Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Story Keeper

2015 Christy Award Winner

Lisa Wingate

The Story Keeper is a work of fiction written in the present tense but takes the reader back in time through a manuscript that editor Jen Gibbs should not be reading.

Although unrealistic that the editor, Jen Gibbs, would risk her career for an old manuscript that tells a common story of forbidden love, the book draws you into a tale of a woman on a mission. Jen believes the forbidden manuscript is written by a notorious author, which forces her to take it to her boss and show her the manuscript in order to get permission to pursue her unfounded wild goose chase. Her boss tells her to return it to the slush pile and never speak of it again. And what does she do? Jen takes it home! Who in their right mind would take such a risk for a hard to read story due to the language dialect used? Wingate uses this scenario to create a sense of urgency when switching between Jen’s life and the manuscript because the reader knows if anyone catches her reading a forbidden manuscript, then she could lose her new job as editor.

The transition between reality and manuscript was smooth and left you wanting for more. I didn’t want Jen to stop reading the story of Nathaniel and Anna. One part of me wanted her to keep reading because it was dangerous to her career. Another part of me wanted to know if love would prevail.

Wingate crafted the manuscript of Nathaniel and Anna’s love story in a unique voice that expressed the dialect and accents of the time era. This made it hard to read. For instance, “Send’em agin ya.” I am still not sure how to translate that into English. Also, in the manuscript dialogue was not labeled frequently enough for me to keep up with who was speaking, but Wingate did an excellent job writing and labeling dialogue between Jen and anyone she spoke to in present tense.

Of course, Jen is able to locate the suspected author of the forbidden manuscript and learns intimate details of his life and family. In literature, this is a fairy tale. In reality, it is an unrealistic work of fiction. The Story Keeper earns 4 out of 5 stars. I did like it, but wouldn’t read it again because of the hard to read language in the manuscript and predictable outcomes.

Wingate created a predictable tale that has the perfect ending for everyone. It will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. So, if you’re searching for a sweet love story, The Story Keeper is the book for you!

Happy Reading!



Successful New York editor, Jen Gibbs, is at the top of her game with her new position at Vida House Publishing -- until a mysterious manuscript from an old slush pile appears on her desk. Turning the pages, Jen finds herself drawn into the life of Sarra, a mixed-race Melungeon girl trapped by dangerous men in the turn of the century Appalachia. A risky hunch may lead to The Story Keeper's hidden origins and its unknown author, but when the trail turns toward the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a place Jen thought she'd left behind forever, the price of a blockbuster next book deal may be higher than she's willing to pay.

Amazon Buy Link for THE STORY KEEPER


Praise for The Story Keeper:

"Not since To Kill a Mockingbird has a story impacted me like this." -- COLLEEN COBLE, USA Today bestselling author of Seagrass Pier

Wingate is, quite simply, a master storyteller. Her story-within-a-story, penned with a fine, expressive style, will captivate writers and non-writers alike. -- Booklist

Selected among Booklist’s Top 10 for two consecutive years, Lisa Wingate skillfully weaves lyrical writing and unforgettable settings with elements of traditional Southern storytelling, history, and mystery to create novels that Publisher's Weekly calls "Masterful" and Library Journal refers to as "A good option for fans of Nicholas Sparks and Mary Alice Monroe." 

Lisa is a journalist, an inspirational speaker, and the author of twenty-five novels. She is a seven-time ACFW Carol Award nominee, a multiple Christy Award nominee, a twotime Carol Award winner, and a 2015 RT Booklovers Magazine Reviewer’s Choice Award Winner for mystery/suspense. Recently, the group Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Lisa along with Bill Ford, Camille Cosby, and six others as recipients of the National Civies Award, which celebrates public figures who work to promote greater kindness and civility in American life. Booklist summed up her work by saying, “Lisa Wingate is, quite simply, a master storyteller.” More information about her novels can be found at


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