Friday, October 3, 2014

The Story Keeper by Lisa Wingate

Upcoming coverJenna Beth has just started a new job at Vida Publishing, one she hopes will give her the opportunity to break out of her ten plus year niche in nonfiction and explore what she believes is the more interesting world of fiction.  Vida is a much larger firm than her previous jobs and everyone in the publishing industry knows about her boss's "untouchable pile," a stack of manuscripts never taken on, but never discarded.  When one of those manuscripts, yellowed and aged and with a 1993 postmark, shows up on her desk one day a few weeks later, Jenna doesn't know what to do.  Curiosity wins out and Jenna begins to read the story.  Although not a complete manuscript, Jenna is sure she recognizes the style and the author.  And the story itself, that of an idealistic 1800's preacher and a mysterious a mixed-race Melungeon girl who has been captured by traders, is set in the Blue Ridge Mountains, a place Jenna Beth fled from while still a teenager.
Despite her long ago promise to never return there, Jenna knows she must find the author and learn the end of the story.

While I liked the premise of this book and its two stories (which becomes three stories when we meet the author), I never quite got into the marked different language of the manuscript. I finally just skimmed those parts to get the facts, but I thoroughly enjoyed the contemporary sections of the book, especially the story of Jenna's family.  Lisa Wingate's stories are unique, and she does a 
fantastic job of mixing the mountain lore, history, and the pull of family. There is a pivotal"lost in the mountains" scene that combines all these and will have you clutching your afghan for warmth and security as you read.  Listen closely and you may just hear the bloodhounds out searching. Check out Wingate's website or her biography on Amazon or Barnes and Noble, and you will see that she is not only a best selling author, but also the recipient of many awards.  All well deserved!
I obtained my copy of THE STORY KEEPER from our library system.  

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