The Story Keeper by Lisa Wingate
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When successful New York editor Jen Gibbs discovers a decaying slush-pile manuscript on her desk, she has no idea that the story of Sarra, a young mixed-race woman trapped in Appalachia at the turn of the twentieth century, will both take her on a journey and change her forever. Happy with her life in the city, and at the top of her career with a new job at Vida House Publishing, Jen has left her Appalachian past and twisted family ties far behind. But the search for the rest of the manuscript, and Jen's suspicions about the identity of its unnamed author, will draw her into a mystery that leads back to the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains . . . and quite possibly through the doors she thought she had closed forever.
I love Lisa Wingate's books for the most part and there was no doubt this story kept me engaged. I liked Jen and the mystery that the slush pile manuscript pushed her into was great. I liked the story of Rand and Sarra intermixed with Jen's story. But I thought that the ending was rushed and not fully completed. You only get a vague idea of what happens to Rand and Sarra and you don't get a lot of romance development between Jen and Evan. And I like romance! :D
And then there was Jen's (Jennia Beth) family. Wow! That kind of cult religion is so very, very sad! That is NOT what Christianity is all about. It just hurts your heart to think people are treated and live that way. Definitely a sad note to the book.
All in all though, this was a good story with a delightful mystery and some family drama that will bring tears to your eyes.
This is the 2nd book in the Carolina series but it can be read as a stand alone. I don't think there was much character (if any) connection to the first book, The Prayer Box.
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