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When Mockingbirds Sing

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  1,131 Ratings  ·  241 Reviews
What marks the boundary between a miracle of God and the imagination of a child?
Nine-year-old Leah’s invisible friend seems harmless enough until he aids her in upsetting the tranquility of her new town, a place where her parents desperately hoped she’d finally be able to make friends and fit in. Hidden within a picture she paints for a failed toymaker are numbers that win
Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 2013 by Thomas Nelson Publishers
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LN Not specifically. It's appropriate for men and women.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jun 27, 2013 Linda rated it really liked it
As a person completely devoid of spiritual faith, I tend to shy away from books written by authors who openly embrace religion of any kind. How I ended up ordering this book, I can't quite explain. I think it was a Twitter plug, something that I usually ignore. I'm glad I snapped this one up.

The book arrived yesterday. I interrupted a Hilary Mantel book to read the opening paragraph of "When Mockingbirds Sing." Then I kept coming back to peek inside the cover. Finally I gave in and devoted my da
Clarice James
Dec 21, 2013 Clarice James rated it really liked it
The thing is I like author Billy Coffey. No, I don’t know him personally. I just feel like I do. I’ve sat on his front porch and listened to him spin yarns; I’ve walked the streets of Mattingly and made it my small town; I’ve met the people in his stories, some of whom have become my friends.

Am I crazy? Probably. But that has nothing to do with why I like Billy. I like him because he respects me as a reader enough to get personal. He‘s not phony and he doesn’t write like he’s a know-it-all. His
Linda Walters
Jun 08, 2013 Linda Walters rated it it was amazing
Whew, I just finished reading this book; minutes ago. When I picked this book as the next one to read; I had no idea what I was getting into. What a story! Yes, the quick blurb on the information about the book, was what caught my attention. But I can also say, I'm an avid reader and I don't think I've ever read anything quite like it before. To tell the truth, I laid the book down several times at the beginning, thinking," oh I don't know if I'm going to make it all the way through this book or ...more
Aug 17, 2016 Amy rated it really liked it
4 stars! I chose this book as an option for a dark challenge that didn't end up coming to pass, but I decided to stretch myself anyway. I am usually not drawn to dark, but the description of this book gnawed at me, called to me a little bit. Surprised at the outcome of the monthly topic, I decided I had to read it anyway. When Mockingbirds Sing is the story of 9 year old Leah, a lonely awkward girl with a stutter who challenges a church based town, when she begins to hear the voice of the Rainbo ...more
Aug 12, 2013 Debbie rated it liked it
Hmmmm.....probably one of the most bizarre books I've read in awhile. At first, I thought there was no way I was going to be able to finish this book. I found it oppressive to read. At some point, however, I knew I had to finish it because I truly wanted to know what on earth was going to happen and how was it going to end. The author was very successful in not allowing his readers any clues as to where the storyline was going. I was taken totally off guard by some of the twists and turns. The a ...more
Melinda Garman
Jun 12, 2013 Melinda Garman rated it it was amazing
Having read both of Billy's other books (Snow Day and Paper Angels), I was delighted to go back to the fictitious town of Mattingly...but I was also surprised. Surprised by the way each trip to Mattingly brought with it a little more of the extraordinary than one might expect to find in such an ordinary small town...surprised at the mystery and the `maybe' found with the turn of each page. Pages which, I might add, turned at an alarming rate, try though I did to slow them down.

Mystery and maybe
Lisa M.
Jun 12, 2013 Lisa M. rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: diana bartch
Let me start off by admitting that the summary on the back of the book did not make me eager to read the book. It didn’t seem like my style---but I decided to step out of the box and give it a go.

One of the first things that intrigued me was the way the chapters were titled. It wasn’t “chapter one” but rather “Saturday: Seven Days before the Carnival”. Without even reading a word of the story, I was immediately sucked in! I started asking myself “What carnival?” And then I started speculating th
Yo Leo Ficción Cristiana
Nov 08, 2015 Yo Leo Ficción Cristiana rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015, inglés


