Wednesday, January 21, 2009

When Crickets Cry (copy)

It was a sunny day and she was a sunny little girl. Not any older than six, possibly seven, but she had a slender frame and looked like a four-year-old. In her yellow dress, yellow socks, and white Mary Janes, she looked like the walking sun which spit out flames at intervals. One could hear her two blocks away as she hawked her wares, “Lemonaaaade! Lemonaaaade, fifty cents!”

I watched her before approaching. I wanted to see how Miss Sunshine handled herself amongst customers. The first was a neighborly lady using a lace umbrella to hide from the bright day. She took her time drinking the sweet concoction then placed her 50 cents in the Styrofoam cup sitting precariously on the stand. With a point towards the aunt working in the convenience store, she slipped a twenty into the cup before the girl could turn back around.

As another man tried to glide by on the sidewalk unnoticed, the little girl craned her head around the older woman and yelled, “Lemonaaaade! Lemonaaaade, fifty cents!” He stopped in his tracks and said, “Not now, Annie. I’m in a little bit of a hurry. I’ll come back in an hour.” He took four paces past the stand then turned around and jogged back slowing down to drop some coins in the cup, and then he was off.

I figured it was my turn to meet little Annie as the older woman hobbled down the road. She saw me crossing the street, and before I could reach her the unmistakable Southern twang, “Lemonaaaade! Lemonaaaade, fifty cents!” filled the air. Good thing I faced her head-on. A sideways approach might have set my ear throbbing.

She was a pleasant little thing by the name of Annie. As she plied me with drink, she asked question after question. How old are you? How tall are you? What size shoes do you wear? I could tell she had many repeat customers by her easy manner. It was as she stood up to show me her height that I noticed the fresh scar on her chest. Then she says, “If I get a new heart, my doctor says I might grow some more.” I too gave her the initial 50 cents, but left 20 dollars and 50 cents lighter.

I turned around to wave at her when I reached the other side of the street. She didn’t notice. As I walked away a rogue wind graced her stand and sent the Styrofoam cup soaring. Paper money swirled loose in the street. The backfire from a bread truck coming around the corner was too close for comfort when I realized what was happening.

You will love Christian author, Charles Martin’s, very first book, When Crickets Cry.

Note: These are my words written as the character Mr. Reese.

17 comments:

sage said...

I have this book but I haven't yet read it.

Lynne said...

I loved this book!

____Maggie said...

Sage - What are you waiting on! ;D It sat around the house for six months then we decided to do it for book club next week!

Lynne - We were discussing why label this as Christian fiction. It has more literary aspects like symbolism to pigeon hole it! :)

cj said...

Maggie -

My first reaction to your review? Please tell me this doesn't go where I think it goes...

And now I want to read it. Good job.

cjh

Sharon said...

Looks like another good one! Where do you find all these?

____Maggie said...

Yay, CJ! I don't review; really, I book talk. My goal is to get Mississippians reading because a book appeals to them from reading these articles in the newspapers. I like to do books that are more word-of-mouth, but I have to do bestsellers, too. The first, to get people reading new authors, and the later, to maintain or build trust. It's a fine balance b/c sometimes I don't like the book but deadline lurks. This book I like! I hope you can try it sometime. :)

____Maggie said...

Sharon - This is a word-of-mouth book. I bought it based on a review in Booklist, and watched while others brought it back with good remarks. He has already written 2/3 more! :)

Murf said...

Despite this being a Sage book, I just may have to read this.

Susie said...

Sounds great, Maggie! Do we have it in our library? Need to check out when the book club meets.

____Maggie said...

You know, I think the pubs do a diservice to this writer by putting the Christian fiction label on him. It is rather literary stuff, Murf. Might just like it!

Book club meets Tuesday and Margaret leads, Susie. We would love for you to add to the conversation! :)

Iliana said...

This sounds good but one of those that'll have you reaching for a tissue. Now I want to know what happens next!

____Maggie said...

The little girl breaks an arm and is alright because he just so happens to know how to treat her before the EMTs arrive. His wife also had a heart problem that he took care of almost all his life. Yes touching as this huge story begins to unfold. Enjoy, Iliana!

Keetha said...

This sounds sad! I tend to avoid sad in my books as I get enough from the news. I am a wimp. :-(

____Maggie said...

I know what you mean Keetha; usually, me too! It reminds me of My Sister's Keeper which has lots going on to spread the sadness out. :)

Clair said...

Did your book club like it? I would say it is one of Martin's better books.

____Maggie said...

It is tomorrow, Clair. If we get to go to school tomorrow, I'll report back. I promise!

nomer said...

thank's for sharing info,..!
electronic stores
shopping online
diamond jewelry
pandora jewelry
Kerja Keras Adalah Energi Kita
INDONESIA BUMIKU