Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Cottonwood Whispers (Jessilyn Lassiter, #2)” as Want to Read:
Cottonwood Whispers (Jessilyn Lassiter, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Cottonwood Whispers

(Jessilyn Lassiter #2)

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  948 ratings  ·  111 reviews
In this sequel to Jennifer’s award-winning debut novel "Fireflies in December, " Jessilyn Lassiter and her best friend Gemma Teague have survived prejudice and heartache in their lifelong friendship, but the summer of 1936 threatens to tear them apart yet again. Gemma’s job with the wealthy Hadley family leads to a crush on their youngest son. But Jessilyn’s insistence tha ...more
Paperback, 340 pages
Published August 17th 2009 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  948 ratings  ·  111 reviews

Sort order
First, I just have to say how much I admire the titles of these books.They're so clever. Both the first and second book in this series has presented me with an "aha" moment when I realize the meaning of the title. Each time my heart has been touched with the depth of what they imply. Perfection.

Ok, now that I got that off my chest, I will simply say that I have really enjoyed this series so far. Even though I've lost my patience with the main character many, many times, I still love her and hav
I liked this one better than the first which I didn't think was possible. This is a coming of age story for Jessie, Gemmie and Luke and there is so much going on in this book that I am having a hard time pinpointing my favorite moments. The schism between Gemma and Jessie, the unfair treatment of Mr. Poe, the hypocrisy and racial tones of the town when it comes to whites and blacks, the struggle Jessie feels about not having the same type of faith that her parents, Gemma and Mr. Poe have, the wo ...more
Mar 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
These books just get better with each one. I am drawn in and have already gone on to the next in the series because I just can't wait to see what happens next in Jessilyn's life. The wonderful things about these books is that it is not only the love story that you are following and watching grow but it is Jessilyn and her not only coming of age but of faith. You see her building and asking questions in each book and it is amazing. Jennifer Valent is a brillant writer, she has tears just running ...more
Kerry Johnson
Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-reads
Cottonwood Whispers continues the story of Jessilyn Lassiter - now seventeen - her best friend Gemma, friend and childhood crush Luke, her parents, as well as various characters from the southern town of Calloway, Virginia in 1936. This story is second in a series of three, and I admit I wondered if I'd get as caught up in Cottonwood Whispers as I'd been in the first book in the series, Fireflies in December.

No worries there.

Cottonwood Whispers was a wonderful, heart-wrenching read. Jennifer V
Cottonwood Whispers by Jennifer Erin Valent
Genre: Historical Christian fiction
Format: Kindle
Timeframe: 1936
Location: Calloway, Virginia
Main Characters:
Jessilyn Lassiter: 17-year old, AKA: Jessie
Gemma: Jessie’s best friend
Luke Talley: Jessie’s crush since 13
Mr. & Mrs. Lassiter: Jessie’s parents
Miss Cleta: Jessie’s wise older neighbor
Mr. Poe: Simple man, accused of running over a child
Joel Hadley: Banker’s son, thinks he can get away with anything

A little girl wanders off from her home and ge
Nora St Laurent
Sep 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
1937...a year when life was simple and carefree - or so we think? Can you imagine a time in life when you could send your kids walking to a store or to church without you? They did in 1937; Jessilyn and Gemma are best friends that have grown-up quick. Life was simple, but it wasn’t without its own racial tensions, where the rich tried to push around the poor, and a time when people thought they could take justice into their own hands.

Jessilyn says, “Daddy had told me before that sometimes the Lo
Melissa Frye
Sep 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: 2009
When I planned this week, I realized the FIRST tour for Cottonwood Whispers was on the schedule. Fear consumed me.

You see, I’ve had the book for quite some time, but I couldn’t bring myself to read it. It occupied a special place on my bookshelf right next to its predecessor, Fireflies in December. The excitement I felt upon hearing there was a sequel in the works turned into uncertainty.

