Whispering Willows tells of faith-the-Appalachian-way, draped in the camouflage of a small West Virginia community. A blossoming young woman has been traded into marriage by her parents who are desperate for another farm laborer. When key individuals begin carving out a rescue plan, Emerald Ashby grows strong despite grievous wrongs committed against her. If you liked reading Appalachian Mountain Religion: A History, by Deborah McCauley or Running on Red Dog Road: And Other Perils of an Appalachian Childhood, by Drema Hall Berkheimer, you’ll love the Whispering of the Willows. The book is so beautiful and simply detailed! The Whispering of the Willows perfectly pairs mothering hearts with brave young girls who enjoy solving perplexing problems about coming of age together. Inside the Willows’ saga, life in the 1920’s world of Big Creek West Virginia, is discovered through the eyes of fourteen-year-old Emerald Ashby. Everything seems twisted when a preacher in the holler connives to trade a farmer’s young daughters in marriage for financial gain. Not all is lost, however, when a brother, an aunt, a doctor and the sheriff decide to play a little game of poker on sacred ground. There, a handful of true believers work together to correct the scandals brought to light in the ailing town. Cleverly suspenseful and sweetly spoken, the storyteller’s unassuming voice transforms an Appalachian trail of tears into holy terror against an evil that stalks the innocent. In The Whispering of the Willows, an Appalachian marriage practice might be compared to the modern sex trade which continues to exploit young females. Yet the power of some stalwart souls is guaranteed to save the day, at least for one young woman. Not since Catherine Marshall’s Christy series has an Appalachian drama come to life like The Whispering of the Willows. Author Tonya Blessing tells a difficult, yet redeeming story of a blossoming girl who is accompanied by her friends and her foes in a journey towards hope and healing. Beauty weaves through gut-wrenching circumstances and dismal poverty. Emerald Ashby grows strong despite grievous wrongs committed against her. Includes: Bibliography and Book Club Questions A novel for women examining the Old Time Religion in the Southern Appalachians.