Reviewer Amy Lignor: Amy is the author of a historical fiction novel entitled The Heart of a Legend, and Mind Made, a work of science fiction. Presently, she is writing an adventure series set in the New York Public Library, as well as a teen fiction series, The Angel Chronicles. She is an avid traveler and has been fortunate to have journeyed across the USA, where she has met the most amazing people, who truly bring life and soul to her books. She lives in the Land of Enchantment (for now) with her gorgeous daughter, Shelby, her wonderful Mom, Mary, and the greatest friend and critic in the entire world - her dog, Reuben
Author: Jackson Taylor
This is a powerful story full of love, heartbreak, redemption – everything that makes up a human life. I recommend all readers to pick this up and experience a writer who took a very personal journey into the unknown, and discovered humanity at its worst and at its finest
Author: Jackson Taylor
After reading such a fantastic – literally, a masterpiece of fiction – written by this first time author actually leaves me speechless. Suffice to say, I was not expecting the absolute jolt of the subject matter or the poetic writing style that I received the minute I read the very first page.
In this absolutely riveting story, which the author bases on his grandmother’s life, we meet Verna Krone. Verna is a young girl who was pulled out of school early to care for her family. Her father was a lot older than her mother and was quite ill, so Verna was enlisted to make some money so that the family wouldn’t starve. She was sent to work as a housekeeper and general all-round worker at the Wertz farm which was a four hour journey across the mountain from her home. She didn’t mind Mr. and Mrs. Wertz at first; they were “plain-folk” even though they lived in a large brick house and had food on the table. The strange part was that Mrs. Wertz always seemed like she was “mourning the girl she used to be,” and Verna had no idea why she was always so sad. Unfortunately, Verna found out, and her time with them grew frightening when Mr. Wertz decided there were other “things” she could do in his household…for his special enjoyment.
We follow Verna as she goes from job to job, trying to outrun the fact that Mr. Wertz had given more to her than just wages. After her situation was “taken care of,” Verna ended up working at a roadhouse for an extremely nice man who would never take advantage of a girl so young. Unfortunately, that man, through various choices, ended up leaving her to her own devices and Verna ended up working in a variety of odd-jobs throughout Pennsylvania. At one point in the story, she finds herself desperately in love with a man named Charles. He is kind to her and treats her well. As Verna awaits the birth of their child, she also awaits the proposal from Charles, who ends up to be completely opposite from the man Verna thought he was.
Eventually Verna finds herself going to a school to get her nurses’ license. After all, she’s an extremely hard worker and she knows that no matter what she needs to do or how hard the pressures will be that come with the medical profession, she is strong enough to achieve the skill necessary for a better life for her and her family. She ends up working for a doctor who is quite the hero. This man is the Vice Chairman of the Republican Party; he’s the leader of the African American YMCA; and, has lived a life that is filled with tribute dinners and testimonials for all the hard work that he’s done throughout his lifetime in order to make peoples’ lives better. Verna becomes a part of the Dr’s practice, which helps women deal with their unwanted pregnancies. Now the Dr. is an upstanding member of the community, yet when the political arena “turns” the Doctor becomes a threat. Verna gets caught in the middle and finds herself standing trial for “illegal surgical procedures.”
There’s so much to say about this book that I would most likely be able to fill ten notebooks with all I have to say. What readers should know up front is that the writing style and the words are absolutely beautiful and thought-provoking. For some, the story will create anger; others will nod their heads. But this is not a Roe v. Wade manifest; this is a book about a woman who was a strong survivor of a great many painful life experiences. One of my favorite lines was when one of the characters – a suitor for Verna’s hand – said that there was no substitute for character and that you never know where you’ll find character out there in the world. There was also a line that focused on the fact that in life we are always being warned not to get lost, but it’s in the risk of the unknown when we are truly and completely alive. Absolutely beautiful lines such as these hit me square between the eyes. This is a powerful story full of love, heartbreak, redemption – everything that makes up a human life. I recommend all readers to pick this up and experience a writer who took a very personal journey into the unknown, and discovered humanity at its worst and at its finest.