I'm a late starter in the world of Indie publishing. I published my first novel, Leap the Wild Water, in March of this year at the ripe age of fifty-five. I've been creatively writing for years but this was the first novel I'd written which I felt was worthy of publication. I live in the wilds of Wales, a landscape which is little changed from the 19th century era in which Leap the Wild Water is set. Fortunately, unlike the landscape, life is very different now from the way it was back then, especially for women. In the past, the majority of women suffered great hardship and inequality, and were subject to blatant sexual double standards. Women were rendered powerless by the religious doctrine and cultural beliefs of the time, much as they still are in many parts of the world. Women who dared to break the rules were often cruelly punished, not only by larger society but also by their own families. Maybe its because I came from a large family of ten children, but I've always been intrigued by the ways in which society impacts on individual lives. This interest is reflected in my writing. In the main, I blog about how life used to be for rural people; discoveries I made while researching my novel. I also blog reviews about books I've found outstanding.
Leap the Wild Water
What a page-turning read this was. I read it in two sittings. From the opening pages to the last, I was gripped by this story and had to know what was going to happen next.
On the surface, its a story about two old timers, Frankie and Clay, one of whom is losing his mind to old age. The first suspicion Frankie has that something is seriously going wrong with his life-long friend, Clay, is when he comes across him beating his beloved dog to death.
From there, things go from bad to worse in a terrifying, downward spiral of events. Frankie tries to help Clay by giving him a drug for dementia. As the saying goes, you can take a horse to water but you cannot make him drink. Frankie is faced with a dilemma - how best to deal with his friend who is becoming a danger to others, including Frankie's own granddaughter, Shellie.
This story will leave you thinking long after you finish reading it. At its core lies some deep questions about right and wrong; selfishness and selflessness; what drives people to act against their own conscience; the impossible choices some are forced to make and how the choices we make can irredeemably change who we are.
The oh-so-clever-twist at the end of the tale took me completely by surprise and was perfection.
Absolutely brilliant. I loved it. Highly recommend.
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