This week I’ve read a book that is a sheer delight. The Splendor of Ordinary Days is like a stroll through small town life through the eyes of the local doctor Luke Bradford. There’s something special about this place where ordinary activities fill the days… and the young doctor recognizes it with an eye that gives a literary spin to it all. There’s joy in the routine. There’s peace in the normal. And there are enough disruptions to keep the days interesting.
I love the relationships that lace The Splendor of Ordinary Days. There’s a real caring among those who live in this town, even as there are disruptions. It has a Mitford feel to it — yet is totally different.
In a time where life is complicated, rushed, and hurried, this book paints a picture of community that fills the soul — at least mine. I loved it, and will be looking for other books from this author.
Sidenote: while The Splendor of Ordinary Days is not the first book set in Watervalley, I certainly didn’t need to read the others first to succomb to the charm of this book. But I will be going back to read the earlier stories.
The pastoral charm of small-town Watervalley, Tennessee, can be deceptive, as young Dr. Luke Bradford discovers when he’s caught in the fallout of a decades-old conflict.
After a rocky start as Watervalley’s only doctor, Luke Bradford has decided to stay in town, honoring the three-year commitment he made to pay off his medical school debts. But even as his friendships with the quirky townsfolk deepen, and he pursues a romance with lovely schoolteacher Christine Chambers, several military veterans’ emotional wounds trigger anger and unrest in Watervalley.
At the center of the clash is the curmudgeonly publisher of the local newspaper, Luther Whitmore. Luther grew up in Watervalley, but he returned from combat in Vietnam a changed man. He fenced in beautiful Moon Lake, posting “Keep Out” notices at the beloved spot, and provokes the townspeople with his incendiary newspaper.
As Luke struggles to understand Luther’s past, and restore harmony in Watervalley, an unforeseen crisis shatters a relationship he values dearly. Suddenly Luke must answer life’s toughest questions about service, courage, love, and sacrifice.