Cottonwood Whispers
by Jennifer Erin Valent

Tyndale House Publishers, 2009. ISBN 978-1-414-33326-7.
Reviewed by Jennifer Melville
Posted on 07/28/2009

Fiction: Historical

Jennifer Erin Valent's novel Cottonwood Whispers is full of friendship, mystery, and light romance. It is the second book in the series and continues the tale of friends Jessilyn and Gemma, two friends of different races growing up together in the South in the 1930's.

Jessilyn knows that nothing but trouble will come from Gemma hanging around with Joel Hadley, and when Gemma becomes increasingly distant, Jessilyn fears the worst. When little Callie is hit and killed by a car the townspeople demand the immediate death of the culprit. Gemma has critical information about the case and secretly reveals it to her best friend. Jessilyn, and her love interest Luke, must find the true murderer before an innocent man is put to death. The only problem is, who will believe the word of a black girl against a rich, white man?

Cottonwood Whispers was an enjoyable summer read, even though it took some time to get used to the Southern dialect that the characters spoke in. I'm glad I didn't give up and I can't wait for the next one in the series to find out what happens with Jessilyn and Luke!

Jennifer Erin Valent is the winner of the Christian Writers Guild's 2007 Operation First Novel contest for Fireflies in December. She lives in Central Virginia, where she has worked as a nanny for 15 years. Visit her website.

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