When I read Billy Coffey’s first novel “Snow Day”, I had absolutely no expectations but was quickly pulled in by his straightforward conversational style. Since then I have been a semi-regular visitor to Billy’s blog and have enjoyed reading his honest and unique outlook on almost everything under the sun. Sometimes he has made me laugh and other times has brought me to tears. So it was with great anticipation that I opened my review copy of “When Mockingbirds Sing”. I was not disappointed but it might be a bit difficult for me to properly convey my thoughts about this wonderful novel.

“When Mockingbirds Sing” is a fantastical story but it is filled with the truest of truths.  Leah, a broken and fearful young girl whose parents are “spiritual but not religious” has an invisible friend the “Rainbow Man” who reveals things to Leah that she couldn’t possibly know. Her prophetic paintings first entice then enrage the townspeople of Mattingly. What kind of magic is at work in young Leah and how could anything good come from it?

This is a story with many layers. On the surface it is a beautifully written book with a great plot and interesting characters. Upon repeated looks beneath the surface our inner hearts are revealed – how we judge each other and ourselves, our true motives, and even what we think about God. After all, how can a good and loving God pour out blessings with one hand and take away with the other? And why on earth would He speak through a little girl who had not even been brought up in church?

“When Mockingbirds Sing” may not give you all the answers but it will certainly leave you seeking those answers for yourself. This is one book you just have to read.

This book was provided for review by Thomas Nelson Publisher’s BookSneeze program.


When Mockingbirds SingWhat 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?

Billy CoffeyBilly Coffey was raised on stories. The first ones came on the front porches of relatives, tales laced with local charm and deep meaning. Then came the stories from people like Max Lucado and Robert Fulghum, who write with a charm and deep meaning of their own. He lives with his wife and two children in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. If you drive by his house, you’ll probably spot him on the front porch. If you do, give him a wave. He’ll wave back.

Learn more about Billy and his books on his website. Be sure to check out his blog.