Over the years, self-publishing has a kind of stigma. Why, I don’t know. In the past six months I have made tracks a handful of self-published novels, and did find each one to be worth the paper on which they are printed. This one is different since it’s authored by a lovely writer whom I am honored to know. Amber sets her story in Oregon in the early 1800’s and she crafts a hard-hitting novel involving broken characters, in unusual ways.
STORY BRIEF: The heroine is Sally Clay, a woman no longer a lady. She’s left to make her way in the world when the man she thought she loved spurns her for better prospects. Over the timespan of many months, Sally’s life becomes entangled with Joe and Seth Clifton – brothers with broken hearts of their own, and an Irish immigrant named Myghal.
Bleeding Heart, by Amber Stokes | Book Review
As a blogger, the author has a very sweet personality; she’s always able to share her opinion with an understood approach. This gift of hers transitions into her first fictional foray. Like any good author, Amber cares about her characters; whether they be her five main characters or a big-hearted cook, no one is forgotten. In Sally, we meet a woman who doesn’t think she’s worthy of pure love, and we sorrow with her over the anguish she experiences. Sally represents a pinnacle of what forgiveness in love means in the most tender way. This is one of the carryover themes that ties into the epilogue.‘BLEEDING HEART,’ BY AMBER STOKES. #BookReviews #IndieBooksbeSeen #FWarchives Click To Tweet
What’s so though provoking is the point that, especially as most authors don’t usually tackle this much, the anger in this one group of characters. To be honest, I think that in order to fit better with the pacing, it’d have been more impactful to limit the number of people who do need this kind of healing. This novel is shorter than most (which I don’t mind in the least) and with the time jumps (also, something Amber does well), this presents a problem with pacing considering that most “average” books struggle with getting the time frame “just right.”
Let’s address the the things that will undoubtedly take a reader by surprise, and let me just say – wow! There is one pivotal event that I never expect. The author handles it expertly and uses it to an advantage instead of letting it drag down what is a compelling plot. Even though I cannot say that the setting is a favorite or that everything “click” (the mood swings of the villain or the emotional fallout in the aftermath of a death of a character we never meet), I can say that Bleeding Heart is sincerely poignant. In this book, any avid history buff will find a western treasure; the “voice” is profoundly genuine and unique, and is not a book you want miss out on journeying through.
It’s one I know will find a permanent place on my shelf, virtual and actual. Bleeding Heart is not just a “pretty face,” just be prepared, you may need a tissue or two!
About the Book:
Author: Amber Stokes
Publication Date: 2013
Shop the Book: Bookshop.org | Goodreads
Find the review elsewhere: Amazon :: Goodreads :: WordPress
Publisher: Seasons of a Story (Self-Publish via Amazon Kindle)
Genre: Fiction; Historical, Christian
Rating: 4 out of 5
Sincere thanks to the author for providing an e-ARC complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes.