Corina Marion has a father problem—namely that her Red Cross doctor of a dad has finally returned home from sixteen years of war…
…as a body in a box to be buried.
Her mother is devastated, her friends shocked and saddened, her hometown in mourning at the loss of its local hero. And Corina, indifferent to the man she never met, is trapped in the middle of an emotional onslaught she isn’t prepared to handle.
But when a strange old man confronts Corina at her father’s funeral, he offers her an impossible opportunity: the chance to know the late Luther Marion. And in a moment of uncertainty, Corina makes a choice with consequences she can barely fathom.
A choice that sends her twenty-five years into the past.
Right on the cusp of the harrowing events that will shape Luther Marion’s life…and death.
And in order to return to her damaged home, supportive friends, and uncertain future, Corina will have to fight tooth and nail alongside the man she’s resented her entire life. Because if she doesn’t help fix the past she’s inadvertently changed with her presence, Luther Marion may not live long enough to become a hero at all.
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Quick Reasons: awesome, Christmas Carol-esque story/plot; characters easy to identify and fall in love with; absolutely gorgeous, breath-taking prose; high action; a deep exploration of the reach of family…and the love that comes with this
HOLY WOW, this book! I just… I can’t…
Be still, my breaking heart!
Honestly, though; I think I’ve forgotten how to words properly. Give me just a minute to collect myself, won’t you? No? Well, you asked for it then.
Therin Knite is a writer I discovered via Tumblr. Yes. When an opportunity came up to read and review, of course I jumped at the chance (many thanks, therefore, to Therin—for this AND future opportunities.) I spent a good five minutes debating which book I wanted to start with—and in the end, chose this one. Why? The cover is gorgeous. The story was intriguing. And because I wanted to. I know, really valid reasons there.
I was expecting a book with a lot of action, a fair amount of character growth (maybe?), and a few unexpected revelations. Suffice to say, I got all of that…and so much more.
This read has a lot of heart. Corina as a character is intelligent, confident in herself and her goals, often times a wise-ass, and, in moments that matter, utterly reckless. For me, who enjoys books with characters that break the rules and go their own ways, she’s absolutely PERFECT. I was hooked from sentence one. I spent most of this read either giggling, or holding my breath with suspense—neither of which is a bad thing.
The exploration of the characters—specifically, their deepest, most secret aspirations and emotions—is hard-hitting and realistic. Weaving Corina’s present with moments from her father’s past, Therin Knite takes readers on a journey of discovery, family ties, and the reach/devestation of war. The prose is beautiful, though at times a bit jarring (there are a lot of simple sentences, and it took a bit of time gettig used to the writing style—a good amount of sentences are split up arbitrarily or unnecessarily into two or three different phrasings.) The plot is well-structured, maintained, and brilliantly executed. The use of the “paranormal” acts almost like a side-dish to this main course; it’s there, it’s maybe a tiny bit unexplained…but it doesn’t really HAVE to be to understand the message of the story. The paranormal aspect is not the most important part of this. The most important part is the heart.
But above all is the emotional reach. This book strips down your walls as you go. While Corina is learning about and experiencing glimpses from the past of a man she grew up loathing, a man she never knew, readers are learning about the characters (and themselves!) at the same time. There’s a sense of connection between the words on the page and the readers’ heart that grips with iron fists and refuses to let go. The pace is quick, and while there are small moments of “quiet” when revelations are being made or deeper connections being forged, these are so beautifully written and woven into the immediate story you won’t notice what’s happening.
Therin Knite is, judging from just this one read, a writer that pours heart and soul into a story, and asks readers for nothing more than an open mind. This story—and the way it impacted me—took me by surprise. Mark this down as one of my newest favorite reads; it’s gorgeous, and I really enjoyed the journey. I highly recommend, especially to those who enjoyed reads like The Book Thief (Marcus Suzak) or The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold). To be fair, though, I think if you go into this with an open mind and a willingness to FEEL, pretty much everyone will be touched by Corina’s journey toward peace—with herself, with the world, and with the father she never got the chance to really know.