Disclaimer: Buttermilk Sky is a review copy provided by Tyndale. Therefore, the format of this review will deviate from my normal blog review format.
“Weary of the expectations imposed on her by her strict upbringing, nineteen-year-old Mazy Pelfrey left her home in the Kentucky mountains to attend secretarial school in the genteel city of Lexington. She was sure her life would change—and only for the better. Everything was supposed to be clear skies from then on.
But business school is harder than she thought it would be, and the big city not as friendly, until she meets a charming young man from a wealthy family, Loyal Chambers. When Loyal sets his sights on her, Mazy begins to see that everything she’d ever wished to have is right before her eyes. The only hindrance to her budding romance is a former beau, Chanis Clay, the young sheriff she thought she’d left firmly behind.
Danger rumbles like thunder on a high mountain ridge when Mazy’s cosseted past collides with her clouded future and forces her to come to terms with what she really wants.”
I must confess, I am a sucker for historical romance so I was expecting to like Buttermilk Sky for at least that aspect of it. I wasn’t expecting much beyond that, but the book did surprise me with how well it was written and for the occasional moment that made me chuckle. Overall it was quite a pleasant book and I’m not sorry I read it, though it was more of an “indulgence” book than a “wow this blew me away it was so good” book.
The one thing that stops me from really enjoying it, though, is the incredibly obvious romance and the overused plot devices. It’s obvious from the back cover that Mazy is going to end up with Chanis, and I’m actually okay with that…if Watson had done something more original with the other suitor, Loyal. The moment he appears, I thought, “He’s going to turn out to be some sort of insensitive cad, isn’t he?” Virtuous, hard-working country boy versus dashing rich city boy—not that hard to figure out that the country boy will win, because the rich boy will end up abusing the poor under his care to show how unsuitable he is for anyone, least of all a good Christian girl. Check. That really disappointed me because I thought Watson was bringing up some good points with Mazy’s hesitation between the two men. Choices like that are hard and it would have made Mazy’s development that much stronger if she actually had to make a difficult choice about whether to stay in Lexington or go back to her mountain town. It would have been much more interesting if Loyal had been a genuinely nice guy and took care of his tenants properly. But then he does, of course, turn out be an insensitive (and completely clueless) cad, and that’s a lot of development that’s just wasted right there.
Speaking of development, I’m not sure if Mazy actually got any. She had misgivings the entire book about whether or not she really thought she could marry Chanis, but those misgivings are never addressed fully—the book just ends with them happily married, without any explanation for what changed Mazy’s mind. It also bothered me that Eva was just completely written off without so much as even a mention at the end, and I can only assume it’s because she was a jealous, spiteful rich girl (they never get redeemed). More lost potential for a turn-around from her.
So, while I did enjoy Buttermilk Sky, I would have enjoyed it more if it had been less obvious and relied less on overused tropes to carry the plot. The fact that Watson completely misses out on what could have been a really strong conflict of choice that, given the Christian element, could have resulted in Mazy praying more than just once annoys me, along with the fact that Loyal and Chanis are cut straight out of TVTropes.
My rating: 3/5
Genre: Realistic, Historical Fiction, Christian