I so enjoyed both stories in this book. A New York book editor is handed a story that she needs to find the author of. She has many troubles but ends up back in the Appalachian mountains. She grew up here but was happy to leave. This time trying to find the author of the story helps her to get over her troubles that she had whoile growing up. I received this book from book fun.org for a fair and honest opinion.
Lisa Wingate in her new book, The Story KeeperBook Two in the Carolina Heirlooms series published by Tyndale brings us into the life of Jen Gibbs.
From the back cover: Successful New York editor, Jen Gibbs, is at the top of her game with her new position at Vida House Publishing until a mysterious manuscript from an old slush pile appears on her desk. Turning the pages, Jen finds herself drawn into the life of Sarra, a mixed-race Melungeon girl trapped by dangerous men in the turn of the century Appalachia. A risky hunch may lead to The Story Keepers hidden origins and its unknown author, but when the trail turns toward the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a place Jen thought shed left behind forever, the price of a blockbuster next book deal may be higher than shes willing to pay.
First we begin with Jen a New York Editor. Then we hit upon a manuscript that tells the story of Sarra. Now we have two stories going simultaneously. Both of them require Jen to travel back to her home town in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This book is all about family: Jen trying to get away from hers and Sarra trying to have one. Jen and Sarra are amazing characters that will burrow their way into your heart and stay with you. Ms. Wingate has written a story that will make you think. I am so glad I found this highly talented author and am looking forward to her next book.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
**I received an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion**
This story takes Jane, the heroine, on a trek to find a reclusive author whom she thinks will save her job by getting the publishing rights and rest of the story which has fallen in her hands. This journey forces her to face her past in Appalachia, the person she's become, and finding the person she wants to be. Somewhere along the way, she finds peace, becomes a mother figure to a sister and a young girl, and finds the possibility of love for her future.
Unearthing secrets of Jane's past,and the past of others, and the trail of a story are interwoven in a beautifully told story by Lisa Wingate. This story touched my heart is so many ways.
Sometimes a story woos you, dropping a few teasing hints at just the right moments to ensure it captures your heart before wrapping you in a whirlwind or emotion and hope. Novels like these tend to hold on to you long after youve placed them back on the shelf.
The Story Keeper by Lisa Wingate is one such novel. But its also so much more. It squirrels away secrets you desperately want to learn, and as the story unfolds, you find that each piece of the treasure you were searching for might come in different vessels than you originally imagined, which might be the best discovery of all.
When a partial manuscript lands mysteriously on Jen Gibbss desk, she faces a tough decision: read it and risk her new bosss wrath or sneak it back onto the legendary Slush Mountain. Either choice could get her fired, but the pull of the story might just be a journey worth the possible loss of employment if she can handle the murky shadows of her past. That could prove even more daunting than fessing up to her boss.
The line that stood out the most to me came early on.
Its strange how one person and a handful of stories can alter a life.
Its true of The Story Keeper, but it resonated deeper with me because of another Storyteller.
Jesus Christ told a handful of stories called parables. Each one shared a piece of His heart and a large dose of the Truth. They arent always easily understood, but they impact the lives of those who try to discern the hidden meanings. With these incredible stories, Jesus paved the way for His sacrifice to settle into our hearts. With these stories, He illuminated the way to cross the bridge and be reunited with the Author of our lives. Isnt it amazing how one Man and a handful of stories could provide such a beautiful gift as eternal life with God the Father?
Sometimes the past comes to claim us in ways we hadnt planned on, especially if we try to bury that past so that no one in our present can find out just where we came from. It happened that way for Jen Gibbs, a professional editorial team member who landed a dream job at Vida House Publishing. In the past, she has worked with non-fiction manuscripts, and a twist of Gods hand working in her life lands her into what is presumed to be a fictional manuscript, the first three chapters of a story, from the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. A manuscript with a beautifully drawn cover page and titled The Story Keeper was left on her desk one day, thought to be part of the editorial Slush Pile that nobody was supposed to touch. Yet Jen felt compelled to see what it was, read it, until such time that she could slide it into the pile when nobody was around. One could almost feel the guilty pleasure of opening and reading the contents of the envelope.
Jen thinks she knows who and where the mystery author might be. The contents teased her into looking for the author, bringing it up to her supervisor who tells her to stop the pursuit and if she presents it to the owner, she does so at her own risk. The next thing she knows, Jen and her pup are on a plane back to North Carolina, where her roots were but more importantly, where the potential author was. And everything she learns about the adversarial writer tells her to stop and go back to New York City. In spite of the ugly memories of her childhood and the bad attitude of the author, Jen just cant let it go. Then she visits her sisters, additional chapters of The Story Keeper appear at the cabin she is renting, and she wishes she could believe in God as one of the characters in the book does, a loving God instead of the one she was taught about through her fathers church. Does this bring Jen to dream the dream of publishing the novel of a lifetime, or to pursue the desire to find the love that makes her life worth living?
The men, women and children in Lisa Wingates novel, The Story Keeper, step off the pages into my minds eye as if they are real. For the days that the story consumes me, they are real. One can see and hear each one, which is a testament of the gift of writing that the Lord has given to Ms. Wingate and the ability to reach into the heart and soul of a reader to seek the God she serves.
This is a magnificent, unforgettable novel of loss and redemption, of anger and rejection and the love of God. The prose is lyrical, at times wailing a dirge and at others exalting the wonders of Gods world. The characters are real, representing all of us who have secrets and wounds and bringing those secrets and wounds into the light to find the love of the Lord. I highly recommend this novel to be read, re-read, and shared with friends and loved ones.
With a grateful heart, I received a copy of this book through the For Readers Only group at The Book Club Network, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.