Skip Rock Shallows

Skip Rock Shallows

by Jan Watson


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Monday, July 29


Lilly Gray Corbett has just graduated from medical school and decided to accept an internship in the coal camp of Skip Rock, Kentucky. Her beau, Paul, is doing his residency in Boston and can’t understand why Lilly would choose to work in a backwater town. But having grown up in the mountains, Lilly is drawn to the stubborn, superstitious people she encounters in Skip Rock—a town where people live hard and die harder and where women know their place. Lilly soon learns she has a lot to overcome, but after saving the life of a young miner, she begins to earn the residents’ trust.

As Lilly becomes torn between joining Paul in Boston and her love for the people of Skip Rock, she crosses paths with a handsome miner—one who seems oddly familiar. Her attraction for him grows, even as she wrestles with her feelings and wonders what he’s hiding.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781414339146
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Publication date: 05/18/2012
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 622,960
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.08(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt

Skip Rock Shallows



Copyright © 2012 Jan Watson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4143-3914-6

Chapter One


Stanley James knew there'd been an accident before the blast of the whistle shattered the stillness of the morning. He felt the slightest tremor against the soles of his feet when he bent to lace his high-top work boots. His arm jerked and the rawhide string snapped. Coffee sloshed from his cup and ran across the table like a tiny river overflowing its bank. It dripped onto the knee of his just-ironed coveralls. Stanley swore.

"There's no call for that purple language in my kitchen," Myrtie said in that disapproving way she had. She mopped the spill with a bleach rag before he had a chance to move out of the way.

"Wake the gal," Stanley said.

"It's early yet, Stanley, and she was up late last night."

It would be right pleasant, Stanley thought, if just once Myrtie would do what he asked instead of throwing a wall of words up against him.

Myrtie's eyes grew round as the first warning shrieked. She covered her ears as if it came from right next door and not a mile up the road.

"I'll go get her," she said, folding the rag on the tabletop. Pausing at the door, she looked back. "Will you have time to eat your breakfast?"

Stanley was at the cupboard getting down a box of carbide. "Wrap up some biscuits and fix a thermos. We'll carry it with us."

Myrtie hesitated.

"Wake the gal first, Myrtie. Tell her to shake a leg."

"Stanley, you've got no call to remark on her limbs."

"It's a saying!" Stanley shouted over the alert. "It means hurry up."

"Don't be telling me what to do, Stanley James. I'll go as fast as I want to."

It didn't much matter, Stanley thought. What good would a slip of a gal be against an explosion or a cave-in?

* * *

Lilly Gray Corbett was awake. She liked to get up early and climb partway up the mountain to attend to her devotionals under a stand of regal pines. The trees looked down over the valley, where wood-sided shotgun houses jostled each other for elbow room. She leaned against the rough bark of one of the trees, enjoying the fresh green scent of its needles, searching in her Bible for a verse in Isaiah, the one about being called.

When she heard the far-off whistle, her mouth went dry. It was one thing to study about accidents and mangled bodies, quite another to actually attend to one. Carefully, she retraced her steps toward home.

Last night had gone well, though. The baby girl she'd delivered slid into the world without as much as a thank-you. The young mother would have done just as well without Lilly's assistance. If you didn't count the number of births she'd attended with her mentor, Dr. Coldiron, this had been her first delivery—or baby catching, as her mother would say.

Maybe folks were beginning to trust her a little. She'd been here at Skip Rock for two weeks, opening the doctor's office daily, but last night was the first time she'd been called out.

When she reached the end of the one-cow path, Mrs. James met her. "Better hurry, Dr. Corbett. Stanley's in a dither."

Lilly would like to see that—Mr. James in a dither. She'd never seen him break a sweat. He was as deliberate as a plow mule, and he worked just as hard.

Mrs. James ushered her around the side of the house like she was a birthday present. "Lookee here, Stanley. I found her."

Mr. James looked Lilly up and down. "Them skirts ain't going to work."

"Stanley James!"

"Get the gal some overhauls," he said, while fitting pebbles of carbide into a small, round lamp. "We might be going down in the hole."

Dressed and ready, Lilly hurried to catch up to Mr. James. She nearly had to run to match his long stride. He didn't want her there, she knew. In his world, women weren't doctors and they didn't belong in the mines.

Lilly wasn't so sure she didn't agree about the mine part. If her stepfather could see her now, he'd have a heart attack.

The overalls were too long and she kept tripping over the hems. Mrs. James had cinched the waist with a piece of twine, but still they ballooned around her. "I'll fix them proper when you get back," she'd said. "Next time we'll be ready."

Next time? Lilly swallowed hard. What had she gotten herself into?

It seemed to Lilly that she was predestined to be a doctor. Her mother was a natural healer. Her father and his father had been medical doctors. It was in her blood, if not yet in her bones.

