Gentle's Holler by Kerry Madden

Gentle’s Holler by Kerry Madden.
Author Historical Fiction
HEALING WATER (Spring 2008)
BLUE (2006)-See the review here.

Twelve year-old Livy Two lives a hardscrabble yet gentle existence. It’s gentle, because her large mostly happy family lives in slow-paced, beautiful Maggie Valley, NC. It’s hard, because Daddy doesn’t work a regular job. Daddy is a musician with a song in his pocket, a banjo in hand, and a plan to make it big one day. Since Livy Two writes lyrics also, she believes in her daddy’s dreams. And she has dreams of her own.

“…I want to see the world beyond the Smokies and I aim to bring my guitar with me when I do.

One day, I’d like to stroll along the Great Wall of China, ride me a camel in Egypt , swim in the Ganges River way over in India , and sip a cup of tea with the queen of England .”

Livy also dreams of helping her sister Gentle (whose eyes don’t work right) to learn Braille. Otherwise they might send Gentle to the school for the blind over in Raleigh . So with the help of the lady from the lending library truck, Livy Two gets a Braille book and begins to learn. Keeping the family together is a high priority for her!

But Daddy comes and goes on his quest to make it big. Mama is weary of his search for fame. She just wants him to feed his family. Grandma Horace with her glass eye (actually, a collection of them in different colors which she wears according to her mood) moves in to help out. And she’s is not the kind of grandmother who makes you feel better because she has arrived.

To make things worse Livy’s brother, Emmett gets fed up with daddy’s dreams and takes off for Ghost Town in the Sky to earn some money. Then tragedy strikes at another level, rearranging the family’s future even more dramatically.

And also leaving room for a sequel.

Fortunately, Gentle’s Holler (2005) is just the first in a trilogy that takes place during the 1960’s. Louisiana’s Song (2007) and Jessie’s Mountain (2008) continue the Weem’s family story. Author Kerry Madden infuses her stories with love of family and an at-home feeling for the Smoky Mountains . These books are populated with distinctive and quirky characters, unforgettable names, and much warmth. They are wholesome, funny, and heartwarming!

Visit Kerry on the web at

1 comment:

  1. Hi! Just linked over here from LDSReaders blog, and I love your picks. What a great idea to do a blog on CLEAN books. Books I can read with my kids! "Gentle's Holler" is one of my 10-year old daughter's favorites right now, and I had to read it, too, after she came to me one day with tears in her eyes after reading that one part. You know which one I mean, I won't spoil it.