The Love Interests of Christy: David vs. Doctor Neil MacNeill
January 26, 2018 by noelbranham in Books 10 Comments

(Contains Spoilers for Christy!) I read Christy (by Catherine Marshall)  in two days. Not only was it a beautifully written and timeless narrative of Appalachian culture it was also a most refreshing romance. The most surprising (and refreshing!) aspect of the story was  Christy falling in love while being unaware of it happening; she had never felt like this before. She thought she knew what love was from her relationship with the honorable David Grantland, but towards the end, she discovered that it wasn’t loved at all. Now I’ve heard the questions before: When did she fall in Love with Doctor Neil MacNeill? Did the Doctor really love her? How was the relationship with Neil relationship better than her and David’s? Here are some answers about how Christy and Doctor Neil’s relationship was true love: Respect: Christy has many ideas regarding how to improve education in the impoverished mountains. But David doesn’t take her seriously: “David smiled at me in a patronizing way. “It just wouldn’t work, Christy.” Dr. MacNeill held up a restraining hand. “Wait a moment before we judge. Christy, what would David do with the men? What kind of classes?” David dismissed Christy’s ability to lead on many occasions, where the doctor is always supportive and […]

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What People are Saying about the Simple Soul of Susan Vol. 1
December 5, 2017 by noelbranham in Books, Texas 8 Comments

“This was an enchanting story of love, betrayal, and redemption! The author truly did a remarkable job showing the progression of the characters over time and hooking the reader with the real-life situations that I’m sure every reader can relate to. In this story are mini-tales of unrequited love, embarrassing relatives, school bullies, and friendships won and lost. The relatability and genuine honesty of Noel Branham’s book moved me and made me wish the story was never-ending. It’s a rare book that does that. Susan Combs loves Calder Hurtz. Her best friend since a young girl, she has spent years loving him, all the while hoping her love would one day be returned. Calder is a flirt, constantly having a different girl over each night to do homework, and Susan has started to realize that her place in his life is not what it once was. Determined to move on and get past her love once and for all, she begins to branch out and make new friends. Embarking on a journey of self-discovery, Susan learns about how powerful love really is, and while she makes mistakes along the way, the treasure awaiting her at the end of it all […]

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Three Things That Make Hungry Texans Weep
November 8, 2017 by noelbranham in People, Texas 6 Comments

Texans are known for their incredible taste in food, whether it’s BBQ, Tex-Mex, or just plain Southern they know how to make your mouth happy. That said, there are some things that come across to Texans as just plain wrong when it comes to food: Calling queso cheese dip. This is America people, use the language of native Texans: Queso. It’s Spanish for cheese, and English for the ‘Nectar of the heavens.’  The only time you will hear a Texan saying ‘cheese’ and ‘dip’ in the same sentence is if they have come out with a new kind of cheddar flavored tobacco. (Fun fact: If you add enough jalapenos, tomatoes, cilantro, and onions to your queso, it becomes a vegetable.) Asking if it’s cilantro or parsley in the checkout line. Many Texans have noticed that the second they step out of their beloved state’s borders there is a lack of understanding about the differences between cilantro (Not pronounced SEE-LAWN-TROGH) and parsley. If it has hints of a soap-like fragrance and you have the sudden urge to throw it in queso, it’s cilantro. If you really want to make a Texan confused, refer to cilantro as ‘coriander leaves’, they will politely correct you with their southern charm. […]

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