The story gripped me—held me fast. Horrors that no one wants to think about played across the page and all without giving the kinds of details that readers don’t need. For that, I was grateful.
So with all that, why did I find it hard to read such a fabulous story?
Note: Links in this post are likely affiliates–small commission for me but no extra expense to you. Additionally, I requested a review copy of this book. This review is what I thought of it.
Here’s My Verdict on The Mending of Lillian Cathleen
In The Mending of Lillian Cathleen, Linda Brooks Davis writes a compelling tale of family secrets, miscarriages of justice, the threat of what would become “The Great War,” and the horrible reality of sex-trafficking.
Too often, we like to think of those beautiful, glorious days of the Edwardian period as too genteel for the horrors of modern life, but sin lived and thrived in the “good old days” just as it does now.
[click_to_tweet tweet=”With careful skill, excellent research, and enough twists and turns to keep the most eager mystery and suspense lover happy, this historical novel has just the right amount of all but one element.” quote=”With careful skill, excellent research, and enough twists and turns to keep the most eager mystery and suspense lover happy, this historical novel has just the right amount of all but one element.”]
That one made it almost made me put it down at every page.
Seriously, I had to force myself to read this book. And it’s not the author’s fault.
Her writing style, written in any other tense would have made this one of the best books I read all year. I’d have overlooked a first-person POV without much trouble. While I don’t enjoy books written in the first-person much, sometimes it’s the best choice for a story.
But present tense makes my teeth itch, and because of it, my natural inclination is to give what is otherwise an excellent book two stars.
That’s not fair or just. The only thing I don’t like about it isn’t the author’s fault. She told an excellent story and she told it well.
I just had to fight to make it through it at all. Confession time: I know I skimmed parts. Although I tried hard not to, it happened.
Look, I can’t give this book five stars. I can’t. But I will give it four because I requested a review copy and it’s only right that I give it a fair review. And fair means that I review without personal bias for things that the author cannot help. And Ms. Davis can’t help that she chose the one style that makes me curl into fetal position and beg not to have to finish.
[click_to_tweet tweet=”I recommend this book for historical fiction lovers, those who love to see people fighting for the downtrodden, for mystery and suspense aficionados, and for people who aren’t annoyed by books written in the present tense. ;)” quote=”I recommend this book for historical fiction lovers, those who love to see people fighting for the downtrodden, for mystery and suspense aficionados, and for people who aren’t annoyed by books written in the present tense. ;)”]
The Mending of Lillian Cathleen is on tour with Celebrate Lit
About the Book
Book Title: The Mending of Lillian Cathleen
Author: Linda Brooks Davis
Release date: October 2018
It’s 1914. American women are demanding the vote. And the first flames of the Great War are igniting Europe. But a battle of a different sort rages in Oklahoma.
The thermometer registers one hundred six degrees, an out-of-the-ordinary occurrence even for the twenty-eighth day of July. But this is no ordinary day.
The jury has reached a verdict.
Lily fidgets in the old church pew. Her name has clotted into a by-word. Her blood is tainted. Can she right the wrongs? Or will her past forever define her?
She eyes the judge. And the courtroom holds its breath.
About the Author
Linda Brooks Davis was born and reared on a farm in Raymondville, a small Rio Grande Valley community in the southernmost tip of Texas. Linda earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Pathology from Abilene Christian University and a Master’s Degree from Houston Baptist University. She retired in 2008 after forty years as a special educator and administrator. Linda and her beloved husband Al worship and minister at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio and dote on six grandchildren, three of whom are triplets.
Readers may contact Linda through her website, www.lindabrooksdavis.com.
Linda’s debut novel, The Calling of Ella McFarland, is set in 1905 Indian Territory prior to Oklahoma statehood. It won the 2014 Jerry Jenkins Operation First Novel Award. It was released in 2015 and won the 2016 American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award. The sequel novella, A Christmas to Remember, is set in 1908 Oklahoma and released in December 2016. A second novella, A Christmas Measure of Love, released in 2017. It is set in 1910 and is a prequel to Linda’s second full-length novel, this one set in 1914, The Mending of Lily Cathleen, which releases in 2018.
Guest Post from Linda
Certain ancestors and their experiences appear in my stories. There’s bit of my grandmother and a strong dash of my mother in one character. My father’s sterling qualities appear in another. And there’s a low-down family reprobate in another. Don’t forget cotton planting, hoeing, and harvest time.
The glorious aroma of fresh-picked cotton and the nothing-in-the-world-like-it odor from the pig pen. A sewing machine whirring. The clink of a milk pail. A cow hollering to be milked. Summer’s sun on my face, the hearty South Texas wind in my hair, and the comfort of backing up to a wall heater on a cold winter morning. All find their way into the plot lines.
In my family’s history, my own life, and the kaleidoscope of lives in my stories, Jesus appears as the golden thread linking the past to the present and beyond. He turns an ordinary morning into a hint of the “Sweet By & By.” He adds the delicate aroma of the Rose of Sharon to the sultry stillness before a summer storm. And He wraps the bitterness of grief and failure in the richness of His incomparable grace.
The Mending of Lillian Cathleen is one of those tales that reach beyond the ordinary to the extraordinary because of Jesus.
Lily’s story captures some of the heartache of domestic abuse, but it packs a powerfully joyous punch at the end. I thought I’d add a strong dash of sweet to this post with a recipe that appears in The Calling of Ella McFarland (which is re-releasing in October 2018). Mama’s (or Papa’s) Nectar of Heaven was a treat my mother enjoyed as a child. She set the same yummy delicacy before her kids, and I, of course, have done the same. Here ’tis, ya’ll, from Texas with sweet, sweet love.
Lady Ansel Book Vibes , October 18
Inklings and Notions, October 18
Multifarious, October 19
The Becca Files, October 19
The Lit Addict, October 20
Luv’N Lambert Life, October 20
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, October 21
Real World Bible Study, October 21
Babbbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 22
Christian Bookaholic, October 22
God’s Little Bookworm , October 23
Godly Book Reviews, October 23
Reading Is My SuperPower, October 24
A Reader’s Brain, October 24
Maureen’s Musings, October 25
Baker Kella, October 25
Just the Write Escape, October 26
Mary Hake, October 26
Janice’s Book Reviews , October 27
A Baker’s Perspective, October 27
Bibliophile Reviews, October 28
Proud to Be an Autism Mom, October 28
Texas Book-aholic, October 29
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 29
Bigreadersite , October 30
Carpe Diem, October 31
Lis Loves Reading, October 31
To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d56e/the-mending-of-lillian-cathleen-celebration-tour-giveaway