|When Crickets Cry
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A man with a painful past. A child with a doubtful future. And a shared journey toward healing for both their hearts.
It begins on the shaded town square in a sleepy Southern town. A spirited seven-year-old has a brisk business at her lemonade stand. Her latest customer, a bearded stranger, drains his cup and heads to his car, his mind on a boat he's restoring at a nearby lake. But the little girl's pretty yellow dress can't quite hide the ugly scar on her chest. The stranger understands more about it than he wants to admit. And the beat-up bread truck careening around the corner with its radio blaring is about to change the trajectory of both their lives.
Before it's over, they'll both know there are painful reasons why crickets cry...and that miracles lurk around unexpected corners.
- When Crickets Cry
I loved this book! My brother in law has had a heart and kidney transplant, my son has had a bone marrow transplant and needs a kidney transplant. So I could really relate to this book and the struggles of those awaiting transplants. All that aside, this book is warm, touching and tugs at the heart strings. It deals with many of the trials of life and the gift of healing. I recommend it very highly!...more info
By choice, Reese Mitchell lived a secluded life on Lake Burton off the Tallulah River after the devastating loss of his wife. His brother-in-law was his only companion, and he liked it that way.
A chance encounter with seven-year-old Annie forces him to make another choice. Life or death--hers. Reese knows he holds the answer in his hands.
As Annie awaits a heart transplant, she is loved by the whole town. Her lemonade stand raises thousands of dollars despite the fifty-cent a cup charge. Will she survive her wait?
Aunt Cindy is ravaged by the burden of caring for her niece Annie after the death of her sister. The extensive needs of the child have worn her down. Her heart, too, is damaged. She needs a friend--a friend in the person of Reese Mitchell.
Will Reese lose his anonymity and repair the damage to two hearts? Or will it prove too much of a risk for him?
Charles Martin's poignant style causes a reader to grab a cup of coffee, settle back and be enveloped in the South.
Armchair Interviews says: Martin's moving descriptions and grasp of human emotions and frailties will rocket this novel up the charts.
- Book Club Worthy
This is the best book I have ever read!!! I have no idea why it is not listed on Oprah's Book Club....more info
This book is charming. It warmed my heart and touched my soul. Get it, Read it....A story that will stay with you always!...more info
- Not Sure What I Expected ...
I love inspirational books, but don't like being preached at. When someone recommended this book to my online book club to read, I thought, I needed something new to try. I honestly did not expect this book to be as good as it is. I thought it was going to be a good story and that's it. I was wrong.
This book is definitely one of the better fiction I have yet to read in a long time. I couldn't put it down. It is written so compellingly and so beautifully, that it is a novel that will tug at your heart strings. It will make you look at your life a little bit differently and perhaps make you count your blessings a little bit more.
This novel is about Reese, a man with a great secret from his past, who meets up with this little girl selling lemonade on the street. It starts out so innocently and so sweetly, that you're taken for a ride along the southern streets before you realize that you're in so deep of the story that you just can't get away so easily. This novel is about a man who lost his wife tragically and hasn't been able to find his way back to the light. This novel is about a little girl who helps him find his way back and remind him that life does continue to go on ever so sweetly and sour like a lemonade. When life hands you lemons, you just have to make lemonade.
I was not expecting a whole lot from this novel and to my amazement, I have found another author to read and to recommend. This novel is a beautiful testimony to one man's faith in all things good and beautiful. And don't worry, there's no preaching here. It is just a good story to get lost into.
- A Good Book!
This is a great book, as all of Charles Martin's books are. It will also make a reader cry.
