Reading one of Lisa Wingate's novels is always memorable. She has a incomparable way of writing a story within a narrative in such a way that the reader does not get lost, but feels completely in the novel. The Story Keeper is another one of her novels, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I think each book she writes is her very best! Her tags say Contemporary W omens Fiction, but I think they are so much more. It did not take me long to read it, as I was anxious to find out the mystery that was the driving force of the story. Lisa did definitely write what she knew, as the plot surrounds a manuscript.
From the first page where Jenn steps into a successful publishing house the reader is on a journey. I see the world she sees in such a poignant way that I feel it is me living this story, anxious to do a good enough job for the business, loving the interaction, the learning curve. Chasing that perfect manuscript.
The story flows, and sometimes I forgot that it was a story, and was on my way to the internet to do some research to help her. Some books invite you into them, Lisa's stories do not give you an option. You just do. I wait restlessly for news that her next novel is available.
Thank you to Cheri and Fred at The Book Club Network, the author Lisa Wingate and Tyndale Fiction for the opportunity to read this novel. I was given a free book in exchange for an honest review. A positive critique was not required. The opinions are my own.
I loved The Story Keeper by Lisa Wingate. An incredible author already, Ms. Wingate, again touches the heart and soul of the reader with this intriguing tale of mystery and family dynamics.
In The Story Keeper, Jen Gibbs, a young editor at Vida House Publishing, receives a 20 year old story under mysterious circumstances. As much as she doesnt want to participate in reading the manuscript, the story draws her into the world of a young man named Rand and a Melungeon girl named Sarra. What at first seems like the forbidden fruit eventually becomes a mission to find the writer and obtain the rest of the story.
Jen takes professional risks by pursuing the manuscripts author. On a hunch, she travels to the authors home which also happens to be near Jens hometown. Jen had thought she left the town and her family behind along with all of the brokenness it represented, but this quest will take her back to that very place.
Evan Hall was a young successful writer when his books swept the nation. Now, his home is a fortress to keep the crazies out. But his young niece befriends Jen quickly and hes helpless to stop it. He finds himself being drawn out from the self-imposing prison and discovering a part of his past that he thought was long gone.
The Story Keeper is a journey into the past where a people forgotten by time and horribly persecuted, created history with their lives. It is also a journey into rediscovering past hopes and healing family sorrows. Without a doubt, The Story Keeper will have the reader enveloped into its amazing account.
I received this book from the Book Club Network and Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion which Ive provided here.
Jen Gibbs has just started her new job as an editor at the prestigious Vida House Publishing in New York City. Mysteriously, a manuscript from the famous slush pile appears on her desk. She knows no one is supposed to touch that pile so she is unsure how to proceed. Should she risk her new job by reading it or should she covertly return it to the pile. When she turns the pages of the manuscript, she is immediately drawn into the story of Rand and Sarra in the late 19th century Appalachia. Now, what should she do? Recognizing the style as reminiscent of a very famous author, she takes the chance that it might be his which would be a huge coup for her company. Convincing her boss to let her approach, Evan Hall about this manuscript, Jenn heads to the Blue Ridge Mountains. What she did not tell her boss is that these are her roots, roots she had hoped to escape and never return to.
Evan Hall is a very private man. He deeply resents Jenn approaching him about anything involving writing. Evan has other issues, as well. He has a dying grandmother, a niece in desperate need of guidance, and a brother who refuses to face his responsibilities. Jenn makes a, what she hopes will be a quick trip home to find little has changed. Her family is still living on the edge of stark poverty, expecting her to bail them out without offering her much by way of love and acceptance. Jenn also becomes reacquainted with her talented baby sister, who is looking for a way out of the family cycle of poverty and ignorance.
Will Jenn ever be able to find the true author of the story of Rand and Sarra? How much of this story is fiction and how much is true? Jenn and Evan must set aside their personal demons to find the final answers.
This was the first book I have read by Lisa Wingate and I am sure it will not be my last. I enjoyed all of it, but I found her descriptions of the cycle of poverty in the Appalachian region of our own country especially informative.
I received this from The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinio
The Story Keeper captivated my attention from the first page. It is actually two stories in one, both stories equally appealing. I found myself unable to put the book down anxious to read what was going to happen with each turn of the page.
Jen is a mountain girl trying to follow her dreams and find her way as a new editor in New York. But through circumstances outside her control, she is drawn back into a life she left behind. She is sent home to the Blue Ridge Mountains to research a mysterious manuscript about a young mixed-race Melungeon girl. While there, Jen is forced to face the realities of her own family idiosyncrasies and recognize how her past still was having an impact on her present life.
I love the way Jens character is developed. It is very true that a person can pick their friends but not their relatives. I felt Jens frustration as her family was introduced in the story. Lisa Wingate portrayed family situations that were less than ideal. But she did not feel the need to magically resolve all the problems.
I am sure there will be many readers who are going to be able to relate to The Story Keeper. Lisa Wingate had me feeling Jens frustration and I was anxiously turning the pages to see how each predicament would be settled. I enjoy stories that are believable. The Story Keeper really played with my emotions. I grew to love the character of Jen along with Evan and other people we met along Jens journey. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Shortly after beginning her career with a new publishing house, Jen discovers a mysterious, old, partial manuscript on the corner of her desk that defies explanation. After reading these first chapters she is determined to find the elusive author in order to publish the book in its entirety. The owner of Vida House Publishing makes arrangements for her to travel to the community where the suspected enigmatic author resides. Her past converges with the present as she discovers herself in the Appalachian community where she grew up.
"The Story Keeper" is a mystifying, poignant story within a story that evokes numerous emotions as the story of the protagonist's childhood unravels, and the events described in an old manuscript take her on a journey that is esoteric and compelling. The intertwining of the stories interwoven in this masterful novel are intriguing and revealing. The descriptive elements are picturesque, descriptive to the point that visions of the Appalachian mountains and the glory contained within come alive with the beauty of the terrain, waterfalls and streams. The characters presented are colorful, diverse and distinctive.
This story moves at a pace that leaves no room for boredom. I discovered emotional connections throughout this story, told with depth and sensitivity. Lisa Wingate has once again created a deeply moving and entertaining story filled with mystery, intrigue and ethereal qualities. I highly recommend "The Story Keeper!" I was completely engrossed in this creative story within a story.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from The Book Club Network's For Readers Only program in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.