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What Happened That Day (Nakasee Lake Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Michelle Smith
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99
 
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Book Description

Headachy and hung-over, with a backpack of stolen money and not a single pair of underwear (though she did remember her lipstick), Terra arrives in Nakasee Lake on an early-morning bus, after an alcohol-fuelled fight with her (now ex-) boyfriend, Hugh.

Charmed by the mountains and intrigued by the locals, Terra buys the café on the main street. It’s a "ramshackle" place, full of broad-shouldered and silent mountain men who pour their own coffee and never meet anyone’s eye. She settles in to this small town where nobody asks questions, and where she is free to begin again – the right way, this time.

She’s in flight from more than a dead-end life back in Edmonton, however. A damaged child who has grown into a damaged woman, Terra drinks secretly at six o’clock in the morning, and cuts her arms when things get to be too much. But the looming purple Rocky Mountains and the daily routine of her life at the café soothe her, reassure her, make her feel safe and protected. Just as she begins to think that she has escaped the darkness of the basement, tragedy strikes Nakasee Lake. Suddenly, everyone is trying to make sense of the senseless thing that has happened: children lost, their grieving parents in flight, the remaining town residents in silent pain and deep denial.

Two years after what happened that day, a man comes to the town, a drifter who arrives with not much more than the bag on his back and a paint brush. Aaron has a gift to give the people of Nakasee Lake, and it’s one that they need desperately in order to heal – if only they can believe in what he is telling them. And if they will listen to their dead.


Product Details

  • File Size: 1238 KB
  • Print Length: 237 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00HG11FDC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #849,819 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
As usual I received this book because it arrived free of charge in exchange for a review. Despite that wonderful and typical kindness, I give my candid thoughts below.

In a nutshell, the story is one of a wounded soul in search of... herself, really. Running from a dark past she builds a new life in a small town in the mountains. The narrative is one of stark realism for the most part but does have a somewhat extra-sensory or supernatural thread. The text is organized in sections devoted to various points in the character's life and as the story unfolds the reader hears the backstory that brings our heroine to her current state.

On the positive side, as always Smith renders her characters with great care and imagery. She cobbles together a whole town with wonderful realism that makes me wonder if she has actually been there. The plot is complex and believable and it's easy to become invested in this little niche in the mountains. She also introduces elements of the Native Canadian culture into her novel in a way that drives interest and adds even more color to an already varied backdrop.

To the negative side, the supernatural elements of the book did come as a bit of a shock. I cannot go into details for fear of spoilers but some of the characters in the novel have an intuition of sorts about others that seemed to be introduced rather jarringly. It was well executed but I didn't expect it so it was a bit of a hiccup in an otherwise very realistic novel.

In summary, Smith has done exceptionally in this story and this will be one of those tales that runs through my head for weeks to come. It has a few foibles but boasts fewer typos than any eBook I've read in a while. The quality of Smith's writing is incomparable and I always find myself wondering why she doesn't have more of a following.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything Happens When You Read this Novel... January 6, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Michelle Smith has honed her craft as a writer and it's evident with this book.

Thematically, Smith unfolds a story of deep pain that begs for exorcism from the heart. Until this freedom occurs, denials come about through a variety of pain-escapes, most notably how the abused abuse themselves, and the methods they use are all too familiar in this modern day.

The author juxtaposes a young woman, Terra, with a small First Nations community, and illuminates how they attempt to help one another. Terra, a down-to earth gal, as her name implies, feels safe for once until a stranger, Aaron, comes to town and she must face her own inner conflicts and her memories that are vague, but haunting. Aaron has already created healing for the villagers.

I like Terra. She's noble yet nosy, tough but sensitive. Although she is troubled herself, she is giving, and both brave and scared. You can relate to her but could you survive her past?

Smith structures her novel adeptly. She is in control of the climatic conversation between Terra and Aaron as the process begins to unravel her injuries. The climax is strong enough to take the reader just beyond the earth and into the bowels of a basement. - the debasing basement. As a reader, you need this protection before being exposed to the horrors below. The author prepares us for this descent into hell.

I appreciate everything that went into this book. Dreams figure prominently. Strong language and descriptions of abuse are necessary parts of the narrative..

