When Crickets Cry

When Crickets Cry

by Charles Martin

Overview: It begins on the shaded town square in a sleepy Southern town. A spirited seven-year-old has a brisk business at her lemonade stand. But the little girlís pretty yellow dress canít quite hide the ugly scar on her chest.

Her latest customer, a bearded stranger, drains his cup and heads to his car, his mind on a boat he's restoring at a nearby lake. The stranger understands more about the scar than he wants to admit. And the beat-up bread truck careening around the corner with its radio blaring is about to change the trajectory of both their lives.

Before it's over, they'll both know there are painful reasons why crickets cry . . . and that miracles lurk around unexpected corners.

Debbie Weiss (03/29/19): The main character, Reese, met his wife when they were neighbors as children. Emma's heart was faulty, so she was always frail and in ill-health. Reese loved her more than anything and from an early age he vowed to become a doctor so that he could help others with illnesses like Emma's.

Fast forward many years. Reese is a heart transplant surgeon, but he cannot save the life of the woman he loved. He stops practicing medicine after Emma's death and becomes socially isolated, living on Lake Burton outside of Atlanta. One day he crosses paths with a young girl, Annie, who also has a defective heart. Their meeting and the events that follow change the courses of both their lives.

I really loved this book and I am not sure why. The main character is complex, often quoting from Shakespeare. He has a rough exterior, but a heart of gold. The author's writing is delightful and literary. The story line is predictable, but emotionally grabbing. I enjoyed the characters and I enjoyed reading about Lake Burton and the northern suburbs of Atlanta. There are graphic descriptions of the functioning of the heart which interested me since I have a Biology degree. Perhaps this book is not for everyone as there are definitely religious overtones. You can overlook these if you choose to and just enjoy the story.
Rating: ****+

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