- Another amazing read by a fine writer
When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin is another masterpiece by one of the finest authors of our time. When Reese Mitch buys a cup of lemonade from fragile Annie, neither of them understands that their lives will never be the same. Martin writes with a deep love of the river, and the book flows along unhurriedly, with beautiful phrasing and pacing. Every character is rich with detail and background and is someone you want to know. There's almost a Faulkner-esque quality to Martin's writing. His is a world where men fall in love with women for life, and the world is full of the beauty of God's creation. It's a world not often visited in fiction anymore. If Martin were a secular writer, the book clubs would be falling all over themselves to feature his books, and he would have multiple awards on his bookshelves. Instead, because he writes with God firmly at the center of his writing, most non-Christian readers have never heard of him. That's a true shame, because every one of his books is amazing. I stayed up until 3 am to finish this book; don't pass it up!...more info
- great Georgia novel
Definitely one of my new favorite authors, Charles Martin paints a beautiful picture of my home state. The characters are likable although Mitch is almost too good to be true. Annie is a delight and her much beleagured Aunt is a portrait of the lower-middle class, who struggle to get by and still do the right thing. ...more info
- When Crickets Cry
Where do I begin, our bookclub at Church read this book and it was the first time I read anything by Charles Martin. The book had me from the first page. I was mesmerized by the detail and research Charles put into the book. Saturday our bookclub went to Clayton, GA where the story took place, we ACTUALLY met and got our book signed as well as purchased his latest book. What a class act! He was so personable, honest and has a great memory for names.
We met at Persimmons discussed the book, took pictures and walked where the story began (Savannah and Main). Even took pictures of the cricket box outside of Reeves. We later had lunch on the Lake. It was a wonderful day for us all.
The book hit home in many areas, friendship, forgiveness, love and restoration. I'm personally using this author for Christmas gifts this year and looking forward to reading all his other books. You won't be sorry with this purchase, it's been a long time since I found fiction to be so inspirational! Thank you Charles, the pleasure of meeting you was ours.
- amazing imagery throughout book
Also holds a special place in my heart after having a sonfor six hours before he was life flighted because of atrial septul defect hole in his heart like emma ...more info
I had never heard of Charles Martin or this book when it was recommended it to me but the person recommending it had great taste so I figured I would take a chance. I was so drawn into the detail that Martin brings out and the personality and reality of the characters that I bought the book so when I returned the copy I was borrowing, I could keep it to read again. This is called a novel of the heart and it truly is. It will touch your heart and leave you changed. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves to read, it is amazing. Charles Martin does a fantastic job and this wont be the last book of his that I read....more info
- FOR OUT OF THE HEART ARE THE ISSUES OF LIFE
"She craned her neck, stretched high on her tiptoes, and cupped her hands to her mouth. Lemonaaade! Lemonaaaaade, fifty cents.
The Lemonade stand was sturdy and well worn, but hastily made."
This novel was written from the heart and soul of this brilliant writer. A page-turner, which does not let you go, this is a passionate work that will bring a tear to your eye from time to time.
Will be highly recommending When Crickets Cry to my friends and all other bookworms. This is indeed a keepsake and will be a wonderful gift for any occasion.
Reviewed by Heather Marshall Negahdar (SUGAR CANE 13/05/09)
- Best New Fiction Book I've Read in '06
When Crickets Cry is a book about the heart. It's a book about that funky-looking muscle in our chests that pumps the blood throughout our bodies. It's a book about that ephemeral thing we call the heart when we speak about love and passion. It's a book about the place where the two--that muscle and other thing--intersect.
It's also one of the best books I've been asked to review, and certainly the best one this year!
Reese Mitch is a guy who works on boats on a lake in Georgia. Expensive boats owned by rich people who can afford to pay someone else lots of money to refurbish what would probably look to most of us like an old tub. With his blind brother-in-law Charlie as his partner, Reese's skills are in high demand.
There's more to Reese than meets the eye, though. For one thing, he used to be married. And he used to be a phenomenal heart surgeon. But no one in this little corner of Georgia knows that (except Charlie, and he's willing to keep quiet). To them, Reese is just that strange, vagrant-looking guy ... until one day when he saves the life of Annie, a seven year old little girl who needs a heart transplant as is everyone's favorite lemonade saleswoman.
With flashbacks and details (about heart surgery, rowing, and boat repair), When Crickets Cry tells a story--the story--of the human heart and it's enormous capacity and resilience.
The story starts slow, but still drew me along, rather like a slow fishing boat trying to pull a skier aloft. But that's just part of the overall motif. Like a diseased heart (and I mean that in the best possible way), this book starts slow, then builds to a fevered pitch as the heart beats harder and harder, faster and faster.
