Reviewer Maria Savva : Maria is a lawyer and writer from the UK. She has published four novels and three collections of short stories and she is currently editing her fifth novel. She is also a resident author/moderator for BestsellerBound.com. You can find out more about Maria by following on her WEBSITE.
Author: Charles D. Blanchard
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
Click Here To Purchase Mourning Doves After The Fire
An average debut novel, with signs of genius.
Set in Pennsylvania 1910, this is the story
of Abby Whitman, a 28 year old woman, who discovers she is
suffering from cancer. There is a mutual attraction between
her and the doctor who is treating her, Dr. Fletcher. He
wants to cure Abby, so seeks advice from a fellow doctor who is
pioneering a new cancer treatment. There are many other
characters in the book, and I sometimes found that it was
distracting having so many different characters because there was
no room for the author to develop them. I was often left
feeling as though I didn’t understand the motivation behind why
a certain character did something or behaved in a certain way.
This could only be resolved by giving more time to each of the
characters and helping the reader to get to know them better.
For example, the story about Henry Corrigan and the old woman
could have been very touching, but I was just left feeling as
though it required a leap of faith to believe it. Similarly,
the way the mourning dove tale ends left me wondering ‘why?’.
feel that the author was trying to achieve too much with this book
and the end result was that there are about a dozen different sub
plots going on, leaving little time to fully explore each one and
leave the reader satisfied.
The main story about Abby seemed to
be neglected in part so that the other stories could be fitted
into the book. The effect was that on reading the novel it
felt more like a set of short stories that were interwoven.
It is a fairly typical debut novel, in that the sentence
structure needs some work to make it flow better. Some of
the sentences are far too long, in my opinion, and others need
work to make the reading experience less of a task. I also
personally didn’t like the usage of expletives and slang in the
narrative. In my view it’s okay for characters to use
expletives if they are someone who would talk like that, but in
this type of historical drama the use of such language didn’t
seem to ‘fit’.
Having said all that, there is a lot to like
about the book. It has obviously been well researched.
Lovers of classical music will be able to appreciate the author’s
descriptions of the classical pieces enjoyed by Abby, Dr.
Fletcher, and Madison. There were signs of the makings of a
master storyteller—for example, the scene where Ella saves a
kitten had me enthralled. Readers who like the classics, and
historical fiction, will find a lot to satisfy their tastes.
I must admit to preferring more fast-paced and modern literature,
which is perhaps why this book didn’t work for me. I have
read a few Booker Prize winners and many a bestseller that have
left me feeling unsatisfied for this very reason.
This author is undoubtedly very talented. There are indications throughout the novel that he has a heightened awareness of human nature and a fabulous imagination. I would definitely be interested in reading more of his books in the future.