Beyond Cherry Mountain: Family, Faith, and Forgiveness

Lily Brassica

Publisher: WestBow Press Pages: 97 Price: (paperback) $11.95 ISBN: 9781973633990 Reviewed: December, 2018 Author Website: Visit »

In this brief memoir, Lily Brassica presents her personal story of “how she found faith, hope, and inspiration in Jesus.”

The conversational text opens with vivid memories of a lovely, though poor, childhood on a North Carolina farm on Cherry Mountain in the late 1950s. “Where we lived may have looked like a shack, but it was our home, and it was blessed by what we had—a lot of love for each other.”

With her father away for long spells “pulling wire” for new power grids, her mother is soon overwhelmed with family responsibilities. A new friend, “a bit on the rough side,” introduces her mother to alcohol, and the idyllic years fade into chaos and danger. “[W]e didn’t know from one day to the next if we would have enough to eat or if it was going to be the day our mom actually hit us with one of the bullets or knives she frequently sent our direction.”

God, Jesus, and her guardian angel become Brassica’s constant companions, providing both spiritual and literal salvation: At 14, she meets an older woman at church who loves God and becomes a second mother to her. Brassica prays for her own troubled mother regularly and grows in faith daily. Eventually, she marries and becomes a cosmetologist, using her workstation as a pulpit. Years later, after her marriage ends, she moves to Alaska, believing it to be “the path God had set before me.” There, she meets and marries her second husband.

Brassica’s narrative mostly recounts the help and guidance she receives from God. Occasionally, she comes across as bragging about her faith and hard work, somewhat contradicting the winsomeness of humble trust in a mighty God. But ultimately, her sincere desire for others to believe in her God comes through loud and clear.

For those interested in personal testimonies, this is an easy read and may provide needed encouragement to continue on a path of faith.

Also available in hardcover and ebook.

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