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The Thornbearer Paperback – May 7, 2015
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Top Customer Reviews
Now, I'm NOT a huge fan of historical or period novels. My ideal genre is modern suspense and mystery. When I have the opportunity to read a historical novel, I read with a critical eye and a rather large amount of trepidation.
In other words, it takes a powerful period story to grab and hold my attention. Which is why I'm thrilled to tell you about Pepper's novel. Her plot is a fresh take on World War II, focusing on the destruction of the Lusitania.
Pepper knows the proper balance between description and detail versus action and dialogue. The pacing keeps the story moving in a nice rhythm. And also important: the dialogue is suitable for the time period of the novel.
And for a period tale, her prologue is powerful and unique as well. Tragedy stole Ashleigh's innocence and has left her feeling like damaged goods. As the story unfolds we see her take more emotional blows that would topple any woman.
Enter Sam Miller. He isn't movie star handsome, wealthy beyond means or a player. He's a gentle man with a deep affection for Ashleigh as a little sister. Watching the relationship between Sam and Ashleigh develop made me want to tell women everywhere one thing:
THIS IS THE KIND OF MAN YOU WANT TO SPEND THE REST OF YOUR LIFE WITH!!!
Wow, that felt good! Pepper has made a huge mark in the faith fiction marketplace, and I'm eager for more stories. "The Thorn Bearer" is the first in a series, and I have discovered that she plans on tackling another genre in the near future.
So, my thanks to my friend Casey Herringshaw for my advance copy of "The Thorn Bearer" in exchange for an honest review. Honestly, I loved the book so much I bought a copy! Highly Recommended.
I don't think any of us can ever truly (in our humanness) understand why God allows bad things to happen in our lives - even if we know in our minds that a lot of it has to do with the free will we've been given. Some of us suffer the consequences of our own actions but the stuff that is hard to understand is when the innocent suffer the consequences of someone else's sin. This book addresses the hard subject of abuse by a parent to a child. But it also shows the powerful way God can take the brokenness of those children and turn their lives into a powerful testimony of grace.
I look forward to reading the next book in the series! :)
For the history buffs - I am a new reader of historical fiction, with this novel being the first I have read that takes place during the World War I era. The timeline surrounds the historic sinking of the Lusitania. To be perfectly honest, this was not an event that I vividly remembered studying in school. The story highlights the cautious undertones of being a civilian in wartime, through the horrific and unbelievable details of the disaster itself, all the way through the haunting aftermaths that survivors and the passengers’ loved ones endured. The book immediately inspired me to do my own research about the Lusitania and World War I in general.
Advocates for justice and psychologists – We find out in the beginning that the heroine of the book, Ashleigh Dougall, was a childhood victim of sexual abuse. One of the conflicts in the story is watching how she mourns for what she lost as a little girl, and how these acts have affected her ability to have a normal experience as a young woman. Ashleigh’s healing process is lovely to witness. The story also touches on life-after-the-sinking for those who survived the Lusitania. Two notable characters in the story experienced side effects mimicking those of PTSD (here’s ANOTHER area I wanted to begin researching!).
Romantics at heart – Sam is a total dreamboat (no pun intended)!
The comedian – The dialogue is sharp and quick. Between Ashleigh’s sass and Sam’s appreciation for a challenge, the dialogue is guaranteed to tickle your funny bone more than once!
The language lover – The language in this novel is very vivid. The author’s descriptions of places, people, moments, and emotions were lush and honest, yet concise. Pepper’s unique portrayals enabled me to think about my own similar experiences in a manner in which I never had before.
Just a note to end on.... I know they say never to judge a book by its cover, but in this case, you ABSOLUTELY should!