She had earned her degreeat the end of May and before you could say whippersnapper was on her way to the mountains to gain some experience. Sadly, the elderly doctor she was to shadow had died just days before she arrived.

It was no wonder Mr. James's face had fallen when he met her at the train station. He'd stared at the paper in his hand and looked again at her. "Says here you're a man."

She set her hatboxes on the platform and stuck out her hand. "I guess you can see I'm not."

Instead of shaking her hand, he waved the piece of paper under her nose. "Larry Corbett? Larry's not a gal's name, and a gal ain't a doctor."

"I'm Lilly, not Larry," she said. "Dr. Lilly Corbett." Doctor? Would she ever get used to using that title?

Mr. James held the paper at arm's length, as older folks do. "Humph," he said.

She picked up the two round, beribboned boxes and lifted her chin. "Shall we proceed?"

What could the poor man do? He stuffed the paper in his pocket and reached for the traveling trunk the porter wheeled out. He said not a word on the buggy ride to her lodgings and kept his face straight ahead. But every so often his eyes would slide sideways as if he was taking her in. It was obvious he found her wanting.

Mrs. James, on the other hand, seemed delighted to see her. She fussed over Lilly as if she were a prodigal daughter as she showed her to the one-room tar-paper shack out behind their house. She even helped Lilly unpack, exclaiming over each garment she hung from pegs beside the door.

"If this ain't the prettiest," she said when she unfolded Lilly's long silk gown and her matching robe. She laid them across the bed. "I ain't never seen the like."

"Thank you," Lilly said. "It was a gift from my aunt Alice. I guess she thought I was going to Boston or New York."

"I never heard of them places," Mrs. James said. "Are they over round Lexington? My sister's been to Lexington."

"They're just cities. Just big places." Lilly moved to one of the two windows on either side of the door. "Does this raise? Do you have a screen?"

Mrs. James's face colored. "No, I don't have such, but I could tack a piece of greased paper over it, if you want it open. It's clean. I washed it myself."

Lilly felt bad that she had embarrassed her benefactor. The Jameses were kind to provide room and board for her in exchange for a smallish stipend. It was all arranged through the medical school and the mining company. Lilly would be here for the summer practicing her trade.

"Goodness, no, this is fine," Lilly said. "I was thinking I might like some fresh air, that's all."

"Best leave the winders down and the door closed. The air here ain't as unsullied as it once was—it gathers in your lungs and sets up like wallpaper paste. But you know, beggars can't be choosers. We're that glad for the work. As Stanley says, it's a clean breath or a day's pay."

Mrs. James took a snow-white rag from her apron pocket and wiped the windowsill. "You can push it up after dark if you want. Seems like the night dew settles the dust. I'll have Stanley see if the company store carries ary winder screens."

Opening the door, she shook the rag out over the stone stoop. "We're saving up, though. I got a money jar hid behind the grease can." A wistful note crept into her voice. "Soon's as we get a bit together, we're fixing to buy a place over to Stoney. They ain't any mines besmirching the mountains there."

Coming out of the memory, Lilly stopped for a second and rolled up her pant legs. She would take scissors to them herself when she got back.


