by Catherine Marshall

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Christy by Catherine Marshall

The train taking nineteen-year-old teacher Christy Huddleston from her home in Asheville, North Carolina, might as well be transporting her to another world. The Smoky Mountain community of Cutter Gap feels suspended in time, trapped by poverty, superstitions, and century-old traditions.

But as Christy struggles to find acceptance in her new home, some see her — and her one-room school — as a threat to their way of life. Her faith is challenged and her heart is torn between two strong men with conflicting views about how to care for the families of the Cove.

Yearning to make a difference, will Christy’s determination and devotion be enough?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781683701279
Publisher: Gilead Publishing
Publication date: 10/03/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 41,800
File size: 3 MB
Age Range: 3 Months to 18 Years

About the Author

Catherine Marshall, New York Times best-selling author of 30 books, is best known for her novel Christy. Based on the life of her mother, Christy captured the hearts of millions and became a popular CBS television series. Around the kitchen table at Evergreen Farm, as her mother reminisced, Catherine probed for details and insights into the rugged lives of these Appalachian highlanders.

Catherine shared the story of her husband, Dr. Peter Marshall, Chaplain of the United States Senate, in A Man Called Peter. A decade after Dr. Marshall’s untimely death, Catherine married Leonard LeSourd, Executive Editor of Guideposts, forging a dynamic writer-editor partnership. A beloved inspirational writer and speaker, Catherine’s enduring career spanned four decades and reached over 30 million readers.

Read an Excerpt


Only my father saw me to the Asheville station that Sunday morning in 1912. Mother had gotten up early to fix us a hot breakfast. It was one of those moments that would be as sharp and real in my mind years later as it was that January morning: that particular look of love and longing in mother's eyes; the smell of the starch in her crisp white apron; the hissing of the pine resin in the big iron stove; the lake of melted butter in the steaming mound of hominy grits on my plate.

Then father had called from the front room, "Time to start!" And my brother George, hearing the announcement, had stumbled out of bed and down the stairs to the landing, where he had stood leaning sleepily on the banister, tousled hair in his eyes, to tell me good-bye.

"Have to go," father repeated from the doorway. "The engine's running. I had a time cranking the car in this cold."

In the gray light before dawn, the railroad station had a wraithlike look. I saw with a strange leap of heart that the train was going to be pulled by Old Buncombe, a favorite engine on the East Tennessee, Virginia, and Georgia Railroad. The engine was painted green with gold trim and lettering and there were big brass ornaments on its headlight. The billows of smoke pouring out of Old Buncombe's smokestack looked blacker than usual against the background of new-fallen snow. As father carried my bag on down the platform, he was trying to be jovial, teasing me as if I were nine and not nineteen. He still considered me too young to go off alone, especially on a wild adventure like teaching school in a mountain cove of which no member of our family nor anyone in Asheville, as far as he could discover, had ever seen or even heard.

I had battled long and hard with him and mother for the chance to do this. All of us Huddlestons have a stubborn streak, no doubt inherited from our Scottish ancestors. How well I knew that it was this quality in father that had earned him so many business successes. And yet this time it was I, not he, who had gotten my way.

But walking along the platform that January morning, the elation I felt at this victory over my parents struggled with other feelings. Father was too heavy now with iron-gray hair. Tenderness for him welled up in me. Impulsively I stuck my right hand into the pocket of his overcoat.

"My hand's cold," I said as if a childish gesture needed an explanation--but he knew. His left hand covered mine in the coat pocket.

"Girlie," he asked suddenly (that was what he always called me at sentimental moments), "do you really think you have enough money to get you through till payday?"

"Plenty, father. Yes--thanks."

"Well, twenty-five dollars a month isn't going to go far." His voice was gruff with emotion.

"Probably for the first time in my life there won't be any temptation to spend money. It will be good for me." I was trying to sound gay. "Right in line with your ideas, father. For all I know there may not be a single store in Cutter Gap."

Then we were mounting the steps to the train. I was to ride the coach, for it was only a six-hour trip. There was that certain smell of coal dust that railroad cars had: grime in every crevice and in the corners of the window ledges, brass spittoons, a potbellied stove in the rear, sacks of grain and produce piled toward the back, a lot of people. I marveled that so many would get up to catch a train at six-thirty in the morning.

