cover image When Mockingbirds Sing

When Mockingbirds Sing

Billy Coffey. Thomas Nelson, $15.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-4016-8821-9

Tom and Ellen Norcross move to the fictional town of Mattingly, Va., for a fresh start after a slip of the tongue threatens their marriage and Tom’s psychology practice. A stutter ostracizes their only daughter, Leah, until Allie Granderson befriends her, a relationship that tests Allie as much as it grounds Leah. From a grandiose birthday celebration and budding friendships to death and despair, Coffey (Snow Day) stuffs a lot of life into a seven day time span. A range of complex, highly relatable characters is embedded in the story. These people are rooted in community, love their children well, and are satisfied with their views of who God is—and, perhaps more importantly, who God is not. When Leah’s imaginary friend, the Rainbow Man, gives her information that seemingly only God could know, it shakes folks up to the point that even Deacon Spicer wants to see the family run out of town. Whether Leah’s prophecies are of the devil or the divine is a question asked but not fully answered until the very end. This intriguing read challenges mainstream religious ideas of how God might be revealed to both the devout and the doubtful. Agent: Rachelle Gardner, Books & Such Literary Agency. (June 11)