Welcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. Each time, I review a well-written book, highlighting what makes it good from the reader’s perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible read. Thus, each review serves both writers and readers. I was on hiatus for a while because I traveled to Leader Dogs for the Blind in Michigan to train with my new guide dog. We have been home for a short while, and I'm back to writing
This week, I'm sharing Ridgeline, a historical fiction novel by an excellent writer, Pamela Foster.
I've reviewed another of her books,
Book One of The Long Journey Home Series
by Pamela Foster
Jeremiah Jones set off to war, a boy full of pride and ignorance, seeking glory and to prove his manhood. That boy never returned. Wounded to the depths of his soul, Jeremiah clung to sanity only by holding tight to the memory of Maggie, the girl he'd loved since the first time he saw her in his father's church. But Maggie had married another.
His soul seeking peace, but his warrior's heart wanting only battle, Jeremiah's mind is caught in the middle, between heaven and hell. Though he rides the saddle-preacher circuit, bringing the word of the Lord to all who'll listen, inside rages the killing beast that war birthed within him. The only ones he can count on are two ghosts; the first two men – but not the last – who tried to stand against him. Tried, and failed.
Cold company indeed, for that long journey home.
Was this a worthy read?
The writing is, as I would expect from Foster, top notch. In terms of the craft of writing, she can paint a scene with rich, dark detail. If you are an author looking for help with character development or a reader who loves multi-dimensional people in your stories, this book will not disappoint.
Deep Point of View
You'll dive deep into Jeremiah, who is tormented by his past and full of conflict. Here is the opening of the book:
On the ridgeline, Jeremiah shifted in the saddle and breathed deep the smell of wood smoke floating up from the chimney of the cabin below, drank in the sight of Maggie, his woman, leaning in the open door of the cabin from which he had ridden away seven months earlier. He indulged his vanity and fed his hope by believing this woman had stood right there through all the long days he'd been gone serving the Lord, through every star-filled night while he curled, dog-like, around an open fire and watched the stars turn in the sky and imagined her just like this, watching the horizon for his return, patient even as he tarried.
Foster is a master of the human condition, and her characters share their inmost thoughts, emotions and fears in her books. Jeremiah is a preacher like no other, with a taste for women and a tortured soul. You'll be deep inside the mind of a man with war on his mind but trying to change his nature.
The one thing that disturbs me deeply out this book is Adeline, who takes a lot of abuse from Jeremiah because of her love and attraction to him. But in books, as in life, people are what they are.
This book is deep and dark, not something to read when you want a light, entertaining book. But if you love conflict and depth of character heavily sprinkled with dark is for you. I enjoy all sorts of books, both the "brain deep. I choose a book depending on my mood at the time.
Watch for an excerpt of the book, coming soon.
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About Pamela Foster
Pamela Foster grew up in the redwoods of northern California where her family has raised all manner of mischief for eight generations. She's lived on the banks of the Mauna Loa on the Big Island of Hawaii, on the edge of the Mexican Caribbean, in the prickly-sticklies of the Arizona high desert, and on the tropical coast of Panama. She now lives in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas with her husband and his retired PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder) service dog.
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