Father found me an empty place and I sank down on the scratchy red plush seat, with my suitcase on the floor beside me. The whistle blew shrilly. Father reached out for me; the tweed of his big coat was rough against my face. "Don't forget now--soon as you get there, write us. Want to know you've arrived safely." Trying to be playful, he pinched my cheek--and was gone.

I saw father standing on the platform talking to the old conductor. Once he pointed in my direction, so I knew from long experience what he was saying. "My daughter's in there. Take care of my girl." It was embarrassing. After all, I was too old to want father to do this, too young to be flattered.

Then the conductor was waving his arms and shouting, "All a-boarrrd!" He mounted the steps and noisily clicked the guardrail shut. Old Buncombe sputtered and wheezed with the familiar chuff... chuff ... chuff. Our car jerked forward, the one behind slamming into us. The door at the front of the coach swung crazily, but finally the jerking and the bumping smoothed out and the telephone poles were sliding past.

Across the aisle a country woman with a red-faced squalling baby jiggled the child up and down, back and forth, on her ample lap. Then when the crying did not stop, she opened up her shirtwaist to let the infant nurse. The man in front of me was lighting up a pipe filled with home-grown tobacco that stung my throat and made my eyes water.

After Budford, North Carolina, the conductor began moving down the aisle gathering tickets. The old man's blue serge suit was shiny at the elbows and knees. I fervently hoped that he would not mortify me before the other passengers by telling me that he would take good care of me, so I turned pointedly toward the window and pretended to look at the white fields and rising hills. What I actually saw reflected in the window glass was a figure so slender that it should have belonged to a much younger girl. I threw back my shoulders and took a deep breath, trying to fill out my new fawn-colored coatsuit a little better. The blue eyes beneath the piled-up dark hair stared back at me quizzically.

"Ticket, please. You're Christy Huddleston, aren't you?"

I nodded, hoping that if I managed the proper dignified expression he would notice that I was simply another adult passenger. After all, this was not my first train trip, not by any means. The past year and a half at Flora College in Red Springs I had taken the train both ways, a trip of three hours, and once I had taken the sleeper to my aunt's home in Charleston on the coast. But this worldly experience seemed lost on the conductor.

"I'm Javis MacDonald," he went on. "I've known your father a long time." He punched my ticket, handed it back. "So you're bound for El Pano, young lady. Your father said you were going to teach school. In El Pano?"

"No--in a new school--seven miles or so behind El Pano, back in Cutter Gap."

Mr. MacDonald rubbed his chin whiskers reflectively. His eyes took on a wary look. He seemed about to speak, thought better of it, but then finally said impulsively, "That Cutter Gap is right rough country. Only last week followin' a turkey shootin' match, one man got tired of shootin' turkeys and shot another man in the back. Well--probably I oughten to be tellin' you, but you'll be hearin' the likes soon enough."