Southern writing, for whatever reason, generally involves a slower pace--if not to the writing, to the story telling. Like the southern guy at the campfire who can enthrall an audience for hours with a good story, Martin draws the reader in and, rather than pulling him slowly along behind the boat, eventually puts him in the seat right beside him, finally pushing the reader almost ahead of the writing.
My only quibble with the writing--and believe me it is extremely minor--on a few occasions Martins descriptions (of heart surgery theory, of competition rowing and of boat repair) go in for more detail than I, personally needed. They don't really distract from the book, but for this reader they could have been whittled down (or even excised) and the book would not have lost anything.
The Spiritual Content
The main characters in this book all have an unwavering faith in God and a wonder for his works that fuels them even when it would seem reasonable to give up. They all seem to have a better than average grasp of scripture (and Shakespeare and a few other quotable people). As a Christian, then, I read this story and see in it a parable for how God works on peoples hearts (physically and spiritually). It should be noted, however--and this is not criticism--that if a person is reading this book in hopes of finding God's love presented by a "pastor" or a church, she won't find it. All the Christians in the book carry out their ministry and the closest thing to a church in the story is a road-house (that's not a slam, either, you have to read the book to understand).
Give your heart a work-out and read When Crickets Cry.
- Sometimes less is more.
This book was compelling reading, but I was a bit upset with the ending. I was not happy with the intensity of the final tragedy,which seemed like just one too many. I guess I felt that the book could have comfortably ended thirty pages before it did. However, I was amazed by the technical information about how hearts work and about how hearts are transplanted. The author must have done an enormous amount of studying to explain all of that so well. All in all, this was a wonderful story of the importance of love and dedication of the heart. ...more info
- Great summer reading!
This was a gripping story. I have not read a book in a long time that kept me so mesmerized. I found it delightful and I am starting a second novel by Mr. Martin. He is a gifted writer for sure. ...more info
- Another excellent book by Charles Martin
Charles Martin's books are the best I have found in a long time. Each one is different, but the development of the story and character bring you right into the story, and you don't want to put the book down! When Crickets Cry is an amazing story of love and faith. His books are different. Even though I don't like to say good-bye to characters at the end of a good book, I have grown tired of Christian fiction that turn books into never-ending series. Mr. Martin is able to develop his characters fully, as well as a story that will tug at your heartstrings, bringing many emotions to the surface, tears of sadness and also tears of joy. As Christian fiction, the characters are not sugary sweet, they have faults and doubts and fears like normal people do. But through all the trials, you can see their faith, even as they struggle with it.
I can't wait for his next book!...more info
- Very Inspiring
Charles Martin is a wonderful writer. His characters are developed well and I came to love them. This is a great book!...more info
- Heart Lifting
I'm not very good at reviewing books all I can say is that When Crickets Cry is one of the best books I've read. It'll make you cry, laugh and the wonders of the heart...literally and spiritually....more info
Fabulous book. Very little do we see in life another opportunity for redemption. When Crickets Cry is a true page turner. If you love Charles Martins' other books then you will more than love this one. I read this and wanted to tell everyone else to read it. One of those rare gifts in literature that you want to hang on to forever. It was that great! I highly recommend this one. ...more info
- When Crickets Cry
When Cricket Cry was a wonderful book! lt was very well written. I will try to find more books by this author. ...more info
- when crickets cry
I was very disappointed in several factors on this book: First it was too stretched out...went on and on to the point of bordom. second: the ending was too short and unexplained. How the last minute finding was unrealistic. He spent all his life studying for his wife's benefit and then making the decision he did when he constantly stated she was serious. and finally the very end was "that's all folks". Did he have a deadline to keep? Just can't figure out the end. Doesn't make sense.