Excerpted from Skip Rock Shallows by JAN WATSON Copyright © 2012 by Jan Watson. Excerpted by permission of TYNDALE HOUSE PUBLISHERS, INC.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Skip Rock Shallows 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the idea of this book because it sounded similar to the popular television series Hart f Dixie. It does have some similarities but it is so much ore fulfilling to read this story. It talks about the struggle of a new female doctor as she tries to convince the town she is qualified to practice medicine. This book takes you into a mining town and exposes the dangers for the miners and the strain such an occupation puts on the entire town. Then there is the sweet line of romance that runs through the background and makes you need to know who she chooses.
MitziAB More than 1 year ago
Jan Watson is a favored author of mine, taking me deep into the mountain country of Kentucky, where I learn to know the people and their culture firsthand. This story, told from the view point of Lilly, explores and protrays in detail the obstacles a young woman who was following her conviction of being a doctor would face both from the community she was trying to help to those of her own family. Lilly grows from a girl who has lofty ambitions of doctoring in the big city with all its amneties to a woman of strong belief in what and where she is called to serve. She has a secret, and this secret is what adds to her conflict. As alluded to on the back cover of the book is another member of the mining community who has a secret. This character also grows through the novel from someone who is insecure because of his father's actions to one who is willing to stand up in the face of danger. Jan writes a delightful novel, and though it deals with the harsh occupation of the mountain people which is coal mining, she also protrays the profound sense of family and community that exists in the midst of such coarseness. While I enjoy the skilfull writing of the author, the word paintings, and the sense of being there at the time of the story, I also appreciate how she weaves the love and attributes of God into the novel without coming across as preachy! Thank you again, Jan for sharing this story with your readers. I will be recommending this to my friends and fellow readers. I received this book free from Tyndale Publishers for the purpose of writing an honest review, which I have done. The opinions stated are my own
aimymichelle More than 1 year ago
this book started out boring, though i'm not totally finished with it. the middle started off really great and i'm excited to read the rest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great job. So sad though
Reading_Queen13 More than 1 year ago
Jan Watson has done it again! This wonderful novel is set in a small mining town in early 1900s Kentucky. Lilly Corbett is a young doctor in a time and place where female medical professionals were not always well received. Her faith and perseverance are vital to her profession and her success. She is a strong-willed woman, but is she strong enough to outlast brewing trouble in Skip Rock Shallows? This novel features a healthy dose of Bible study and mystery. The romance is very respectful and makes this novel appropriate for teens and adults. Additionally, the previous books in the series do not need to be read prior to this novel, however, they will provide a little backstory. Fun summer read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
rlighthouse More than 1 year ago
Great Book! When Lily arrived in Skip Rock Shallows as an intern she had to pave her way in a time period that women  doctors were not fully accepted yet.  Lily proved that she was capable and could be trusted and also found an old acquaintance along the way. Lily's fiance Paul was fulfilling his internship in Boston and did not understand why Lily did not want to return with him immediately. Lily had to do some soul searching to find the gentleman that really cared for her and what she wanted.  I really enjoyed reading about Lily and her role as a female doctor in the small mining community.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I have read by Jan Watson but I will be reading other books by her. This was really good. She did a pretty good job explaining the necessary back story elements for someone not familiiar with the previous books in this series. My interest was definitely picqued to put the other books on my list so I can learn all about Lily and her family.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
kristen4mk More than 1 year ago
I've missed Jan Watson books! So glad to get to revisit one of my favorite characters, Lilly Gray Corbett. Lilly is all grown up and is a doctor now, and is at her first "post" in Skip Rock Shallows. Skip Rock is a mining town and therefore injuries are common. Initially she is ostracized and people are suspicious (after all, this is the early 1900's and women doctors are unusual); but after she saves a local's leg and they discover she is the cousin of a prominent family, she is accepted. Throw in some conspiracy and a tiny bit of a love triangle, and we've got a story! I enjoyed Skip Rock Shallows and can easily recommend this book (and all of Jan Watson's books, for that matter).
ladybugofthree More than 1 year ago
While the back of the book grabbed my attention, I have to admit, the interest stopped there. Though Jan Watson is a talented writer, this book ended up not being for me. The story starts out fully engaged, with some references to Troublesome Creek. While this book seems to be a stand-alone novel, maybe having read the previous mentioned would have been helpful. At times I seemed to be missing out on some of the back story, not quite understanding what they were referring to. I decided to keep reading, to see where the story would take me. Where did it go? Not far. Even half-way through the book, I was still waiting for the tempo to pick up, it had to start gaining speed soon, or so I thought! I was anxiously awaiting for the romance interest to start between Lilly and the handsome miner, Tern/Joe. While there were some parts that intrigued my interest, I was mostly left skimming the pages, waiting for something, anything, to grab my attention. If you're looking for something to read, while you're waiting for the next, great release to come out, then this may be for you. If you're hoping this is the next great release...I wouldn't hold my breath.
purplesquirrel More than 1 year ago
