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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Book Awards and a Review

When I started A Drop of Ink Reviews, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. So when it took off on me, I was surprised. When more and more requests for my reviews came in, I finally had to shut down the submissions because I’m currently sitting at 57 books awaiting review. I’m not even sure I can review that many in what’s remaining of this year, but I’m sure going to try!

However, with all of that happening, I decided to have an award made. I actually have several, but two of them are reserved specifically for people who pay to be moved to the head of the list. To date, I’ve handed out ONE of them. Turns out I’m getting stricter as I go along and I’m exposed to more and more books. The BIG award is what I want to talk about today.

I do not have this listed anywhere on my site, so the readers of Unicornbell are the first to know. There is an award I will hand out in January 2016 for the book I liked the best out of the entire 2015 year. So, for the rest of my time this week, sorry it’s so short, I’ll be sharing the reviews of the books that are currently in contention for that award.

The main criteria I decided on was it had to receive a 5-star rating, of course. That only makes sense. But I’ve handed out several of those. So which one will win? Well, I have recently decided that the books that stick out the most in my mind and are either indie published or small house published, will win the award. I already shared a review of one of the books with you previously. It’s Grave Beginnings by R.R. Virdi. If you’d like a refresher, you can view it here.

For the next book, I present you with The Vanishing of Katherine Sullivan by Christina Weaver.

Matt Sullivan received a shock when his Uncle Lucas was placed in a hospital with heart problems. At the same time, Matt was handed a letter stating his uncle’s property had to be cleaned up in two weeks or else. As a by-product of the Great Depression, Uncle Lucas horded everything. Matt faced down his uncle and got clearance to begin cleaning up the home under one condition. He was not to touch the dining room or den. Matt agreed and with the help of his brother Samuel and nephew Stephen, they began to tackle the disaster.

Curious, Matt went into the dining room to find out what was so important to his Uncle Lucas. In there, he found old newspapers with names underlined and circled. He also came across a box of old letters from his grandmother and grandfather. After making a point to his nephew and sister about their hoarding tendencies, Matt decided to venture into the attic of his home, which used to belong to his parents, now deceased. Up there, he found all of his father’s treasures. In looking around, he found a notebook with the same names his uncle had been so interested in. He also came across an old family Bible that smelled of smoke. Inside, he found the names of his grandparents and their children. His grandfather, Samuel, had the year of his death recorded, but nothing for his grandmother. Realizing he knew nothing about his family, Matt decided to dig into his family’s past and find out what happened to his grandmother Katherine. With absolutely no help or encouragement from his Uncle Lucas or Uncle Henry, who was running for President of the United States, he set out to find the truth.

Following clues, he ended up in a small town in West Virginia, where he found nothing but hostility and closed mouths. His only help was the feisty librarian and school teacher, Selma Greeley. Only a death bed confession gave him any insight into the plight of his grandmother. Determined to follow it through to the end, Matt faces terrible trials and dead ends to bring closure for his uncles and himself.

Christina wrote a truly touching story about a young woman who lived in the hills of West Virginia and married a city man to escape her family. Matt’s search for her is long and intense and shows great devotion to family and a history he had no idea even existed. This story is heartbreaking and heartwarming all at once. I’m not even sure I can begin to convey how much this book touched me. She shared a beautiful picture of the life of this amazing woman and a small town who did nothing but belittle her and her family. She did an amazing job weaving the search Matt was doing in present times with glimpses of the past.

While there were a few errors in the editing, that shouldn’t be a hindrance. Her story is a powerful one and definitely worth a read.


Em-Musing said...

57 books still to be read. You impress me. LOve mysteries that involve uncovering secrets about family. this one sounds great.

Liz A. said...

Sounds interesting.