Every year Sunbury Press honors the best-selling novels at each of their imprints with a Sunny Award.
“The authors and books awarded best exemplify the mission and values of Sunbury Press, Inc. The authors are dedicated to their craft. Their books are high quality and are among the bestsellers in their category for the calendar year.”
I am pleased to announce the Readers’ Favorite 5-Star Review of the Fiction – Historical – Event/Era book “From the Drop of Heaven.”
Click here to see Juliette Godot’s page on the Reader’s Favorite website
Click here to learn more about the novel at juliettegodot.com.
Readers’ Favorite 5-Star Review
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Review by Saifunnissa Hassam
Juliette Godot’s From the Drop of Heaven: Legends, Prejudice, and Revenge is historical fiction inspired by the author’s 16th-century French ancestors. Catherine Cathillon de la Goutte de Paradis was Godot’s thirteenth-generation grandmother. The family name “de la Goutte de Paradis” provides the title of the novel (which translates as ‘from the drop of heaven’) and refers to the beautiful Salm area in the French Vosges mountains.
Set in the town of Vacquenoux in Salm, the account centers around the Cathillon and de la Goutte de Paradis families and follows the lives of three characters through the decades. The story begins when Catherine Cathillon was a young girl from a family of farmers. Nicolas de la Goutte de Paradis’s father, Jean, was a blacksmith and the mayor of Vacquenoux. Martin was a student in Geneva when his professor was burned at the stake for sedition. He found refuge in Vacquenoux with Nicolas’s family. Martin shares the banned books he receives from Strasbourg with Nicolas. Catherine learns to read from Nicolas. Their lives unfold through the years, with a constant undercurrent of danger from religious and political turmoil.
I enjoyed From the Drop of Heaven for its compelling characters, particularly Catherine Cathillon, Nicolas de la Goutte de Paradis, and Martin. I became immersed in the tangled web of their storylines from the outset. I liked the different backgrounds of the three major characters. Catherine is from a farming family, Nicolas becomes a silversmith, while Martin manages the Vacquenoux stables. I loved their character development, their inner journeys, and the drama of interactions within families and with other characters.
I loved the interwoven narrative of how books draw them together. Catherine’s inner journey was the most profound, from her early days on the farm to her incredible courage when faced with persecution. Martin’s character comes into its own in the latter part of the novel when the Cathillon and de la Goutte de Paradis families face unexpected struggles for survival. I loved the rich evocative descriptions of Vacquenoux, its La Grande-Courty river, and the valley of Lac de la Maix. Juliette Godot’s book is gripping, with memorable characters, life in 16th-century France, unflinching courage, resilience, and hope.
I recently was invited to talk about my book on the Sunbury Press Book Show on the #BookSpeakNetwork Podcast. I am not an accomplished public speaker, so I was very nervous. I know the reason.
As a Yinzer from the hills around the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area, I catch myself saying regional words that might be confusing to those who don’t live here. You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl.
For example: I remember when I was in grade school. The word CHIMNEY was on my third-grade spelling list. I had never heard of a chimney, though I had often heard the word CHIMLEY. LOL. So I learned the “right way” to say and spell the word.
But where did the word chimley come from, and why do they say it in my neck of the woods? There are many instances of the word coming from Scotland and Northern England, but my ancestors are from France and Germany. I’ve searched for references, but could find nothing.
Other sources of the word chimley
Here are some sources found on the Ulster-Scotts Academy website:
chimbley, chimleyn A chimney. [oed chimbley, chimley n Scottish and dialect; dost chimlay n 1540→; snd chimbley, chimley n; dare chimbley n A chiefly South, Midland]
1829 McSparran Irish Legend 294 Out of the chimley she goes like a wild goose.
1880 Patterson Antrim/Down Glossary 18 chimley = a chimney.
1886 Lyttle Ballycuddy 43 They put anither big sod on the chimley so as nae licht cud get in.
1928 McKay Oul’ Town 64 His next move was to pelt stones down widow Rooney’s ‘chimbley’, an’ if he didn’t break her teapot.
1981 Pepper Ulster-English Dict 18 That’s the second time this week the chimley’s went on fire.
1939 Hall Coll Boys, you’uns [are] talkin’ about rough country, but I’m going to tell you one time the roughest country I was in. It was so steep the people had to look up the chimley to see if the cows was still in the pasture.
1969GSMNP-38:62 They had it about all finished except the chimbley.
So, you see, chimley is not a made up word spoke by unintelligent hill folk. It has a very long history and is perfectly fine to say. I try not to say it simply because it is ancient and has fallen out of favor, though one day at Carnegie Mellon University, it slipped out. Old habits die hard. I just laughed, and called myself a hick. One colleague from Italy didn’t know the word hick either. I confused him completely.
But what does this have to do with the #BookSpeakNetwork Podcast?