Skip Rock Shallows by Jan Watson, shares the story of Lilly Corbett- a newly graduated medical doctor, who has accepted an internship at a mining camp in Skip Rock, Kentucky in 1908. Upon arriving Lilly learns that she has many obstacles to overcome in her practice- she is a woman doctor, she will be the only doctor as the doctor she was supposed to help had passed away, and she is seen as a city outsider who doesn’t belong in the same circle as the miners.
Using her medical knowledge, compassion and the learned knowledge that there is a familial relationship with on of the miner families, Lilly is finally (mostly) accepted by the community, much to the chagrin of her fiancée. Interlaced in the story is a romance between Lilly and a miner, Joe Repp, who has his own share of secrets some of which involve Lilly’s past.
I believe that the story of Joe and Lilly is supposed to be the main plot in the story, however I felt that was actually the weak link in the story. I enjoyed and actually became engrossed into the formation of relationships between Lilly and the other characters in Skip Rock, but I was left wanting more in the relationship between Joe (Tern) and Lilly.
I felt the story flowed well with enough action to keep it moving and to keep the reader drawn in. I felt like I was right them in that 1908 coal mine cam because of the descriptive and eloquent language that Watson uses. Overall, I really enjoyed this book.
Disclaimer: I received this book free from the publishers, Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.