I received a free ecopy of this book to review for BookLook Bloggers.
What marks the boundary between a miracle from God and the imagination of a child?
Leah is a child from Away, isolated from her peers because of her stutter. But then she begins painting scenes that are epic in scope, brilliant in detail, and suffused with rich, prophetic imagery. When the event foreshadowed in the first painting dramatically comes true, the town of Mattingly takes notice.
Leah attributes her ability to foretell the future to an invisible friend she calls the Rainbow Man. Some of the townsfolk are enchanted with her. Others fear her. But there is one thing they all agree on-there is no such thing as the Rainbow Man.
Her father, the town psychologist, is falling apart over his inability to heal his daughter . . . or fix his marriage. And the town minister is unraveled by the notion that a mere child with no formal training may be hearing from God more clearly than he does.
While the town bickers over what to do with this strange child, the content of Leah’s paintings grows darker. Still, Leah insists that the Rainbow Man’s heart is pure. But then a dramatic and tragic turn of events leaves the town reeling and places everyone’s lives in danger. Now the people of Mattingly face a single choice:
Will they cling to what they know . . . or embrace the things Leah believes in that cannot be seen?
I found When Mockingbirds Sing by Billy Coffey very intriguing. Leah’s family are not church goers and her father doesn’t want to hear anything about God or religion. Her mother has interest in the idea of spiritual things but not necessarily in a God who is in control of the things that happen in life.
Therefore, when Leah begins talking about The Rainbow Man and insisting he is real, she can see him, and he sings to her and tells her what to do, her father is frustrated with the idea. Her mother sees it as a normal part of a child’s life, inventing an imaginary friend. But, when Leah starts to paint pictures with incredible detail, both of her parents are baffled. When the event depicted in her first painting comes true, her parents begin to question what is causing this new, surreal ability their daughter seems to have.
Her parents aren’t the only ones struggling to figure out what is enabling Leah to paint these pictures. The town minister suspects that instead of hearing from God, Leah may be connected to evil forces instead.
Is Leah good or evil? How could Leah be prophetic when she knows nothing of God?
Read Billy Coffey’s When Mockingbirds Sing to find the answers to these questions.
I enjoyed this book. I couldn’t wait to get to the end because the story drove a desire within me to know if Leah was evil or good because as I read the plot, I kept flip-flopping in my opinion, so I just wanted to know, so it definitely kept me turning the pages. I also was pleased to find study questions at the end of the book because the story left me with a couple of questions about the author’s thoughts in writing the story, and when I read the study questions, I found the answers to the questions I had.
I recommend this story to anyone who enjoys stories that involve the supernatural and give cause to think about the spiritual realm and stories that hold your interest and keep you turning pages.