- reserve an afternoon
don't expect to lay this one aside until you finish it! i am an avid reader and this one grabbed me in the first chapter. it has everything you would expect in a good southern novel and then some. it is hard to believe that the author is not a bonafide heart transplant surgeon--he certainly is a gifted writer. the characters are so well defined you will remember them long after you finish this fine book...more info
- Collection of Minor Problems
After a personal tragedy struck many years ago, Reese has taken up a hermit-like existence. Holed up in his lakeside home with only his friend Charlie to keep him company, Reese seems destined to live out the rest of his life as a bitter and isolated man. But one morning on a brief visit to town, he meets a little girl called Annie. Soon Reese is forced to confront his past and is slowly drawn back into the life he thought he left behind.
As might be expected from the subtitle, When Crickets Cry is indeed a novel of the heart. The book is devoted to both the physical and emotional kind of heart, specifically those that are diseased or broken.
That theme permeates everything from detailed descriptions about how a heart works (Martin obviously did his research), sentimental musings about how non-physical hearts heal, to the addition of calorie ridden burgers called Transplants at the local bar.
In the back of the book, there is even a page from the author about a When Cricket's Cry heart care fund.
On the plus side, Martin does populate his book with a cast of quirky characters. Shadowy Reese, garrulous Charlie, long suffering Annie, fiscally struggling aunt Cindy, and David Stipes, the owner of a Christian "bar" all help to keep the reader's interest and move the story along.
However, a collection of small issues kept me from fully enjoying in the book.
Martin tends to tell us how much pain the characters feel rather than show it. Or when they do show it, they do so in floods of tears. Cindy, in particular, spends half the book crying on Reese's shoulder on the verge of a breakdown.
They seem to stumble upon the answers to their problems rather than proactively seek them. Instead of truly getting a change of heart, Reese seems to rather be forced to change by circumstance.
We are filled in on Reeses's past in a series of flashbacks. The first few are informative but the rest tend to just add filler.
Unfortunately, all the time spend on the past shortchanges the ending which is resolved in a very anticlimactic and quick manner.
As a whole, the prose flows quite well but there was a tendency toward odd and unwieldy metaphors and similes.
For example, "then lightning lit the night sky like an angry woman shaking her fist",
"she cried and shook her head as though bees were stinging her face",
"if Annie had knocked on my city gate that day at the lemonade stand, then she'd just splintered it with the battering ram that was her heart."
Only recommended for staunch fans of inspirational fiction or sentimental drama.
- Crying with Them Crickets
Published three years ago, "When Crickets Cry" is the story of Reese Mitch, a guy doing carpentry and contruction work who buys a glass of lemonade on a street corner from a little girl named Annie. Annie parents are dead, and she lives with her aunt, Cindy McReedy. Some of Annie's lemonade money blows into the street, she runs to get it, and is hit by a truck. And Reese's life is never the same.
Gradually, Martin tells two stories. One is Annie's. She's 11 years old and needs a new heart. The other story is Reese's. Gradually the reader learns that Reese is something far more than what he appears to be. And he's never recovered from the loss of his wife Emma, who died waiting for a heart transplant. Reese lives near Emma's brother Charlie; Charlie is blind for reasons that only eventually become clear.
When Crickets Cry is fully recognizable as a Charles Martin book. His writing is about place, and place is almost always a main character in itself in his stories. His novels are about broken people, people seeking healing and redemption. There are always surprises, twists and turns. There's usually a child in there somewhere. And often physical illness.
But for all of the recognizable signs, his novels are not formulaic. "The Dead Don't Dance" and "Maggie" are about a couple trying to have a child. "Wrapped in Rain" is a story of two brothers, half-brothers, actually, each dealing and trying to overcome a childhood of abuse. "Chasing Fireflies" is about family secrets and a man's awful longing for a father he never knew. And then there's this novel, "When Crickets Cry."
The writing is powerful, achingly so. The reader feels Reese's pain and Annie's desire for life. The characters, all of them, are drawn true -- you recognize and know these people, and more than that, you care about them. And while you learn a lot about the human heart as a physical entity, you also understand that it is far more than that.
Yes, I cried with the crickets. ...more info
- When Crickets Cry
I read a lot and this is one of the best books I have ever read. It's spiritual without being "religious". I intend to read all of Charles Martin's books. I would rate this book as excellent.
Petal, MS...more info
- Outstanding novel!
