Book Review: Skip Rock Shallows

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Title: Skip Rock Shallows
Author: Jan Watson
Publisher: Tyndale House
Date: June 2012
ISBN: 978-1414339146
Genre: Historical Romance
Reviewed by: Lisa Lickel

Coalmine country in early 20th century rural America is no place for a single woman. Certainly not for Lilly Corbett, even if she is the new doctor interning at Skip Rock coal camp. When Dr. Jones, Skip Rock’s old doc, passes away, Lilly is the only physician in the area. What does she have to do in order to be accepted? An accident that requires her surgical skills helps break the ice.

Dr. Jones’s death isn’t Lilly’s only problem. She was raised in a near-by community, but while years in Boston with her wealthy aunt and medical school might have changed her outside, inside she’s still a daughter of the mountain country. Fears, memories long-forgotten, and nightmares reappear as she settles in and begins to feel at home. Not even a visit from her fiancé entices her to leave her internship early.

A certain miner has caught the attention of not only Lilly but the suspicious mining crew. They’ve had it with dangerous working conditions and little pay. Drifter Joe Repp has gained the foreman’s trust. Is he a government man or a company man? Neither is welcome. In a community where the school stands empty rather than let a married woman teach, old ways don’t step over into the 20th century. Faith, suspicion, tracking every man’s marker, and leaving no one behind, ever-are the ways of miners and their families.

One secret’s revelation makes one new resident of Skip Rock welcome; the other secret may tear the community apart.

Jan Watson’s sixth novel is a beautifully detailed addition to the Troublesome Creek saga. Told in perfect period description, colorful colloquialism, costuming, and setting will have you saying “Forevermore! in exasperation and looking for Timmy, the Skip Rock scamp, long after the story is finished”. For those who love historical America, the Kentucky coal-mining country, and faith-based romance from the heart, Skip Rock Shallows will satisfy every desire.

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