The author will have your emotions whether you admit it or not. Through the character of Aaron, Smith explains what everyone needs to hear, and thus, prepares us to face this revelation with Terra.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Walk Through the Peaks and Valleys December 28, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Michelle Smith's "What Happened That Day (Nakasee Lake)" is a rock-solid flight through the peaks and valleys, emotionally and spiritually, of the residents of Nakasee Lake...namely those of Terra, the newest player in the town's cast of characters. Terra's firm views and perspective are bred on the bone of her dark past, which is doled out wonderfully by Smith in this page turning novel. There is a wonderful push-and-tug throughout the book, between Terra's heart and spirit, between the townspeople's collective conscious and unconscious, and the cause and effect between what happened that day and what it's been like since. That duality and tension help to bind the reader to the words as they are played out in the sure-footed life of Terra and the customers in her cafe.

Smith's writing is smooth and fluid. Her attention to detail is fantastic, as she blends in Native Canadian spirituality and culture with the held-back modernity of the small town. Her ability to build a strong narrative on the backdrop of a mountain and it's secrets is a pleasure to read. The pace of novel responds to the emotional temperature of the characters, namely Terra, and there are some monumental revelations that unfold in this well honed story. Smith's ear for dialogue is outstanding and we are given some wonderful interactions to witness, backed by the intensity, and gentleness, required to allow Smith to knit her tale with.

Spirituality, addiction, Native culture, romance broken and camaraderie are all strong aspects of this book. Terra's emotional landscape is as wild and stoic as the majestic backdrop to her cafe, and we bear witness to her frailties and her strengths. Terra's troubled past adds much needed depth and weight to the novel as does the almost magic realism that pervades the novel.

Smith's novel is a marvellous tale that lore is built upon. A great read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good book
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Look through life
Enjoyed ready this book. A good book to understand and evaluate the turns in all our lives. Well written. Good job Michelle.
Published 2 months ago by John J Lambert
5.0 out of 5 stars What happened that day
Wonderful story with many emotions shown in the characters. I recommend this book to all. I would be eager to read others by this author
Published 3 months ago by harpoo
1.0 out of 5 stars Dark and uninteresting
I would not recommend this book to any reader...even if it is free ! It is a dark, sad horrific story with no redeeming value. Read more
Published 6 months ago by dundee28
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and will keep you reading
I enjoyed reading this book, seeing the development of the characters and the story line. The people whose lives touched each other. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Delaware Diva
5.0 out of 5 stars I don't even know what to say...
I really liked this book. This book felt realistic with a spiritual paranormal twist, that you could feel building (and building) the entire book. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Adriene Rivera
4.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected
This book was not at all what I expected it to be. It was much better. Engrossing and thought-provoking until the last page.
Published 8 months ago by June Benz
5.0 out of 5 stars Read in one sitting.
A wonderful piece by a fabulous author. Other reviews state that supernatural natural aspect caught them off guard but it was made clear from the start. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Angie
5.0 out of 5 stars No Child Is A Piece of Trash
Addiction, theft, tragedy, death, auras, dreams, abuse, spirits, redemption, forgiveness and new beginnings are all wrapped up in a well written story.
Published 10 months ago by Rebecca Trotter
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Story
Michelle Smith is an excellent writer. She's crafted a story that really hooked me and resonated after I finished. The characters are engaging. The story moves along nicely. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Michele W. Miller
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More About the Author

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Michelle Smith was raised in a small Canadian town, and is still a small-town girl at heart. She is a non-practicing alcoholic (she has been sober since November 27, 2004), certified wellness and holistic life coach, cancer survivor, and a hardcore coffee-lover. She worked in publishing for 15 years, first as a featured writer, then as the editor of business supplements in a weekly newspaper, then as the editor-in-chief of a monthly lifestyle magazine in Poland.

She lived in China and Hong Kong for five years, and travelled extensively: all over China, to India, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Bangladesh. She started actively writing fiction at that time, inspired by her travels and the people she met across Asia. She moved to Poland in 2002, and has lived there ever since.

Currently, she lives in Warsaw, Poland with her husband Piotr and their two children, Max and Alex. They are three of the most important men in her life, and provide her with coffee, encouragement, and time to write. They are also great hug-givers.

Michelle's fiction includes 'Stone Princess', a collection of short stories and the Nakasee Lake series ('What Happened That Day' and 'Bringing Her Home'). The third Nakasee Lake book, 'Thunderbirds', will be published in Winter 2014, and s second collection of short stories, 'The Five Senses', will be published in Autumn 2014. She has also published a self-help book/memoir called 'Reclaiming My Voice'.

You can connect with Michelle on her personal blog www.risingwoman.wordpress.com, on her Facebook page (michelle.smith.author), and on Twitter (@risingwoman).

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