Brilliant writing but a bitterwseet ending

This story in itself, is beautiful, but also has an amazing narrative which makes the book becomes a piece of art. The descriptions are poetic, but without boring the reader, besides the characters have quirks that make you love them.
The central message is faith, and although the whole book revolved around this issue, unfortunately the ending was bittersweet; although it's a happy ending, it didn't have enough consistency in the
Bailey Olfert
Jul 12, 2013 Bailey Olfert rated it it was ok
Another "Christian" novel that is plot-driven and whose characters have to be a certain way to tell a certain message. Don't bother.
Sep 25, 2013 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Leah and her family have recently moved to the small town of Mattingly. Struggling to fit in, made even harder by being from "Away", and looked upon as strangers. When Leah begins seeing The Rainbow Man, and asks others to believe in "the maybe", many are left to doubt. The only ones to embrace Leah and believe are her friend Allie, and the town outcast, Barney Moore. When she begins to paint prophetic pictures, lives begin to be changed. When her pictures foretell of impending doom, the townspe ...more
Blake Atwood
Jun 30, 2013 Blake Atwood rated it it was amazing
"When Mockingbirds Sing" is an absolutely engaging novel that's been compared to Stephen King and Frank Peretti. A prescient, lisping, child artist paints prophecies that change the lives of an entire town, while also causing everyone to question what faith, trust, and belief actually mean. It' a dark, hopeful novel worthy of your time. I'm greatly looking forward to more stories featuring the residents of Mattingly.
Tammy Percival
Oct 27, 2013 Tammy Percival rated it it was amazing
This book is absolutely excellent! From start to finish it is masterfully written. Billy Coffey spins a tale that is refreshingly unique and charming! The characters are endearing and we all could learn a little something from little Leah. I plan on reading his previous works and can't wait to read what happens next in the charming town of Mattingly!
Bark's Book Nonsense
FREE over at Amazon today, August 10, 2015.
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
The best part of a great book is when you can take a few moments after the final page has been turned, you close your eyes, sigh, and remember just how great a story that was you just read. One that will live long in your soul like a priceless memory. In fact for as far back as I can recall, almost anything that author Billy Coffey has written has lingered in my mind and touched my heart in profound ways. In his latest novel, When Mockingbirds Sing is definitely not like anything I had ever read ...more
Sep 14, 2016 Carissa rated it it was amazing
To read the entirety of my review, please visit Bookshelves and Daydreams.

My Take in 3 Parts

The Theme
A little girl is somehow miraculously chosen to give Mattingly a message. Either from God or from some other being, but a definite message, and the town divides on how that message should be received, or even if it should be received.

What really stood out to me while reading this book is that nothing is as it seems in the small town of Mattingly. No one is as they seem. Almost the entire town goe
My Thoughts:

When Mockingbirds Sing is the epitome of the book which at its ending leaves you wishing there was one more page to turn and then one more and then . . . well, you get the picture, don't you? I did not want this book to end.

Billy Coffey is a masterful storyteller. His characters come alive, and some jump off the page into your heart. Others you don't care for at all. Scenes evolve before your eyes as if an artist was wielding his paint brushes across the canvas while you're reading.
May 31, 2015 Kelly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: YA and Adults who enjoy intriguing stories of the spiritual realm
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
Lorraine Montgomery
Leah Norcross is a rather unlikely hero. Nine years old, painfully shy, usually shunned by other children because of her stammer, and she would rather watch her birthday party from atop the hill, sitting hidden by the two pine trees than come down and have to talk to people. She also has a nervous habit of rubbing one thumbnail with her other thumbnail which makes a hole. Her family has recently moved to Mattingly. Her father, Tom, a psychiatrist, has cut back his practice in the big city to 3 d ...more
Deena Shoemaker
Jul 12, 2013 Deena Shoemaker rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
OK, so I can be real here with you, right?
lolwhat am I saying, I always am.

So I hate adult fiction.
I mean, like I just hate it. The characters are flat and boring and talk about things like lamps and vegetables (Doctor Who reference FTW!) and honestly just who cares?

It is extremely rare for me to find an adult book that I enjoy. That I read every word of. That I actually become so emotionally invested in that I stay up until 4am crying into the pages because I NEED TO FINISH IT NOW.

That was
Lisa Johnson
Jun 10, 2015 Lisa Johnson rated it really liked it
Title: When Mockingbirds Sing
Author: Billy Coffey
Pages: 336
Year: 2013
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
My rating is 4 stars out of 5.

Billy Coffey’s two novels titled, The Devil Walks in Mattingly, published in 2014 along with In The Heart of the Dark Wood. When Mockingbirds Sing is not as exciting to me personally as the other two books. The other two tales have tons of action, adventure and suspense that tend to keep me glued to the book more than the slower building storyline.

This story is about a littl
Jessica Higgins
Mar 29, 2014 Jessica Higgins rated it it was amazing
A suspenseful work that exposes the norms of small town Christianity. Can you believe in the Maybe?
After an unfortunate incident that almost cost Tom Norcross his therapist license, he moves his family away from the city out to the country life of Mattingly. Soon after their arrival, his daughter Leah begins to have conversations with a supposed imaginary friend she calls The Rainbow Man. After receiving an easel for her birthday from Barney Moore, Leah paints him a picture that she says was sun
Aug 09, 2013 Randy rated it it was amazing
Having never read a book by Billy Coffey, and considering the contents of most of the other books to cross my desk at work, I was more than a little skeptical when I opened the cover to his latest offering, "When Mockingbirds Sing."