Charles Martin is an extremely talented writer. This story is amazing, heartfelt, surprising, and inspirational. A true page-turner and must read for any novel enthusiast. ...more info
- Amazing Read
Only 5 stars? This is a truly gifted author. The worse part is after you read this one or another of this author, you try to find something to equal it's quality and that is a difficult task. Hopefully he will keep writing. I beleive he has a new one coming out this summer. "When Crickets Cry" is a story filled with humor, sadness, despair and mostly a man and doctor who must learn to forgive him self and live again. The journey with Annie is a story that will touch anyone who takes the time to read it. All of the characters are delightful though I got somewhat frustrated with Reese and wanted to shake him and make him realize what a gift he was wasting but of course that was the point of the story. Annie's Aunt and Charlie and even Termite are characters you won't forget for a long time. Mr. Martin has done some incredible research on heart disease and heart transplants and though I got a little squimish at some of the details they were informative and amazing. There were details I had no idea of in transplants. I would highly reccomend this author and all of his books....more info
- Nice read
This book is a nice heartwarming read. The author does a wonderful job in describing the characters and giving them depth. I enjoyed the story line as well. ...more info
- Heartfelt, heartbreaking, and heartwarming!
This book will grab your heart and won't let go until long after you've read the last page, leaving fingerprints as a reminder of what matters most in life. You will breathe and bleed and cry for Reese and Emma ... Reese and Annie ... Reese and Charlie ... Reese and Cindy -- each pair sharing heart-healing actions with each other.
The book's messages arrive with felt force, like the resilient beat of a healthy heart, over and over and over ... reminding us that the heart offers redemption and renewal through an unknowable life-force that transforms as it purifies. Like the heart, this book has a pulse and a heartbeat that you will feel.
Read it and be moved, from smiles to sobs. Read it and be thankful for divine coincidence (also known as answered prayers ... that lead a heart surgeon to a lemonade stand and a girl who needs a new heart, that tease him out of grief and withdrawal to use his heartfelt, God-given gifts once again). Read it and shout, Hallelujah! ...more info
- NEW FAN I AM
I love laying on beach reading christian fiction. This book made me get a sun burn! Be careful, you forget your surroundings and the next thing you know you have forgotten to reapply sunscreen. It's that good, you truly have trouble putting it down. I won't discuss the contents, if I start, I might ruin it for you. NO JOKE, A MUST READ!!!...more info
- Three Questions
I agree with most of the reviewers who enjoyed the book. I did, too. But at the end I was still bothered by three questions: (1) When Reese went to the aid of Annie after she was hit by the truck, why was he wearing a heart monitor? His physical heart was perfectly OK. (2) When the transplant had been completed and the heart didn't start, what was done that made it start beating? (2) Reese had trained for most of his life to be a heart surgeon; he had not trained as a general practitioner. Why would anyone think he could have been fulfilled serving as a family doctor in a little town where there were neither facilities nor the need for a highly trained heart surgeon?...more info
- When Crickets Cry
This book got my attention from the very beginning and kept it through till the end. I have limited time for reading, and When Crickets Cry was very well worth the time! ...more info
- Wonderful story, fantastic author!!
I couldn't put this book down, it was a great story. After reading it I went out and got every other book that Charles Martin has written. I must say that none of them were a disappointment. My favorite, though, was "Wrapped in Rain"....more info
Charles Martin possesses a great talent for thoroughly developing his characters and making his readers feel for them. This was the first novel in a long, long time that brought tears to my eyes. It's that good.
"When Crickets Cry" is a first-person narrative told by Jonathan Reese Mitchell, a thirty-something heart surgeon who is running away from himself and his past. He has secluded himself on Lake Burton in Clayton, Georgia, virtually "disappearing" from his former life as a high-profile surgeon. The only person who knows about his past is his blind brother-in-law, who lives in a lakeside cabin nearby.
