Every once in awhile, life throws you surprises. The Story Keeper was one of those unexpected events. I had requested it awhile back from one of the sites I review for, and then changed my mind. There were a couple of other books that just happened to fall higher up on my list that came available. Well, some sort of misunderstanding took place, and I was surprised when I opened a package to find this story.
I have not read a novel by Lisa Wingate before (although I’ve been intending to read The Prayer Box), so I really didn’t know what to expect from this story. The story captured my interest enough to consider it, but the cover is what really drew me in. Even though you really shouldn’t “judge a book by it’s cover,” I am guilty of it. There are books that I have read without reading the synopsis because I loved the cover so much. There are other books that I ignored simply because of the cover. It’s shallow and petty, but it has happened. Fortunately, the latter happens less frequently than the former.
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**I received a free copy of this book from the Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for my honest review**
The Story Keeper by Lisa Wingate is a story within a story of sorts. The outside and primary story is about Jen Gibbs. She works for a publishing house when a mysterious manuscript appears. The story she reads compels her to find the author and the rest of the story taking her back to the home she always hoped to avoid. Within this story, is the tale of Sarra and Rand. Rand is from a well-to do family and he is searching for adventure. Sarra is a Melungeon. A mysterious race found in Appalachia and surrounded by folklore and myth. These two stories intertwine to tell a tale about overcoming our pasts and looking to the future.
Overall, I did enjoy this novel. The words flowed beautifully, and Lisa Wingate knows how to weave a compelling story and capture authentic characters. The world she created in which fans stormed an area of Appalachia due to a successful author sci-fi series is completely imaginable (these were some of my favorite scenes and descriptions). Each character seemed to have their own struggles in the novel and have to learn to help the others. There are many characters in this book that I would love to see how their lives continue.
Appalachia is a setting that I am growing to love. Whether it is historical or a contemporary story (The Story Keeper encompasses both), Appalachia is a unique locale offering vibrant characters and interesting stories. The Story Keeper incorporated both and intertwined them together quite well.
The one thing I didn’t enjoy as much about this was the pacing of the story and the way it jumped between the two stories. The transitions were smooth, but usually the novel would leave off on such a compelling spot in one story before switching to the other. I would find myself racing through Sarra and Rand’s story to find out what would happen next with Jen and vice versa. At times it made it difficult to just enjoy the story unfolding as I turned the page.
Overall, I did enjoy this book. I have plans to read a few more novels by Lisa Wingate in the future, so keep an eye out for those.
I would love to hear from you! Have you read any novels set in Appalachia? Any favorites?
For more on the author or this book, please check out the following links:
- Lisa Wingate’s Website
- Visit Lisa Wingate on Facebook
- Follow Lisa Wingate on Twitter
- Read what Lisa Wingate is reading on GoodReads
- Check out The Story Keeper on Amazon
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