“Tattler’s Branch” by Jan Watson

BOOK_COVER_Tattler_s BranchIt is 1911 in Skip Rock, Kentucky. Armina Tippen decides to pick blueberries along Tattler’s Branch Road. She has an episode where black spot appear before her eyes and she blacks out. When she wakes, Armina sees a man and a woman physically fighting. The two fall into the river. Then, in horror, Armina watches as the man raises a large rock and hits the woman in the head, blood flying everywhere. She watches as the man gets a shovel and supplies for what Armina assumes is to dig a grave when she hears a baby cry. While the killer is digging, Armina sneaks to an open window in the bedroom where she finds the baby in a basket. Armina takes the basket, grabs some cloth diapers off the clothes line and runs as fast as the dickens can carry her.

When Dr. Lilly Corbett Still arrives home from work, she finds her kitchen table is empty. Lilly’s little sister has not seen Armina since breakfast. Worried, Lilly sends Mazy to Armina’s house to check on her. Mazy finds Armina lying on the floor making an awful gurgling sound. With the help of a neighbor, they carry Armina to Doc Lilly’s house. A quick exam proves Armina is suffering from “Saint Vitus’ dance brought on by untreated rheumatic fever.” Armina is in for a rough few days.

When Lilly is ready for bed, her dog begs to be taken out. Usually Kip is good about staying in the yard without a leash, but tonight he makes a mad dash to Armina’s house. When Lilly enters, she hears a baby cry. Confused as to why Armina would have a baby, Doc Lilly sets out to exam and feed her. She finds that the baby girl has a weak heart, a cleft palate and is a mongoloid. Three strikes against this baby’s life. She brings the baby to her clinic where one of her night nurses offered to take the baby home and act as her wet nurse. Armina’s memory is foggy at best. She does not remember the day she took the baby. No one in town is looking for a baby, so who does she belong to?





While this story only lasts for a week, it is slow going. I had an ARC eBook and it was not unto 40% into the book that we find out if someone is looking for the baby.

I found the description of things to be confusing. I could not visualize anything. The personality of the baby’s father does not match his actions and I did not find it believable. Yet everything gets tied up with a bow at the end. This book, simple as it was, just did not sit right with me.

For more religious and spiritual books, go to http://www.booksbysteph.com.

Until next time, live life one page at a time!


Tyndale Blog Network

Author Q & A

1. What was your inspiration for this book, Tattler’s Branch?

I wrote this book because the people from Skip Rock Shallows had more stories to
tell. I was reading my local paper one morning and came upon a story concerning
something dramatic that had happened on a creek called Tattler’s. I could see
Armina there.

2. Tell me about your main character Lilly Corbett Still. Was this character based
on anyone in particular?

No, Lilly Gray Corbett Still is totally a figment of my imagination. Lilly is one smart
and courageous young woman. I do love anything medical, so Lilly allowed me to
indulge a bit in the medical practice of the time. If I were to live any of my
characters’ lives, I would choose Lilly’s. She is so strong and determined. And kind—
Lilly is very kind.

3. What lessons or truths will your reader find in the pages of this story?

A central truth in each of my books is that everyone is important and unique. Every
person has a story to tell and that story is worth hearing.

4. How do you expect Lilly’s story to resonate with your readers?

I believe my readers will appreciate Lilly’s strength in the face of adversity.

5. As a writer, what did you particularly enjoy about crafting this story?

I especially enjoyed the relationship between Lilly and Armina. Armina is naturally
funny and Lilly handles her prickly humor with aplomb. I also liked exploring the
character of Shade Harmon. I learned a lot from Shade (including some things I
didn’t need to know). The relationship he had with his first wife is especially telling.
The way he loved his baby girl touched my heart.

Not to give anything away, but there’s a line in the book where Lilly says, “The
ground at the foot of the cross is even.” I just love that she said that.

6. What is your hope for this novel? How would you like it to impact readers?

I want my readers to be entertained with wholesome, faith-affirming, thoughtprovoking fiction.

7. What big questions will this novel get your readers thinking about?

I hope this humble story will inspire readers to look beyond a person’s earthly
circumstance and ask themselves who that being really is and what lesson God sent
them here to teach.

Courtesy of Tyndale Publicity Team


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