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"Depth of Lies" by E. C. Diskin
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Top customer reviews
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Set in the Allegheny Mountains during the Civil War, the descriptions are rich and glorious. The heroine, Lilith, lives the hard-working, bare-bones life of a woman left to run a small farm when her husband goes to war, but she finds joy in small things--like a sunset, chickens, growing plants. Lilith is both gifted and cursed with the ability to see dead people. She knows there's been a great battle when ranks of dead soldiers come marching past her house on their way to heaven. And among them are her husband, Joab, and her neighbor's son, Luke. Joab stays on with Lilith, to her delight, but the neighbors do not believe it and ostracize her for not mourning her dead husband. Poor Luke just wants his mother to acknowledge him, but she can't see him. And the fire and brimstone preacher, Pastor Fisk, who thunders against sin, insists on giving Lilith private lessons in scripture. The frustrations of the dead with the material world provide humor.
When I finished, I wanted to read it all over again I liked it so much.
I never did quite buy into the hope that Joab could be saved by the magic elixer -- after all, how could he drink it? -- but that promise, that magic was so compelling, it kept me hanging on right to the end.
S. A. Bolich’s new release, In Heaven’s Shadow, captures old Virginia’s beauty and brings its magic to life. Her classic ghost tale is a love story that just isn’t ready to end with the death of Lilith Stark’s husband Joab at Gettysburg. All her life she’s seen the spirits of the dead, so when her husband’s ghost accompanies the minister informing her of his death, Lilith’s grief doesn’t include surprise. But the gap that’s always existed between Lilith and her community, especially Reverend Fisk, develops into a chasm as she innocently offers them access to the magical healing of her father’s “elixir”. Bewildered by their suspicion, threatened by soldiers from both sides as well as her own neighbors who see the young widow as prey, and struggling to keep her own love story “alive” when one of them is anything but, Lilith draws on every drop of the magic inherited from her father, her own feisty strength, and the love between herself and Joab that transcends death.
I don’t often award five stars, but S. A. Bolich’s combination of gorgeous writing, perfect setting, and character development makes IN HEAVEN'S SHADOW a winner. Bolich creates Lilith with a pitch-perfect voice for a rural Virginia woman struggling to resolve the conflicts between the truths her father taught her about the nature of magic and love, and her bone deep need for belonging and acceptance in their community. The strengths of her own character and love for her husband provide the reasons for Lilith’s growth, but it’s her kickass attitude and feisty determination that make her journey a constant delight for readers. Add to that the exquisitely spare but perfectly evocative description of Lilith’s Virginia home as the war draws to a close, and you have a book you shouldn’t miss.
*Received for an honest review*