“She’ll never be content unless she has the opportunity to explore her options, learn some lessons, and figure out what she needs to do to feel fulfilled,” Chanis is told in Jan Watson’s novel, "Buttermilk Sky." This three hundred and sixty-eight page paperback targets those who enjoy a romantic historical fiction with Christian overtones set in the early nineteen hundreds in America. With a mild slang word used twice, there are no overtly sexual scenes or violence, making it acceptable to mature teenage and adult readers. In this fictional tale surrounding a time when gasoline cost seven cents a gallon, stamps two cents, and infusions given against the grippe, nineteen year old Mazy Pelfrey leaves the small town of Skip Rock in the Kentucky mountains to go to the Lexington Academy of Fine Arts for Young Ladies to learn secretarial skills. Leaving smitten Sheriff Chanis Clay behind in the rural town, Mazy is determined to find her way toward adulthood as she grapples with shorthand drills, typing tests, and carbon paper. Living with a group of female students at a boarding house, not only is she infatuated by Loyal Chambers, a wealthy man who pays attention to her, she befriends a poor local gal struggling to make ends meet. While the young woman tries to adapt to the busy city lifestyle, Mazy becomes aware of the personalities, differences, and loyalties between her several roommates and friends in need. As she becomes more enamored with the handsome, charming Loyal, she questions her relationship with the familiar sheriff back home who wants more than a mere friendship. Explaining the old-fashion ways of the period, historical information is intertwined within the storyline regarding changing an automobile tire, digging a well, the purpose of the “necessary,” and hidden moonshine stills as well as treating German measles, pneumonia, and appendicitis. As Mazy juggles her education with her new friendships, she tries to come to terms with what she wants in life and with whom. Learning from her mistakes and misinterpretations, she learns to focus on what is most important. Watson’s writing style takes the reader back to a time when courting was promoted, communication was simpler, and women’s roles were restricted. As a quick read, there is plenty of room for a sequel involving many characters’ futures. Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s opinions.
Buttermilk Sky is the first book I have read by Jan Watson, and now have to say she has another fan. Watson has a great way of making you love the characters. They are all so easy to relate to in different ways. Through the whole book I was rooting for them to do better and make the right decisions. Watson made the relationships between the characters like many are today. There is often a pull of power here and there, and some people are afraid to be themselves for fear of losing the friendship. The characters had several flaws and made mistakes, which caused me to love them more. The book also showed that beautiful blessings can come out of those mistakes. God has a plan for our lives and it's way better than anything we can imagine, we just need to learn to trust in Him. This book started in a very interesting way, giving me a glimpse into the past. It opened my eyes to the fact that life wasn't always easy like it is in many historical romance books. It reminded me that there were people back then that had to do some crazy things in order to have food on the table and pay the bills for their families. Some working many odd jobs anywhere they could find work. When one person in the family is sick or can't work, the rest of the family would do whatever they could to make ends meet. And those are some of the best people around. Watson inspires you to look beyond a persons appearance, and never judge someone based on that alone. Mazy Pelfrey wanted to spread her wings and at the age of 19, going to secretarial school seemed like the perfect thing. She was excited to move to a bigger city in Kentucky, and see what life had in store for her there. Lexington was everything she expected, but once her sisters left she realized she was all alone. Luckily Mazy made friends easily, even if one of them is a little bossy. In a fun turn of events Mazy catches the eye of one of the most gorgeous guys around, Loyal Chambers. Not only is he gorgeous but he is a charmer. Is Loyal the man for Mazy? Or is she supposed to be with Chanis Clay, the generous sweet man she left behind? How can she choose? I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical romance. A great book with romance, suspense, and action all mixed in to create a hard to set down read. All the characters you meet are interesting and I would love to see more books in this series where we learn even more about them. I received a copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are my own.
Watson (Troublesome Creek) sets her sweet novel in Lexington, Ky., shortly before WWI. There, Mazy Pelfrey, age 18, is struggling in secretarial school. The young sheriff from her hometown in the Kentucky mountains, Chanis Clay, is sweet on her, but Mazy is dazzled by a wealthy young man, Loyal Chambers, who begins to pay attention to her. Mazy must choose what, and who, she wants—a choice that tests her values. The details of Watson’s period setting are well researched (Sanitol liquid tooth cleanser, syrup ices). Humor plays a prominent and welcome role in the narrative: an exploding jar of sauerkraut in a root cellar starts the action with a literal bang. Mazy is an engaging character, though some readers may find her youthful innocence cloying. Faith elements are natural and unobtrusive, except for one improbable conversion. Watson offers a well-written, squeaky clean read.
Buttermilk Sky is a light and refreshing read with beautiful characters who readers will adore. Mazy Pelfrey is a gem whose selfless and naïve heart is endearing, although her naiveté can also be exasperating. Watson does an excellent job at keeping the story moving while touching on important subjects in a way that is not overbearing or heavy.
SUMMARY: After moving from small town life in the mountains of Kentucky, Mazy Pelfrey is not accustomed to life in the city of Lexington. Balancing social life, chores and studies takes up all of her time. However, when a new beau comes along, Mazy is swept off her feet. As she grows used to the new way of life, her past comes calling and Mazy is faced with decisions that will change her life forever. [Four stars.]