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Christy (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 53 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was given a copy of Christy when I visited my grandmother when I was about 10 years old. Since then I have owned four different paperback copies and have read and reread each one so many times the covers have fallen off! The story is inspiring featuring love, adventure, heartbreak and drama all set in the brutal back drop of turn of the century Appalachian Mountains. The story's main heroine Christy is voluntarily but unwittingly plucked from her very sheltered life in city and put into what is still one of the most rural areas of America. Marshall's telling of the story through Christy offers a wonderful window into the rough, raw yet beautiful and soulful life in the 'hills'.
nmmama43 More than 1 year ago
I love this book and have read it numerous times over the years - definitely a keeper.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow, this book turned out to be the total opposite of what I thought it would have been. It was a romance, mystery, and Christion-based novel and I enjoyed every page!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I had to read it for summer reading going into the 8th grade, and I thought it was going to be boring. It turned out to be exactly the opposite. This book mixes mystery with romance. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Christianfictionandmore 7 days ago
Originally published in 1967, Christy is a historical fiction novel based on the experience of the author's mother teaching at a Christian mission in the Smoky Mountains in the early 1900s. Both the real Leonora and the fictionalized Christy at 19 leave their homes in North Carolina to teach children of poverty in the mountains of Tennessee. Having grown up with Leonora's stories, Catherine Marshall was able to make the people of Appalachia come alive. She told the story of their hardships, but also of their hearts and spirits. Marshall allows us to experience vicariously the difficulty of living without basic necessities in situations we would find primitive and grossly unclean. She then leads us to see the mountain people as valued individuals rather than being identified by group stereotypes. We celebrate their achievements, sorrow over their losses, and cheer on their best efforts. The mentoring character of Miss Alice Henderson, a Quaker mission worker from Pennsylvania, helps Christy, the young pastor David Grantland, and the reader come to deeper spiritual understandings. Christy is not a book that you will soon forget, and is likely one that you will want to reread from time to time. I owe, in a large part, my going into the field of education to having read this book while in high school. Having read it again over the years, it was like coming together with old friends as I read it again five years into my retirement. While the book is based on the community of Chapel Hollow in the Morgan Branch Valley of Tennessee, I am always transported back into the book each time I visit Cades Cove just outside of Gatlinburg, Tennessee and near the town of Townsend where the television story based on this book was filmed. The cabins there are much as I picture those belonging to the book's characters. I highly recommend this book to all readers, no matter what genre one usually prefers to read in. This timeless classic is too good to miss, and will live in your heart for years to come. I am grateful to NetGalley and Evergreen Farm an imprint of Gilead Publishing for providing me with a copy of Christy in exchange for my honest opinion. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review and received no monetary compensation.
LynneVS on LibraryThing 7 days ago
This is one of my favorite stories ever. While they come from a different age, the characters in the story are so wonderful and real that they feel like friends. The story is based on the life of the author's mother and is just a joy to read.
ShortyBond on LibraryThing 7 days ago
This, aside from my Bible, is my favorite book of all times. Marshall truly captures the life of the Tennessee mountain people during that time, and the story never fails to bring tears to my eyes. I read it again and again.
tikilights on LibraryThing 7 days ago
This was my favorite book as a child and even now when I reread the story it still affects me in such a positive way. Christy's decision to be a teacher for the poor community of Cutter Gap in the Smokey Mountains puts you on an emotional rollercoaster because of all the trials and frustrations she has to overcome to succeed there. Christy reads very fast for such a lengthy book and it's inevitable that you will grow a strong attachment to the characters.
Pinktoolz on LibraryThing 7 days ago
I read this book when I was about 12, I have read it at least a dozen time and I still love it like I was reading it for the first time. This is the story of a young, idealistic woman leaving home for the first time to be a teacher in the Great Smokies. Even though she is warned of the rough conditions nothing prepares her for the reality of the poverty, superstitions and mountain people that she encounters. Catherine Marshall is an exceptional writer and this is the tale of her mother's life.
Mindyr on LibraryThing 7 days ago
Lovely book. Have read it repeatedly at different times of my life. Learn something new about the Christian life each time. Very well drawn characters and what a sense of place!
MerryMary on LibraryThing 7 days ago
A long, but loving story of an young idealistic teacher coming to an Appalacian community at the turn of the last century. The character sketches are wonderful, and the genuine love the author has for the people and the beauty of this area is palpable. Based on the experiences of the author's mother.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A book I come back to every few years and always find something new
Deal_Sharing_Aunt More than 1 year ago
Books rarely come along that can span generations and take me to a place in history. Christy does both. Christy was a pioneer among woman and she reminds me of how strong a woman can be and how without the strong women of the past, my life could be very different. This story was also made into a television series. This book is timeless. The 50th Anniversary edition gave me insight into the story behind the story. I never knew that the book was based on the author's mom. I also never saw the drawings in the book. This is a great book for young ladies and women alike. I am giving this book a 5/5. I was given a copy, all opinions are my own,
