Wednesday, April 25, 2018

"Julie" by Catherine Marshall

Julie is not a book that normally would have interested me, but I recently read Catherine Marshall's Christy for the first time, and I loved it. I figured that if Julie was even a fraction as good as Christy, it would be worth my time. I was right 🙂.

*A New York Times bestseller*

Will the dam hold?

Julie Wallace has always wanted to write. Trying to escape the Great Depression, Julie’s father buys the Alderton Sentinel, a small-town newspaper in flood-prone Alderton, Pennsylvania, and moves his family there. As flash floods ominously increase, Julie’s investigative reporting uncovers secrets that could endanger the entire community.

Julie, the newspaper, and her family are thrown into a perilous standoff with the owners of the steel mills as they investigate the conditions of the immigrant laborers. As the
Alderton Sentinel and Julie take on a more aggressive role to reform these conditions, seething tensions come to a head.

When a devastating tragedy follows a shocking revelation, Julie’s courage and strength are tested.

Will truth and justice win, or will Julie lose everything she holds dear?

Title: Julie
Author: Catherine Marshall
Publisher: Gilead Publishing
ReIssue Date: April 17, 2018
Genre: Historical Romance Fiction
Links*: Goodreads | Amazon | ChristianBook | Book Depository | Itunes

I'm going to be honest here: when I started reading Julie, I wondered what on earth I'd gotten myself into. Christy was a slower read, so I anticipated that Julie would probably be slower, too. But I didn't expect to find Julie to be so boring in the beginning! I was reading this on my Kindle, and I kept checking to see how far into the book I was. 5%. 13%. 27%. I absolutely would've stopped reading, probably by about the 8% point, had I not agreed to read it for a blog tour.

And I would've missed out on a wonderful story.

Though it took a long time for me to become engaged in the story, once I connected with it, I couldn't stop thinking about it. And I eventually stopped checking to see how much of the book was left, too! 

Quite wisely, I think, Marshall begins her story in the "present" (which is the early 1980s) and hints at a tragedy that happened in the summer of 1935. She then takes the tale back to 1934, when Julie's family moved to Alderton, Pennsylvania. The family's first several months in Alderton are spent settling into the community as Julie's father (often referred to as the Editor) gets his feet under him as the publisher of the Alderton Sentinel. Much of Julie's energy in these first months is spent agonizing over which boy she loves more: Rand, the intriguing Englishman; Spencer, the social justice-driven preacher; or Graham, the attractive football player. 

This love quadrangle is by far my least favorite aspect of the story. I would've enjoyed the story with no romance (can you believe I'm saying that?) or with one or two potential partners for Julie. But three? That was just too much for me, especially since Julie was so wishy-washy in her feelings and the men just seemed to fall at her feet.

Once the book starts focusing in on the plight of the steel workers, though, the story becomes much more interesting. Julie, who wants to be a writer, researches unions and big companies vs. the little guy, and eventually her father begins including her articles and even writing editorials about the town's two big issues: worker treatment and the soundness of the dam just outside of town. Soon, Julie's family is targeted by the owner of the steel mill ... and in the midst of that, the tragedy hinted at in the book's opening pages strikes the town.

It's in the lead up to the tragedy, so filled with tension because you just know something terrible is about to happen, that Marshall's writing really shines. Then, the description of the flood put me right there in it; finally, the aftermath tugged at my heartstrings. While I couldn't appreciate the first half of the book while I was reading it, now that I've seen the full picture, I understand just how important everything was (with the exception of the romance, ha!) and can see how it all tied together. 

The book ends right where it began, with Julie visiting Alderton in the early '80s. This allows the reader to see what happened to Julie and her family ... and all three of her suitors. I'm so glad Marshall included this epilogue of sorts, as it helps the story feel complete.

Julie is a wonderful story. Though it's a slow read and may take a while to get into, in the end, it's absolutely worth reading. I highly recommend it! 4 stars.

Read my review of Christy (5 stars).

Catherine Marshall (1914-1983), “The New York Times” best-selling author of 30 books, is best known for her novel “Christy.” Based on the life of her mother, “Christy” captured the hearts of millions and became a popular CBS television series. Around the kitchen table at Evergreen Farm, as her mother reminisced, Catherine probed for details and insights into the rugged lives of these Appalachian highlanders. Catherine shared the story of her husband, Dr. Peter Marshall, Chaplain of the United States Senate, in “A Man Called Peter.” A decade after Dr. Marshall’s untimely death, Catherine married Leonard LeSourd, Executive Editor of “Guideposts,” forging a dynamic writer-editor partnership. A beloved inspirational writer and speaker, Catherine’s enduring career spanned four decades and reached over 30 million readers.


(1) Winner will win: 
  • $25 Amazon Gift Card
  • Bookmark Swag
  • Necklace (exact or similar & *subject to change)
  • Print Copy of Julie

(Only Gift Card open internationally. Others open to US Mailing Addresses)

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from JustRead Publicity Tours. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


  1. I agree that I found the book hard to get into at the start, but it picks up so quickly! Definitely worth the read.

    1. It certainly is worth it! Glad you enjoyed it, Katelyn!

  2. Will have to check out some more of her books since she wrote 30 of them.

    1. Right? I had no idea she was such a prolific writer! I definitely want to check out some of her non-fiction. Thanks for stopping by, Kim!

  3. LOL! It is a bit slow in the beginning! I love your humor! Thank you for joining the tour!! Did you do something to your blog?? I LOVE THIS LOOK!

    1. Thanks, Annie! And yes, I finally decided to pay for a template. Design definitely isn't my forte, and the people at Designer Blogs do a great job :-)

  4. wow thanks for your review. thanks for being a part of the tour. on my to buy list

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Lori! I hope you enjoy the book!

  5. Julie sounds like a must read. Thank you for participating in the tour.

    1. It really is, Caryl. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. thank you for your review. i love this cover and need to read it to find out why all the destruction in the background. we should never give up on our dreams. who knows where God will take us?

    1. Isn't the cover gorgeous? Thanks for stopping by!


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