By: Catherine Marshall

Essence: biography, drama, beliefs, change, motivational.
Follows the life of one Christy Huddleston who abandons her comfortable life at the tender age of 19 to go to the mountains to help out the native population there by providing her services as a teacher. Sounds simple enough, but there is so much more to it. Very deep character sketches, sensitively handled emotions, personality changes, thoughts, self-discovery etc are a few aspects of this book that are just remarkable.

Its not a fast-paced book and is basically meant to convey the fact that life can be so very different and meaningful if only you are willing to go ahead and help others. A very motivational book and it also, at many places, deals with beliefs and faiths, not religious in nature, but more like working-rules of life.

It talks about the secluded and traditional lifestyle of the people of Cutter Gap, Tennessee in the early 1900's. You will be very surprised to learn about the strange ways of life in places where you would expect people to live a very normal kind of life. Yet, their different and outdated way of living teaches you so many things about life.

The story is told through the eyes of Christy and her views. Her relationships with her students, the people she works with and the way she faces situations like death, epidemic etc are very neat.

The reason why I gave it only 3 out of 5 is because there were few things that should have been kept out of the book and the ending, which really disappointed me, and as I later discovered, disappointed many other readers too.