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
This was the first time I have read Christy, the classic story by author Catherine Marshall. I had seen parts of the miniseries on the television, but reading the actual story was much richer and deeper. You know the saying the book is always better. Anyway, I was pulled into this story of a young 19 year old girl who decided to follow her dreams and head off to be a school teacher for a missionary organization in the Smokey Mountains. The immense excitement along with the fear of the unknown Christy was feeling leapt off the page. As a mother of a 19 year old daughter, I really empathized with what her parents were probably feeling, so as I read I kept thinking this could be my daughter. So that gave this story a very different feel then if I had read it when I was 19. I will not rehash the story but I can definitely see why this is a classic. It pulls you in the mountains and the ways that these mountain people lived in contrast with the life that Christy was used too. This was a pioneer lifestyle up in the mountains and a culture shock for a young girl who was drawn to this part of our country to help better the lives of her students. As far as this copy goes, there is a lovely map of Cutter Gap in the beginning and also a list of characters with a brief description of each. This is also a beautiful hard bound copy of this beloved story and is definitely one for the keeper shelf and to pass down. Highly recommended. I received a copy of this novel for free. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
Do you have the courage, the hope and the faith to step into your future - no matter where in this world it takes you? I have a lot of respect for women who gave up whatever hope they had for a future staying where things may have been comfortable and not so challenging. Ones who followed a song in their hearts to make a different someplace else, even if society would frown on those decisions and even make them downright difficult. Follow author Catherine Marshall as she takes readers into the life of her grandmother who did just that. For Christy Huddleson, whom at 19-years-old followed her heart and faith and left Asheville, North Carolina to become a teacher in a little known place called Cutter Gap in Tennessee. We all know that the people who live in small mountain communities have their own ways of doing things, from medical care to house to raise their own food, and when someone comes along with a different way of learning, that can sometimes pose more than a few challenges to what could be considered an "outsider." But it will create opportunities as well for both Christy to learn from those she wants to teach. In order to open up her own life and share the faith deep within her will take a lot of faith and hope in order to help those she seeks to teach, that she isn't changing the way they have been doing things, but to get them to understand that they too can have the opportunities if they are just willing to give her a chance. But like most folks who walk away from a different lifestyle into something that looks like took a step backwards in time, Christy gets to a point where she goes to her mentor Alice and kindly tells her she has had enough of things she can't explain and how she doesn't believe she is cut out for the job. Alice reminds her it is like staking a claim. In order for men to acquire land, they had to move out and claim what they wanted. If he didn't move, nothing happened. God has all kinds of riches for all of us. Not just spiritual riches either. His promises in the Bible are His way of telling us what's available. But this plenty doesn't become ours until we drive in our stake on a particular promise and thus indicate that we accept that gift. That, Christy, is 'claiming.' But we were talking a while ago about running back to our ivory tower. You see, Christy, evil is real - and powerful. It has to be fought, not explained away, not fled. And God is against evil all the way. So each of us has to decide where we stand, how we're going to live our lives. We can try to persuade ourselves that evil doesn't exist; live for ourselves and wink at evil. We can say that it isn't so bad after all, maybe even try to call it fun by clothing it in silks and velvets. We can compromise with it, keep quiet about it and say it's none of our business. Or we can work on God's side, listen for His orders on strategy against the evil, no matter how horrible it is, and know that He can transform it." I received Christy by Catherine Marshall compliments of Evergreen Farm Publishing and Litfuse Publicity. There are so many great take aways, it's hard to list them all. This is like a Laura Ingalls Wilder book but there is a different premise involved. Still Christy begins to learn as much from the people she is committed to serving as they do from her. She realizes that God has called her to this purpose in her life, to help those that most don't even know exist, from their backwards practices on how to handle a colicky baby,
BethErin More than 1 year ago
Young Christy's time living among the folks of Cutter Gap is an eye-opening experience for her (as well as for readers). As Christy serves these families, she not only learns about their lives but about faith, hope, and herself. This is a story that will continue to entertain, encourage, and endure from generation to generation. I am delighted to be reunited with this story, again and again, as well as share it with my children. Christy remains one of my all-time favorite books. I requested the opportunity to read this edition through the publisher and Litfuse. The opinions expressed are my own.
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
