I’ve long been a Charles Martin fan. It started some time ago.
Some of you likely don’t know but when we first moved to Iowa (Kramer and I are both originally from southeast Minnesota) we moved to Lawler, Iowa. Kramer was working on the farm but we lived in a neighboring town about 7 miles away.
Lawler had an awesome small town library and the librarian was awesome. Seriously, she was the best librarian. Her name was Jane. She worked to know her patrons and she truly served us. There was rarely a time that she didn’t say, “The book you were interested in was just returned. Let me get that processed quick so you can take it with you.” or “I just got this book in. I was thinking being you liked this author, you might this author as well.” She was that way with everyone including my kids. She did that for each member of our family. We all loved Jane.
Later we moved to the farm. Waucoma was closer so we tried the Waucoma library. My heart wasn’t in it and I missed Jane terribly so we often went to both libraries. That was a nightmare to keep track of books for me and five kids for two different libraries.
Well before long Jane retired. The Lawler library was truly never as good. The new librarian tried but there was only one Jane. To this day, much of the love my kids have for books I attribute to Jane. She was always finding or ordering books she thought they would love…and amazingly, she was always spot on. They did love those books…I did too.
A couple years I happened to be in the grocery store and Jane was shopping with her husband. She stepped away from the cart and came over to greet me. I was so happy to see her. I hadn’t in all this time. She said, “Jo. I have an author that I know you’ll love. His name is Charles Martin. Just remember two guys first names together. Charles-Martin. I know you’ll love his books.” That was Jane. A born and breed librarian to the very sole even in retirement. I can’t tell you how special that moment was for me. I just love people who are truly passionate about what they do…Jane sure was!!
…and that’s how I got hooked on Charles Martin books. I read everyone as soon as they come out. I preorder most of them.
Charles Martin’s latest book is The Water Keeper. Of course I had to get it.
Did I like it…YES. I did find the first couple chapters hard to follow. I listened as an audiobook and I think the speed was set to high. Typically I listen at 1.5 speed..but with this narrator, I had to slow it down. Once I did…it was great. The story content was wonderful as always. Martin has an ever present theme of redemption and forgiveness…a topic I think is good for all of us. I’ve seen his books classified as Christian Fiction but I really don’t consider them that. If you’re a atheist you might think they are but an everyday person I don’t think would.
Here’s what Amazon has to say:
“Murphy Shepherd is a man with many secrets. He lives alone on an island, tending the grounds of a church with no parishioners, and he’s dedicated his life to rescuing those in peril. But as he mourns the loss of his mentor and friend, Murph himself may be more lost than he realizes.
When he pulls a beautiful woman named Summer out of Florida’s Intracoastal Waterway, Murph’s mission to lay his mentor to rest at the end of the world takes a dangerous turn. Drawn to Summer, and desperate to find her missing daughter, Murph is pulled deeper and deeper into the dark and dangerous world of modern-day slavery.
With help from some unexpected new friends, including a faithful Labrador he plucks from the ocean and an ex-convict named Clay, Murph must race against the clock to locate the girl before he is consumed by the secrets of his past—and the ghosts who tried to bury them.
With Charles Martin’s trademark lyricism and poignant prose, The Water Keeper is at once a tender love story and a heartrending search for freedom.”
Amazon readers are giving the book 4.5 stars. I’d totally agree. It was another great book. I heard rumor that this is the start of a series. If it is, you can bet I’ll be in line to read the next installment.
I have gotten so much enjoyment from reading the books by Charles Martin and I can’t thank Jane enough for recommending him to me in the grocery store so long ago. Jane was a wonderful librarian and thinking of her often reminds me that we can touch people even if we are doing the most regular jobs by simply being passionate about your work and caring to others. I aspire to be more like Jane. She did so much good at her tenure as the Lawler librarian.