BEYOND CHERRY MOUNTAIN by Lily  Brassica

BEYOND CHERRY MOUNTAIN

Family, Faith, and Forgiveness
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KIRKUS REVIEW

In this debut memoir, a devout Christian reflects on her rural upbringing, her later family struggles, and her career development, pointing out God’s abundant mercies along the way.

Brassica was born in rural North Carolina in the early 1960s. Her family’s shack lacked electricity and running water, yet their humble home, she says, was “blessed by what we had—a lot of love for each other.” However, it wasn’t long before her peaceful childhood unraveled, due to her mother’s problems with alcohol, which the author says transformed her “from a saint to a devil with every sip.” Brassica credits God’s protection for keeping her safe when her mother’s actions put her in harm’s way, as when she would drag her along on “two-day benders” at “nip joints.” After the author finally left home and started her own family, she says that she felt God’s guidance prompting her to go to cosmetology school. She followed through with “a servant’s heart,” despite her insecurities, and soon began a fulfilling career as a hairdresser. As she interacted with clients, her job became her ministry: “I had experienced firsthand God’s love and protection growing up, and God had given me a pulpit from which I was to share those experiences with others.” Brassica’s intense expressions of faith (“my best friend, Jesus”) may turn off secular readers, as will her accounts of peculiar miracles (“A Christian woman,” she says, told her husband “that God was sending a man with a double chin to help us” with a homebuilding project). However, similarly devout Christians will find the author’s book to be filled with faith-building stories of protection, healing, and overcoming financial burdens. At one point, for example, she notes that a house fire was instantly extinguished after she made a powerful prayer to God. Although the memoir’s narrative pattern of problems followed by divine resolutions quickly becomes predictable, it does consistently drive home Brassica’s fundamental message: “When we are limited, our God is unlimited.”

A heartfelt testimony that may instruct and inspire devoted Christians.

Pub Date: Aug. 28th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-973634-01-0
Page count: 108pp
Publisher: Westbow Press
Program: Kirkus Indie
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