"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

18 March 2015

2015 Book Review #8: When Crickets Cry


I really have no words to describe how this novel left me reeling.  What a story!  Full of twists, a full range of emotions, and one of the best plots I've read in a long time.

I first discovered this author by reading several reviews from the blog Living to Tell the Story, written by Susanne.  For those of you familiar with her blog, she hosts the Friday Fave Five meme.

According to my library, this is general fiction/Christian fiction (they had it under both genres) but the award on the book cover says it won the Christian Book Award.  However, it is NOT a sappy, preachy novel by any means. It actually reminded me a little bit of Nicholas Sparks' books only much more literary in style and with much more depth. (I'm not a big fan of Sparks although I have read a few of his books and have seen a couple of the movies based on his books).

One of the main reasons I picked this book up from the library shelves is because it deals with heart disease.  Both of my in-laws have some form of heart disease/ issues, my mother died of a sudden heart attack, and my husband had his heart attack in September.  Several colleauges I work with have also had their lives touched in some way by heart disease.  I'm sure many of us have known friends or family with heart issues.


A little girl, age 7, named Annie, is standing on a street corner, near the store where her Aunt Cindy works as a cashier.  Cindy is her legal guardian as Annie's parents, both missionaries, died tragically a few years earlier.  Annie's twin sister died of a congenital heart problem.  Annie is selling lemonade......and her collection jug is full of cash.  She is trying to raise enough money to get a new heart.  She also has heart disease and is very thin and pale.  She often struggles to breathe.  Yet she is a fighter....and full of Hope.  She knows deep inside where Life comes from.  She is wise beyond her years.

One day, Reese Mitchell meets Annie. And his life changes.

He notices the scar on her chest....and he knows all about how it got there, even though he has never met her.  He knows...because the love of his life, Emma, had a similar heart issue.  Reese was a heart surgeon...as the reader you figure this out early on.....but the other characters, other than Charlie and one other character (Dr Royer) do not know of his brilliant career that he had before he lost his wife Emma.  Because of his past, he instantly connects with Annie.

But.....while they are chatting over  the lemonade stand, a truck comes careening around the corner.....and their lives are changed instantly.

This begins a journey of love, life, and hope.  Together they learn some painful lessons about why crickets cry.......and they also learn that miracles can still happen.


I wanted to give you a better summary....an entire story summary.  But I've decided that because there are so many facets to this amazing book, it's best to just do the quick summary version based on the blurb in the back of the book.

This book is deep.  Some of the transplant procedure description made me wince...and I told my husband I should NOT be reading it while eating my morning oatmeal.  It is quite descriptive and really taught me about the physical conditions of hearts and what they go through when diseased or being transplanted.

I fell in love with Reese, Emma, Charlie, and Annie right away.  Their characters are so real and the author does a fantastic job with language and description.

There were some great quotes in this story, too.

One of my favorites was when Reese was trying to explain to Termite (a troubled young man) about the dangers of pornography.  Here is the part I loved:

"The mind is a pretty amazing thing.Almost as amazing as the heart....your mind imprints images, especially that kind, on the heart, so that ten and fifteen years down the road, when you're married and trying to make something out of your life, they come drifting back, bubbling up and reminding you how much greener the grass is outside of your own bed.......without the heart, nothing else matters.....love is no tool.  Neither is a woman's heart.  What I'm talking about you won't find in that magazine." (pgs 109-110)

Another favorite quote is this:

"All hearts stop, Annie. What matters is what you do with it while it's still pumping." (pg 333).

This book made me appreciate good heart surgeons.  It made me thank God for His amazing Handiwork in our human bodies.  For how the heart is intended to work.  For the physical and emotional aspects of one's heart.

I've discovered a new author and I'm definitely going to be looking for his other books!

In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 14 and older.

On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this a 10.


Susanne said...

My favourite author! He puts me through the emotional wringer every single book! And the way he puts sentences and words together is a real gift. I'm so glad you liked it! He's got a new one coming out in May, I believe. I can hardly wait!

Barbara H. said...

I loved this story and loved his writing. I think I've only read one of his other books but want to read more. The only quibble I had with this one was David, the bar owner, and the sentence that he felt he could best be a witness to people by "titillating people’s sin senses." Other than that aspect, I loved it. My review from a couple of years ago is here: https://barbarah.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/book-review-when-crickets-cry/