My love for the first novel made me hesitate. I feared disappointment. The bar was set very high with Firefli
Sep 20, 2009 rated it liked it
Having loved Jennifer Erin Valent's first book, Fireflies in December I was eager to read this sequel which takes place about three years later. Gemma is still living with Jessilyn's family, but is now finished with school and working as a domestic servant for the rich family down the street. She is developing a relationship with the adult son of the family. Jessilyn realizes her family is in financial trouble (it is 1939 after all) and so she gets a part-time job helping a neighbor lady, who wa ...more
Jan 25, 2013 rated it liked it
2 - Writing Style (It seemed like all of the characters sounded the same. It needed to vary more to distinguish between their personalities.)
4 - Kept me Awake at Night Reading (An easy read. I had already been interested in the characters from the first book, so that helped me want to keep reading.)
2 - Good Discussion Book (Not really.)
5 - Violence (Some, but nothing written in a disturbing or nightmarish way.)
5 - Sex (Clean.)
5 - Language (Clean.)
2 - Unique (It was an entertaining story, but not
April Cole
Sep 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is the second book in a series and the author did a fantastic job. I lived it. Since I had already read the first book, I was very invested in these characters and I loved seeing how they grew and changed. I highly recommend this book as well as Fireflies in December. Both are great stories of faith in God. This series is definitely a must read and I feel the author left this book open for more to come!
Jaime W
Jul 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
Hard to think of much I actually liked about this book. Jessielynn, the main character, has little depth and even fewer qualities to draw the reader in. She's always on the offensive, very foolish and can't keep her word. I was unimpressed with the plot, everything was so obvious. No desire to read the last of the trilogy.
Katie Livingood
Mar 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
It was a nice, easy read. I liked the first one - Fireflies in December - better. I felt that this one was just written to keep the relationship going without a clear goal of WHY to tell the main storyline. There was, IMO, a more interesting "faith moment" toward the end that would make it a great discussion book and spoke to me (though not really answering anything) at the time I read it.
Nov 10, 2009 rated it it was ok
Follow up to "Fireflies in December". Valent has a wonderful way of writing, but this book was a little dissapointing. It was almost identical to Fireflies. And the main character is really hard to relate to. At points her immaturity, selfishness and lack of thinking before acting/speaking are truly annoying(!) That made it hard to continue interested in the story.
Jun 09, 2009 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this story, but I hope Ms. Valent realizes that we now need a third!!!
Piano Note
Aug 24, 2018 rated it did not like it
I found this book failing to deliver a plot or even characters..
Jessie is a selfish nosy girl who meddles in other people's business, and does not respect the boundaries of her friend Gemma..
She treats Gemma like a child and humiliates her in front of her employer and meddles in her personal affairs with no respect and gets offended when she is told to respect the boundaries...
She also happens to be a white girl who is prejudiced against other white people, for she has no reason to believe the
There is something about this series, and this book in particular, that really resonated with me. The author has such a smooth writing style that made me feel like I was part of the story. Maybe it's partially because it is told in 1st person, which is my favorite, that drew me in so deeply.

Whatever the case is, I was completely absorbed into the lives of these characters. Jessilyn, Luke and Gemma are so lifelike and likeable. I was right there in the thick of things which made this story so spe
Stacy M. Patton
I enjoyed this second book in the Jessilyn Lassiter series as much as the first. Although this still had quite the drama, I didn’t have to hold my breath the entire book like I did with the first book, which was a nice change. I just absolutely adore the characters in this book. I was so glad Miss Cleta was in this second book as she is one of those very special women that makes this town so charming! Can you imagine a teenage girl willingly visiting with an older woman because she considers her ...more
Carol James maguire
Fantastic story.....don’t miss it!

I have enjoyed this series so much. Sometimes an author has the ability to draw you in to their fictional world so well that you feel as though you are really there...that these people are real and you are a part of their story. Jennifer has done just that. I am about to start the third book in this series and I’m already concerned about it ending.
David Buckingham
Marvelous Book

I loved this book. It's the second in a 3 book series. It's takes place back in the 30s, in the south, in the country, and the dialogue reflects that. I like the way it's written and it totally kept my attention and grabbed my heart. Plus it's totally clean, which I appreciate. I will definitely read book 3. I'm really interested in other books by this author too.
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"…You read a good book or somethin’. And make sure it’s a book about people who ain’t got no troubles.” Valent, Jennifer Erin. Cottonwood Whispers (p. 203). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition. -- Excellent advice. Another tale of Gemma and Jessilyn, still getting into trouble beyond their years. Another great read about interracial friendship in the 1930s south by Ms. Valent. Highly recommended.
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cottonwood Whispers Review

This is the second book about Jessilyn and her family...another great story by this author. Definitely a worthwhile read, as well as one that will keep you reading it!
Teresa Merriman
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love this book! I highly recommend it!
Carol Kuehner
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent story!
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great series, I loved these books and read them each twice!!

