I first became aware of Billy Coffey a few years ago through a link to his blog on another site. I read his work (at that time through blog posts only, as his first novel Snow Day had yet to be released) and it stuck with me like few others’ did. He had, and has, a writing style that captures the very heart of a matter and holds it, like a lightening bug in a mason jar, for further examination. It’s both simple and profound, and always, always rich. In short, it floats my boat.
I have loved both of his novels – Paper Angels was the second – and both offered wonderfully developed characters who live in the fictitious small town of Mattingly, Virginia. So, even though I don’t typically do book reviews (seriously, who am I?), when he asked me to be a part of the launch of his newest novel, When Mockingbirds Sing, I knew it was a project I wanted to be a part of. I was thrilled at the opportunity to return to Mattingly, knowing wonderful things would await my arrival, and I was certainly not disappointed.
But I was surprised.
Surprised by the way each trip to Mattingly brought with it a little more of the extraordinary than one might expect to find in such an ordinary small town…surprised at the mystery and the ‘maybe’ found with the turn of each page. Pages which, I might add, turned at an alarming rate, try though I did to slow them down.
Mystery and maybe are possibly two words not typically associated with a book about faith – even a work of fiction. But, to me, they are true and honest and at the very crux of the matter. I think we choose faith because of them both, choosing the constancy of it when we realize there is no constant to be found that’s birthed from this world. Possibly my favorite thing about this book is how it examines just about every approach to faith there is, through each of the town’s colorful residents, and how they relate with one another through those belief systems. I was able to connect with just about every one of them on some level (as I daresay could every reader), seeing true colors drop masks when the landscape began to rapidly shift around them. As is so true in life, it’s the mystery and the maybe that bring revelation in the end.
You’re going to want to visit Mattingly yourself. And it’s possible, when you do, that you’ll hear Billy’s name and work tossed around comparatively with such company as Stephen King and Frank Peretti. While he’s certainly deserving, I think you’ll find his work distinctly his own, a fresh Southern story teller with a keen eye for looking at all sides of a thing, and pointing out the special light.
Just like that jar of lightning bugs.
If you’re like me, on your way home you’ll be studying your own jar of those nightlights for quite a while before you’re ready to let them go.
Quite a while, indeed.
I’m giving away TWO SIGNED COPIES of When Mockingbirds Sing this Friday, June 14th (winner chosen via RandomPicker)!
- For one entry: Comment HERE (on this post) with your favorite type of fiction
- For additional entry(s): Share this post on Facebook and/or Twitter (easy share buttons at the end of this post), then come back here and post the link(s) in the comments. One additional entry for each link provided.
If just want to get reading, click here to purchase your copy today!
*book cover image from Amazon
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the book mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
I really do not read much fiction, but guess I would say Christian love stories. But also really enjoyed the Left Behind series.
I haven’t read any of Billy’s books yet but would love to. Thanks for the giveaway!
Oops, I forgot to mention my favorite kind of fiction. That’s a hard one. I might have to go with suspense 🙂
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I love to read Christian novels of all kinds. I especially like novels that are based on biblical or historical facts. This review reminds me of the Mitford series which I LOVED!! Thanks for the review and the giveaway!
gosh .. i don’t have a favorite … i just love to read! and i have subscribed to his blog via your recommendation and feel blessed by you both. can’t wait to read this book!! thanks for sharing him, and you with me!! <3
I love Christian fiction, and if it is a mystery, it is even better. Hope to read his works.
Love to read and it does sound somewhat like the Mitford books. Will be reading them, hope they are on Kindle.
I’m in. Christian suspense and intrigue. AKA. Joel Rosenberg series. Also Randy Alcorn series.
My favorite fiction books are suspense.
I am thrilled to have a new author to follow. I’m always looking for a good read…apparantly I’m behind! Need to grab all three. Thanks for sharing. Love stories about real life!
What an exciting giveaway! I LOVE and devour all fiction, but I currently can’t get enough romance.
My favorite genre is Southern lit, but I love a good YA fiction as well!
This book sounds super good! I’ll have to check out his other books!
Here’s the link to my FB post:
Here’s my tweet: