Thursday, September 9, 2010

Book Review : Letters from Sweetwater

Title : Letters from Sweetwater

Author : Dr. Dale Garland
ISBN : 978-1-926625-31-7

Letters from Sweetwater is a mystery set against the backdrop of a picturesque valley of Sweetwater, in the mountains of North Carolina.
The story begins with Wade, his wife - Edith, their first born Jesse and their little world - Jesse's paternal grandparents living close by and their loving relationship with Jesse and his maternal grandparents paying visits off and on. Gradually this small family extends with more additions in the form of Jesse's younger siblings. Once, while on a regular visit, Jesse's uncle - Keith, expresses the desire to divulge one secret which could affect the whole family and its honor but then decides not to do so on advice of a total stranger that he chanced meeting upon. Soon after that Keith almost becomes invalid - severely brain damaged and amnesia stricken owing to the attack of bacterial encephalitis. Now what would be the fate of that secret which Keith wanted to share with his sister? Will it remain in the dark confines of Keith's heart only?

Quite an intriguing book and such books reinforce the fact that there is something much bigger than what our simple minds can understand or comprehend. It is a saga touching many aspects - faith, family secrets, mysterious forces working their magic and the underlying strength of family as a unit and its undying faith. Through the characters the human shortcomings, vulnerabilities, apprehensions and beliefs are questioned and brought out beautifully.
The description of mountainous region of North Carolina is included in between the storyline, bringing the nice feel of the place and I like such sketches of the location since they are helpful in making readers feel connected to the proceedings.

What made the reading much slower in the beginning was the clutter created by a lot of characters introduced continuously throughout the narrative. It belongs to the mystery genre but initial complexity of the storyline makes it a daunting task to continue reading till the point story starts gripping the readers.

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