Skip Rock Shallows, Jan Watson's sixth novel (but my first experience with her story-telling), explores coal mining in Kentucky, and the oddity of a female doctor in the world of coal-mining Appalachia in the early 1900's (Or thereabouts). The narrative follows Lily Gray Corbett as she serves her internship as an interim doctor for the coal mining community of Skip Rock Shallows while she waits for her beau in Boston to finish his residency at a hospital there. Skip Rock Shallows is a very closed community that is suspicious of almost any newcomer, but even more-so a female doctor~ That is just about unheard of! I enjoyed getting to know the people who made up the community of Skip Rock Shallows (especially some of the children and women who are "supporting characters") and learning more about the life of Appalachian coal-miners and their families. While some of the character development may require a little bit of reading between the lines (particularly regarding Lily and her beau, Paul), that didn't interfere too much with my enjoyment of the story. Skip Rock Shallows is a pleasant, light, summertime read with a variety of interesting medical and historical facts woven in. Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
THESELF-TAUGHTCOOK More than 1 year ago
In 1908, women doctors were still a rarity and unheard of in small mining towns like Skip Rock, Kentucky. But Lilly Corbett was raised in Breathitt County, so when, upon graduation from medical school, she was offered an internship in Skip Rock, she was eager to go there. Acceptance does not come easily from the mountain people, but with time, the little town feels like home. Unfortunately, her fiance does not understand her feelings. And then, there is the handsome stranger in town, who is harboring secrets. One secret directly concerns Lilly, although she has no idea who he is. Although parts of the novel were somewhat predictable, it was a good read. Coming from Kentucky and generations of coal miners, I found this to be particularly interesting. One thing and this is not directed and this particular author, but Kentucky is larger than than just the mountains of Appalachia, but when people write about Kentucky, and especially if there is coal involved, they always write about Eastern Kentucky. I assure you they have mined coal in Western Kentucky for generations. But the novel was very good and the characters were believable. Definitely a 4 star novel.
BookwormJenJW More than 1 year ago
Skip Rock Shallows by Jan Watson takes readers into a small coal town where at first the idea of a lady doctor is rejects. Only after saving a young miner she starts to win there trust but even then it is slow and not all want her there. Though there are many residents who become very fond of her and she of them. Throughout the story Lilly faces many battles and wrestles with what to do with the future. Should she stay in Skip Rock or go home to Boston? Then there is the character from her past, who is he and why is he so familiar. Lilly will not only have to face the future but the past as well but she is one strong lady with a trust in God that will help through all she does. Join Lilly and the cast of characters in this fun novel. This book for me was fun to read and I enjoyed meeting all the residents of Skip Rock but the only thing for me was it never fully drew me in. I was easily able to set it down for awhile and come back to it. I am definitely glad I read it and would recommend it to those who love book about lady doctors in a time where that was not common. Overall good job Jan Watson! * I received this book through Tyndale for the purpose of this review. My honest opinion was all that was requested. Thank
Wordsmith19 More than 1 year ago
"Skip Rock Shallows" is Jan Watson’s story of a woman doctor who arrives at a coal mining town in Kentucky. She’s engaged to a doctor in Boston, but there’s something about the town of Skip Rock Shallows–and more specifically, one of the miners there–that tugs at her heart. Will she stay in Skip Rock or go to Boston to join her fiance? And will she ever be respected by the people of Skip Rock? I found this book to be a very enjoyable read. Watson brings the town of Skip Rock to life, along with the coal miners who live there. I just wish I could find more books like this! I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for a review.
HSMomof4 More than 1 year ago
In 1908, women physicians were not as well received as men. Add in a superstitious mining town with its first female physician, and you have a backdrop for many story lines. Jan Watson has woven a beautiful novel of commitment, respect, and love with the harsh realities of a coal miner's life. As much as we have read idealized accounts of a miner's life in the late 1800s and early 1900s, this book brings the real life drama of mining disasters and the cost to each family and town to life. Click HERE to read Chapter 1! I love a well-written historical fiction novel. I know the author brings the characters to life, but the historical time in which they live is based on true events and time periods. In Skip Rock Shallows, I learned more about the people who lived and breathed life into the coal mining industry. They lived a hard life with many superstitions and fears. How would my life have been different if I had been born and raised in Skip Rock during this time? Would I be helping to raise my siblings because my father died in the mine? Would an education be only a dream for the very few fortunate ones? This is Jan Watson's 6th novel. I look forward to reading her other books as well! I received a complimentary copy of Skip Rock Shallows from Tyndale House Publishers for my honest review.
JoyAnneTN More than 1 year ago
Fresh out of medical school Lilly accepts an internship in the mountains of Kentucky. The people of Skip Rock Shallows are unique, very standoffish and unwilling to accept a lady doctor until a discovery is made and everything changes! When Lilly's fiance visits, they work very well together and he's prepared to take her back to Boston with him but Lilly isn't ready to leave the place she's grown so fond of and she certainly can't leave them without a doctor. Something happens between Lilly and a stranger that changes their lives forever. There's a bit of everything in this fun story... humor, romance, danger, and Watson has done a good job of capturing the lives of mountain folk. I give this 4 stars. I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an hoenst review.
Bschackow More than 1 year ago
Skip Rock Shallows is the story of Lilly Gray Corbett, a young spirited doctor who against her better judgment goes to the coal camp in Skip Rock, Kentucky. Lilly’s fiancé, Paul living in Boston, wonders why on earth she would want to work in a back water town like Skip Rock, even if only for a short amount of time. But as she works in Skip Rock she starts to fall in love with the people and the town, and she must decide to follow her heart or follow her mind. Yet when her fiancé finds out she wants to stay he tries to talk her out of it. The end of the book comes as a surprise when the tables turn and unexpected things happen. I really enjoyed reading this book, with some surprising twist and turns. It is a great work of historical fiction I have never read anything by this author before but enjoyed this book. I may read more by this author in the near future. I would recommend this novel to any lover of historical fiction and or Christian fiction. I received this book for review by Tyndale House Publishers. I was not made to write a good review, only to express my opinion.