The pastoral charm of small-town Watervalley, Tenneesse, can be deceptive, as young Dr. Luke Bradford discovers when he's caught in the fallout of a decades-old conflict. . . .
After a rocky start as Watervalley's only doctor, Luke Bradford has decided to stay in town, honoring the three-year commitment he made to pay off his medical school debts. But even as his friendships with the quirky townsfolk deepen, and he pursues a romance with lovely schoolteacher Christine Chambers, several military veterans' emotional wounds trigger anger and unrest in Watervalley.
At the center of the clash is the curmudgeonly publisher of the local newspaper, Luther Whitmore. Luther grew up in Watervalley, but he returned from combat in Vietnam a changed man. He fenced in beautiful Moon Lake, posting "Keep Out" notices at the beloved spot, and provokes the townspeople with his incendiary newspaper.
As Luke struggles to understand Luther's past, and restore harmony in Watervalley, an unforeseen crisis shatters a relationship he values dearly. Suddenly Luke must answer life's toughest questions about service, courage, love, and sacrifice.
My thoughts: Jeff High’s gentle, witty exposure of life in a Southern small town was a pleasure to read. His wordsmithing skills were particularly entertaining and a delight to read. I love his ability to “turn a well-turned phrase.” He makes you fall in love with each of the story’s characters – even the old curmongerly newspaper man.
The gentle life in Watervalley is disrupted by a bit of tension and some violence. Violence that is toned down by Dr. Luke Bradford’s splendid interference. Dr. Luke is the town’s only doctor and he has grown to love the townspeople in all their flawed glory. He especially has grown to love the beautiful Christine Chambers. Their romance is punctuated by their passion and desire which they manage to control.
Relationships with a neighboring Old Order Mennonite community are strained and the source of this tension goes back a few decades. Again, Dr. Luke manages to root around finding the source and the solution.
The title "The Splendor of Ordinary Days" is especially appropriate and the book gives the reader glimpses into these splendid ordinary days. This is a good picture of Southern life and I was very much encouraged that the characters were not portrayed as uneducated social misfits. I enjoyed it.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Litfuse Publicity Group on behalf of the author and publisher to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own, alone. I was not compensated for this review.