By Red City Review on August 18, 2014
'This is a story about love, perseverance, and finding harmony in life. Fromthe first page to the last, it shows two underdogs climbing to the top,and it'll have you rooting for them - and their reunion - the whole way. Thecharacters and storyline were inspired by real people, circumstances,and events, and the text is rich with photographs and excerpts fromactual letters, interviews, and original poetry and songs.
We grow through suffering
In the previousbook, Luke was convicted of a bank robbery he didn't commit, but hiscode of honor prevented him from pointing the finger at the realrobbers. He now faces up to 50 years in jail. During the first part ofthe book, he is defiant, aggressive, violent -- and as a result, has ahard time of it. Jan Sikes describes a gradual transformation that leads to wisdom, self-restraint, generosity, and personal salvation through a variety of creative arts.
Darlina had already grown considerably inthe first volume, but she is only 19. She goes through her own trials,particularly an involvement in the drug culture, and again, we trace her development into a wise, strong, loving woman.
The Convict and theRose is about these two people, but through them, it looks at a numberof universal problems we all face, and is an inspiring guide to making a better life, regardless of our circumstances.
From the Author
Since this is a true story, it is super important to me that the facts be correct. I enjoyed doing the research, because that meant digging through boxes of letters, volumes of writings and remembering stories I was told.
During this research, I ran across some song lyrics that I'd never seen before. I'd never heard Rick Sikes sing them or mention them, but they were so powerful, I knew I had to get someone to put music to them. That person turned out to be Jamie Richards and the day we went into the studio was pure magic. He completely captured the emotion in the song, Forty Foot High.
This book is the sequel to my first book, Flowers and Stone, and I'm currently working on a third title to complete the trilogy. "Home at Last" will be released in the spring of 2015.