"The persistent, conflicting voices of all those I love, spoken and not, are deafening - a hundred crickets shouting, screeching in my brain. The mounting tension is intolerable. Help us, Lord!"
Would the crickets ever sing again? After reading those words, Celia Percy wondered.
During an horrific thunderstorm, lightning splits an ancient tree in half, taking off a portion of Belvidere's roof, exposing an attic room that no one knew existed; partly (mostly) because there was no entrance from inside the house, it had been completely sealed off. What Celia finds cleverly hidden inside the bottom of an old trunk is capable of igniting a firestorm of painful No Creek, North Carolina history . . . all over again.
Nearly one hundred years earlier, Minnie Belvidere tries desperately to hold her crumbling family together following the death of her mother. North Carolina is on the verge of succession and Minnie's two brothers are on opposite sides of what is certain to become a civil war. Using a third floor room in their massive home as a safe stop for those escaping northward, Minnie is soon forced to cease those efforts while working alongside her aging father to script freedom papers and land deeds to those who have faithfully served their family. Unfortunately, history takes its toll and what was once a close knit pillar of the community becomes a house divided against itself, which cannot stand . . . until light reaches the attic once again.
Reuniting with a slightly more grown-up version of Celia Percy in this inspiring sequel to "Night Bird Calling", the author showcases Celia's indomitable spirit to fight for the underdog while showering compassion over the downtrodden. Rich in cultural and generational history, the story dissects the harsh difficulties of societal change while celebrating the heroes who determined to do the right thing whether they lived to see the outcome or not.
Using Zephaniah 3:17 as their battle cry, "The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing." . . . these character prove without a shadow of a doubt that yes! . . . the crickets will sing again!
*I purchased a copy and was under no obligation to provide a positive review. 4.5 stars
In wars eighty years apart, two young women living on the same Appalachian estate determine to aid soldiers dear to them and fight for justice, no matter the cost.
1944. When a violent storm rips through the Belvidere attic in No Creek, North Carolina, exposing a hidden room and trunk long forgotten, secrets dating back to the Civil War are revealed. Celia Percy, whose family lives and works in the home, suspects the truth could transform the future for her friend Marshall, now fighting overseas, whose ancestors were once enslaved by the Belvidere family. When Marshall’s Army friend, Joe, returns to No Creek with shocking news for Marshall’s family, Celia determines to right a long-standing wrong, whether or not the town is ready for it.
1861. After her mother’s death, Minnie Belvidere works desperately to keep her household running and her family together as North Carolina secedes. Her beloved older brother clings to his Union loyalties, despite grave danger, while her hotheaded younger brother entangles himself and the family’s finances within the Confederacy. As the country and her own home are torn in two, Minnie risks her life and her future in a desperate fight to gain liberty and land for those her parents intended to free, before it’s too late.
With depictions of a small Southern town “reminiscent of writings by Lisa Wingate” (Booklist on Night Bird Calling), Cathy Gohlke delivers a gripping, emotive story about friendship and the enduring promise of justice.