Sunday, July 26, 2015

Book Review: The Story Keeper

Bookception. A story within a story. Thus begins Wingate's tale. Within a few days of starting her new job at Vida House Publishing, Jenina Beth Gibbs finds an old manuscript on her desk. Knowing that she shouldn't read it and she should return it to the infamous "slush pile," she reads it anyway and is transported (not literally) back in time to late 1800s Appalachia. Being from there, she goes back home to find the author, which she assumes is also the author of a best-selling time travelling series, complete with celebration weeks at the setting of the story.

I have to say that I enjoyed the book, but it ended to abruptly, making me feel very unfulfilled. The author attempted to wrap everything up in the last few chapters with a pretty bow, and it didn't really work for me. It felt very rushed. The way the book ended wasn't the way I was expecting to to end, but it made sense. I just wish that there was more to the end. I would like to see a continuation, but I don't know if an entire novel will do it justice. Maybe a novella.

The religious aspect of the book was something that intrigued me. I thought of the Brethren Saints as backwoods Duggars, But the Duggars aren't as extreme. Mental, physical, and emotional abuse run rampant to keep the women in the kitchen and the men in charge. I know that there are other religions out there that are similar, and it makes me angry. Even without their religion, the people are stuck in their situation due to low funds, lack of education, etc. Only a few, like Jenina Beth Gibbs, make it out because they are stronger than the abuse. Everyone has potential to break free, but some choose not to out of fear, laziness, or they simply don't know any better. This is also why I would like to see a continuation. I would like to see the future of JBG's family.

This book isn't going to get a huge conversation going, but it definitely needs a discussion. The back of the book has some included, but here's a handy link for the discussion questions:

Like I said, this would be a great book for a small discussion, to the point where I might mention this to our Inspirational Book club person for one of their next books.

**DISCLAIMER** I have been compensated and provided with materials for this review. However, the views and opinions are mine, and mine only. Thank you.

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