I cannot believe that I have waited this long to finally pick up Catherine Marshall’s Christy. I have always heard great things about it, never took the time to pick it up. I wished I had done so earlier. I loved Christy’s story. The descriptions were so vivid with historical details that I kept imagining this must have been the way my grandparents had lived in the mountains Virginia. I love the people of Cutter Gap and I am so glad I got to know them. What a special group of people. I enjoyed watching Christy becoming into her own person. What a strong and determined, young woman. I can definitely understand how Christy has become a classic among readers and becoming a series on television. What a wonderful read. I do want to note to other readers not to be intimidated by the size of the book. It is so well written and easy to read. I had no problem getting through it in two days. It is most definitely a must read with a well deserved 5 plus stars. I received this book from the publisher, but was not required to write a positive review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
lolly-pops More than 1 year ago
I was an avid reader as a child and still remember picking up my aunt's copy of Christy on her bookshelf. I don't remember the thickness of the book, or how old I was, but I do remember reading the book to the end and feeling slightly disappointed at how the romance ended... it wasn't clear enough or passionate enough to my childish mind. I remember taking the book to my mom, showing her the end, and asking her. Does this mean that she marries _____? And Mom, bless her heart, not having read the book, didn't know. She did read the book after that and bought her own copy so it is on her bookshelves. I never could get the girls interested in any of Grandma's old books, but when an opportunity to review and promote Christy for the 50th anniversary came open I jumped. It's a classic. My girls NEED to read it. But my fifteen year old got scared off by the thickness and the first person point of view. My twelve year old is a reluctant reader. So that means I get to read the book out loud to my daughters. And we are, a chapter a day. The girls stop what they are doing, listen to the story and at the end of a chapter beg for another, but i don't have time to read all day long -- and especially not out loud. I caught my reluctant reader picking it up and reading ahead (until she got scared off by some of the old words, and big words). Both girls are falling in love with Christy as I did, and now they want to watch the DVD which is on our shelf, even though I remind them the movie is always different than the book. They, like I did, are falling in love with the young Christy and are amazed and shocked and humbled by her adventures, struggles, and experiences. With this new release, Christy is available to a whole new generation of readers and I'm sure they will get as much enjoyment out of it as the original group fifty years ago got. Grab your copy of Christy now. This will also make a great gift for a reader on your holiday list.
InTheBookcase More than 1 year ago
Christy is a beautiful book that illustrates quality morals and character-building traits. This book is now considered by most a vintage classic, especially in the Christian community. Due to some of the content, I recommend it for high school students and adults. In 1912, Christy Huddleston is a courageous 19-year-old, daring to shed her high-society life to become a schoolteacher in a little community set among the Appalachian Mountains. The rugged little village of Cutter Gap is quite different than young Christy's imaginings before leaving her comfy home. Nonetheless, she takes her monthly wages to work as the mission schoolteacher and does the best teaching she can, while she herself is learning on the job. The culture of the mountain folk is quite steeped in Scottish culture and beliefs. Each of the "clans" are set in their ways and don't take too kindly to change. Whether they want it or not, once plucky Christy Huddleston arrives, Cutter Gap won't be quite the same. Although the reader may not have encountered the things that Christy does, most will still relate to her bold-but-impressionable inner nature. For example, I may not have to command a schoolroom full of 70 children, battle against the moonshiners in town, bear the sights of crude surgery performed in a rustic setting, or swallow the smells of too many people living in a two-room cabin... but as I read this book, I can understand her worries, discomforts, and also the utter joys, as will any reader. It is a book to be cherished. The story is inspired by the true experience of the author's mother, Leonora Whitaker, when she was a young and impressionable schoolteacher. Additionally, I was pleased to learn that the author herself, Catherine Marshall, was married to famed minister Peter Marshall – and I'm rather excited to read her biography of him, A Man Called Peter. NOTE to the discerning reader & parents: There are 2 minor things to mention, although I don't feel that they mar the book on the whole. (1) A young teenage girl is taken advantage of by a man, and her story is told in some detail. (2) Some foul words are used throughout the book. (For these reasons I recommend the book for older teens and adults.) Christy by Catherine Marshall is certainly a new favorite novel of mine. One day it will be worth a re-read.
QueenJody More than 1 year ago
I bought my copy of Christy when they announced that it was going to be a TV movie. I was in awe and inspired by Christy and her wiliness to give up all that she's known to teach these mountain children (and families). I plan on reading this book to my daughters in a few years as I know they too will enjoy the setting, characters and the passion of Christy and the children. A MUST read!
songbirdsue More than 1 year ago
This was a really enjoyable book, and I feel like I learned quite a bit about the culture of some of the mountain people of that time period. Their theories and practices were fascinating. I enjoyed how the narrator confronted her fears and grew within the book. She comes to work at a church mission so Christianity is prevalent throughout without being pushy. I am not so sure how I feel about the ending though. It was even greater knowing that it was based not only on a true story, but on the experiences of the author's own mother.
wackyweirdo More than 1 year ago
I'm reviewing lots of classic books that I've read, and this one I reccomend hightly! It's very good for girls (or even boys) 12 or over. Christy is a christian book and teaches good values, but it has plenty of excitment. Romance, adventure, hardship, lessons: It has lots of everything! (Read more of my reviews)
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