The novel begins as Reese sees Annie, a 7-year-old girl, selling lemonade in the small town square near Lake Burton. As Reese looks closer, he sees a vertical scar below the little girl's neckline, and it disappears down her dress. Reese knows what that means. Taking pity on the girl, he buys some lemonade and places a generous donation in her bucket. But Reese is about to become irrevocably linked to that little girl. Wind blows some of her cash into the street, and when Annie runs after the money, she is struck by a bread truck. Reese's quick thinking saves her life while bystanders call 911 and wait for an ambulance. But Reese doesn't let on who he really is. He finds himself helping Annie and her aunt Cindy by driving them to the hospital, taking them for boat rides on the lake, buying dinner for them...all to soothe his own conscience.
Reese battles his conscience every day because, five years ago, his wife died at the young age of 30. Reese had spent his whole life learning about the heart in an effort to save Emma, his childhood friend who became his high school sweetheart and, eventually, his wife. Emma's heart was badly diseased and in dire need of a transplant. Reese blames himself for her death because he "couldn't save her," and he isn't able to forgive himself. He also blames himself for his brother-in-law's blindness through a freak accident. The reader learns about Reese's past through a series of flashbacks that are effectively woven into Reese's present-day life of seclusion on Lake Burton.
The story is about Reese coming to terms with himself and his past in order to help little Annie. It's heartbreaking, but it's so good. The novel has depth that ten years ago would have been unheard of in the Christian fiction genre. In addition, Martin doesn't preach at his reader. No, not once. His intention is to tell a story, and that's exactly what he does. Charles Martin is fabulous. I'll be watching him closely from now on.
- Perfect for a Book Club
What a fantasic read. Very vivid. A story straight from the heart for the heart....more info
- Charles Martin's best yet
Charles Martin is a gifted writer. He has an usual talent for being able to craft scenes in such a way that the reader sees and feels everything that is happening. When Crickets Cry is a moving and powerful book about love and learning to forgive yourself--but you better grab a box of tissues before you start it. ...more info
- when crickets cry
This is one warm, "fuzzy" wonderful book. I have chosen it for our book clubs Nov.06 book to review. My only wish is that there would be a reader's guide that I could follow to help facillitate this get- together.I thought November would be a perfect time for reading this book as it give a great feeling for compassion, sacrifice, christian values and love for others. Nice positive way to end the year for your book club too! ...more info
- A wow summer read
You won't be disappointed with this book. I found it an excellent read that makes you stop and think about how intricate our bodies are and will make you reflect on the glory of God. Although at times the descriptions are just that - descriptive - the story intertwined with the lives of the main character and the pain of living with the past and trying to walk out the future. There are a few great quotes in it that will make you want to jot them down to consider at a later date........more info
- A moving story about and from the Heart.
I was drawn to this book after hearing an interview on a Christian radio station with the author Charles Martin. His commitment to good story telling with characters that touch your heart and witness to you about God, Christ and Faith is very compelling to Christian readers and those who are still searching for God.
I did find some of the situations in the story to be almost too dramatic and coincidental. While they served to build up to a climax and added to the drama of the story, I wondered if the story could have stood well without them. Don't get me wrong, this is a very good read and few will get through this book without being touched by tears, laughter and a deep appreciation for life, family, love and God, the creater of all life.
People who love a good Medical drama will appreciate the attention to medical facts about our hearts and how the body relies on this magnificantly crafted organ. I am not able to speak to the total accuracy of the information, but I felt it rang true and that Mr. Martin did his homework on this one.
I read this after being away from my family on a business trip. I discovered the book while I was still away and ordered it to arrive when I got back home. A week later I was finishing the book in the hospital the day my second child was born. My wife was okay with this as we both had resting time while the staff took good care of both of us.
Bottom line? Buy it, read it and let the message of faith, God's love for us and the mystery of life sink in. I would tell you about the characters, but you can get a glimps of this online at [...]I will tell you that Annie will steal your heart forever.
Chris Williams...more info
- When Crickets Cry
Don't know what happened to the Kindle version, but it is a mess. At the beginning of each chapter, it skipped to unrelated text for a paragraph, then went back to the flow of the story. These were not lovable people for me. Cindy is a taker, latching onto a stranger. She apparently wore out everyone in town, leaving no one to drive her around - not one friend. And why the tornado?...more info