone so unlike themselves.
Barney and Mabel Moore are part of the accepting group. Explaining that the small town does not easily accept strangers from Away, Barney tries to smooth things over for everyone. When he wins the lottery from numbers that Leah painted, the lines are drawn. The minister refuses to believe a child can hear from God even more clearly than he can. Leah father, Tom, is equally as confused, but sticks with his daughter, even though he cannot understand what is happening to her. Can he save his daughter from the clutches of her own mind? Or is there really more to this Rainbow Man than he is willing to admit?
This is definitely an ambitious novel. But more than that, it hit the mark. I was expecting a quaint little town with a quaint, backwoods feel to the story. I got so much more than a nice story with a feel-good ending. Coffey takes you on an adventure that leaves you pondering the tale even when you're not reading it. He sometimes raises more questions than he answers, and then in a breathtaking, effortless sweep brings you to understanding without even trying. It is very different than what I've ever read, but it was worth every word. If you don't read a lot, make the time for this novel. You won't regret the remarkable journey.
This book was provided by Thomas Nelson Publishers for free in exchange for an honest review.