I was so excited to pick up this book. It is book two in the Jessilyn Lassiter series by Jennifer Erin Valent and picks up several years after the events in the first book, Fireflies in December. I can’t brag on this series or on this author enough. She’s one of the authors that connects with her fans on social media and is so open and inviting that it really makes you want to read her books—and if you haven’t? You really should! These books capture the heart of the Deep South in a time when pre
Jan 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It is with great pleasure and excitement that I review book two in the Calloway Summers series! I loved the first novel in this series, Fireflies in December, and could hardly put it down. Valent’s second novel more than lived up to my expectations, a task for which Valent had her work cut out. She did an excellent job in creating the next chapter of Jessie’s life. I could ramble on and on, but I’ll leave that for further on in the review.

The Story

Growing up is never easy, and Jessilyn Lassit
Dec 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I closed my eyes last night and couldn't sleep. My mind wandered back to the year of 1936 in the deep South. The air was too hot to breath. I couldn't shake the feeling of great sadness that crept in.

Why was I feeling this way? I just finished reading --Cottonwood Whispers by Jennifer Erin Valent. It is an amazing, heart wrenching sequel to "Fireflies in December" (which I haven't read). Valent grabbed me from the get-go and drew me deep into her story. It drew me in with that Southern setting,
C.J. Darlington
Oct 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
In the four years since the events of Fireflies in December, Jessilyn Lassiter has grown into a young woman of seventeen. She's still the feisty, head-strong character we remember, but almost killing a man and facing an angry KKK mob has a way of forcing a girl to grow up fast. Maybe she's lost some innocence, but Jessilyn's still a kid--much to her dismay. She longs for the day when her friend Luke Talley sees her as more than a girl, but until then life's confusing enough. Her best friend Gemm ...more
Aug 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-read
About Cottonwood Whispers

A while ago, Tyndale Blog Network sent me the book Cottonwood Whispers by Jennifer Erin Valent. I hate to say it, but it kind of got lost and I just ran across it again this past week. So, I FINALLY had a chance to read it. Cottonwood Whispers is the follow up story to the award winning novel, Fireflies in December. Valent does a fine job capturing the turmoil of the time and her writing is beautiful and true to life.
Synopsis of Cottonwood Whispers

Cottonwood Whispers tak
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Willow Springs (Troublesome Creek, #2)
  • Finding Hollywood Nobody (Hollywood Nobody, #2)
  • Songbird Under a German Moon
  • Summer Snow (Threads of Change #2)
  • Tomorrow's Treasure (East of the Sun #1)
  • The Marshal's Ready-Made Family (Prairie Courtships, #2)
  • The Treasure of the Celtic Triangle (The Green Hills of Snowdonia, #2)
  • June Bug
  • Bargain Bride
  • Homefires
  • A Slow Burn (Defiance, Texas Trilogy #2)
  • Shiloh Autumn
  • Almost Home: A Story Based on the Life of the Mayflower's Mary Chilton
  • The Rancher's Courtship (Brides of Simpson Creek, #4)
  • A Flickering Light (Portraits of the Heart, #1)
  • On Sparrow Hill
  • A Heartbeat Away (Quilts of Love, #7)
Jennifer Erin Valent is the 2007 winner of the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild's Operation First Novel contest and 2010 Christy Award winner for Fireflies in December. She lives in central Virginia, where she has worked as a nanny for over fifteen years. A lifelong resident of the South, her surroundings help to color the scenes and characters she writes.

Other books in the series

Jessilyn Lassiter (3 books)
  • Fireflies in December
  • Catching Moondrops
“I rolled my eyes to the heavens and sighed. I never enjoyed dealing with people that didn't use the sense God gave them.” 6 likes
More quotes…