Even given the back cover synopsis, I confess I have no idea what I thought I was going to encounter when I started reading. Let's get some things out of the way first. The book comes from Christian publisher Thomas Nelson, part of Harper Collins and Zondervan. For s
Jun 11, 2013 Jan rated it it was amazing
Some people are given a gift for storytelling, and Billy Coffey is one of those people. I discovered Billy's writing first through his blog. When Mockingbirds Sing is the first of his fiction works that I've read. It is a keeper!

I won't give a story summary - others have done that already, and have done it well. I will say that I fell in love with the characters, especially Leah and Allie. What I wouldn't give for the chance to spend the afternoon with little Allie! The way she views the world a
Sep 22, 2013 Michelle rated it it was amazing
I'm usually not a fan of Christian fiction, but I have to say that this one will take your breath away. I received it as an ARC and when it arrived is when I noticed the genre it belonged in. I took a chance and I'm very glad I did. Billy Coffey is what I would call a magical author. There is something about his writing that makes you want to open up your mind that the world has endless possibilities. He makes you want to believe that certain events in our life happen for a reason. I believed th ...more
Mar 04, 2016 Rachel rated it liked it
I picked the Kindle version of this book for free as part of my Amazon Prime membership. The once monthly offer of a free book is nice in one respect because it gets me to read things that are out of my comfort zone. It's not so nice when you're a confirmed non-believer and you realize about halfway through the book that you're reading a Christian novel. It's not a bad book overall. If I was any kind of a person of faith, I probably would have enjoyed it a lot more than I did.

Nine year old Leah
Lekeisha The Booknerd
Aug 30, 2016 Lekeisha The Booknerd rated it really liked it
Shelves: fc-for-review
3.5 stars
Full review on my blog

I think that I should have listened to someone reading this book, rather than reading it myself. It’s one of those questionable plots that have you confused, yet, unable to stop reading. I think that it would have been much more suspenseful that way, and I probably would have rated it higher than 3.5 stars. Still, I did enjoy it to a certain extent.

This book tells the story of a little girl, Leah, and her imaginary(?) friend. Her mysterious premonitions about thin
A phenomenal story . . . Review to come . . .

"It was amazing how quickly life could turn. One minute you're stroking it until it purrs, and the next it's baring its teeth and tearing at your flesh."

Light or darkness, good or evil, humility or pride, weak or strong, mystical or spiritual, woeful or celebratory.....who or what is the "Rainbow Man?" And what exactly are his intentions for the folks of Mattingly?

"It's when we think we have it all figured out that God says not so fast and reminds us
Feb 05, 2014 Danielle rated it really liked it
Recommended to Danielle by: WLAB Author Author
This is a spiritual story. I will lightly compare it to The Shack. If you did not like The Shack, you definitely will not like this book. It doesn't follow logic, natural laws or theological rules. It delves into unknown aspects of spiritually that may offend some.

I enjoyed the story. It could fit into the mystery-thriller genre. You're not quite sure if anyone is lying or just following their own beliefs and ideas of spirituality. You're not sure if a good or bad (spiritual) force is 'working.
Travis Inman
Feb 17, 2015 Travis Inman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

If you could combine Andy Griffith with Frank Peretti, you would get Billy Coffey.

Billy Coffey celebrates celebrates courage in When Mockingbirds Sing, and I appreciate how each character has to demonstrate an entirely different type of courage.

This story is suspenseful on many levels, and leaves the reader wondering what is really happening. Each plot advancement draws the reader closer to the characters, and you are fully invested into each person in the story.

In some ways I connect Coffey wi
Apr 01, 2014 Tina rated it really liked it
A somewhat dark novel with a young, lonely, child protagonist who will make Christians and non-believers question everything they thought they understood about faith in their small community. Is God speaking through Leah as the Rainbow Man or is her imaginary friend just that - imaginary? A good read and thought provoking.
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Billy and his wife, Joanne, live with their two children in the foothills of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. A product of his small-town locale, Billy counts as assets his rural authenticity, unwavering sense of purpose, and insatiable curiosity--all of which tend to make his front porch a comfortably crowded place.
More about Billy Coffey...

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“If you're hungry enough...even poison tastes good.” 4 likes
“There’s a bit of magic in everything And then some loss to even things out. —LOU REED” 1 likes
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