By Lisa Wingate
Series: Carolina #2
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Publication Date: 9/01/2014
My Rating: 4 Stars
When successful New York editor Jen Gibbs discovers a decaying slush-pile manuscript on her desk, she has no idea that the story of Sarra, a young mixed-race woman trapped in Appalachia at the turn of the twentieth century, will both take her on a journey and change her forever.
Happy with her life in the city, and at the top of her career with a new job at Vida House Publishing, Jen has left her Appalachian past and twisted family ties far behind. But the search for the rest of the manuscript, and Jen's suspicions about the identity of its unnamed author, will draw her into a mystery that leads back to the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. And quite possibly through the doors she thought she had closed forever.
Master storyteller, Lisa Wingate returns with the continuation of her inspiring series with THE STORY KEEPER, (#2 Carolinas), as New York editor, Jen Gibbs uncovers a mysterious manuscript over twenty years old written by an unknown author, leading her back to the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains of NC, a place she thought she would never return.
Having read all the books in the series, set in North Carolina, from east to west, Wingate crafts a compelling read—a spellbinding story of generations, combining the past and present of two different stories, for questions answered with comfort and hope, a journey, an experience, the glory hours!
Jen Gibbs is getting on with her life, with her nice job as editor for a New York publishing house, after overcoming her dysfunctional family. When a manuscript over twenty years old turns up with no author, she is intrigued. She becomes immersed in the story of Sarra, a mixed-race Melungeon girl trapped in the dangerous turn-of-the-century Appalachia. From time travel to undeniable pain, despair, love, and acceptance.
There are two stories, both which will grab you from Sarra’s story and Jen’s. What makes it very dramatic is Jen’s history as how she relates to the past. However, she never dreamed she would be drawn to the man, Evan who wrote the novel, or return to the area she spent years escaping. A secret place which holds many treasures of beauty and tragedy.
A heartbreaking and emotional story of contemporary and historical fiction genres combined. Fans of Sarah Jio, Diane Chamberlain, Patti Callahan Henry, Karen White, Emilie Richards, and Mary Alice Monroe will enjoy the dual storyline of past and present.
As a native of NC, there is much beauty in the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains (Western Carolina area, my favorite)--from the scenic highways, the waterfalls, hiking, history, and the mountains, especially in the fall—nothing better than a log cabin overlooking a stream, a rocking chair, a tin roof, a cup of coffee or tea, a quilt, the rain, and a great book!
I listened to the audiobook and the narrator, Abby Craden did a good job with the poverty stricken, and country southern dialect. The Story Keeper can be read as a standalone; however, I would recommend reading the entire series, beautiful and powerful! "The thing which underlines the best stories – HOPE!"