Luke Brandford never imagined he would land in Watervalley, a tiny rural town nestled in the mountains of Tennessee. When he became a doctor, he always imagined he'd remain in a large city, conducting research to help find cures for the diseases he'd been taught to treat, yet the offer of a practice in this town made the ability to pay down the student loan debt he'd built up and Watervalley was where he landed.
Adjusting to small town life proved difficult, with one mishap after another, typically ending in embarrassment on Luke's part and leaving the people of the town laughing at their new doctor. Challenge after challenge confronts him and though he does see the charm in Watervalley, it takes a long time before he's not wanting to run back to the big city.
The residents of the town truly make this book what it is and I was reminded the entire time I was reading of Jan Karon's Mitford novels. Jeff High really hit some high points with his quirky cast of characters and their charming small town life, which was just what I needed in this reading slump. I found myself chuckling on most pages -- always a good thing when reading a book like this.
My few criticisms really had to do with the chapter transitions. I hate to call them corny, but that's exactly what they came off as. I also felt the actual medical jargon sometimes felt forced. Jeff High has a background in the medical field and he obviously knew what he was talking about, but in the midst of this particular plot, the language didn't quite feel authentic.
I was definitely charmed by the story and the characters, despite the few flaws I found, and I'm anxious for the second book. Sometimes I really need a book with a homey feel and this fit the bill perfectly.
Thanks to Penguin for the review copy!