Today I am reviewing a historical fiction novel by Marc Kuhn. Here is more about the author:
Author Marc Kuhn has worked in radio broadcasting most of his life as a journalist, a program director and a marketing executive. He has held positions at major radio stations in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Miami.
Now retired, he has turned his attention to writing. His first book, NEVER GOOSE A MOOSE! is a collection of whimsical verse for young children.
ABOUT A FARM is his second children’s book. It features lessons in life beyond the barnyard.
A third book, THE POPE’S STONE, is Kuhn’s first adult novel. It is a fascinating historical novel about two descendants of the same family who live parallel lives, but a century apart!
Kuhn lives in South Florida with his wife, Rosemarie, and seven grandchildren.
Robert and Sandra are two young lovers whose quest to be together forever is challenged by misguided jealousy and a great world war. They grew up together in the small town of Centreville on the scenic Corsica River that streams outward from the Eastern Shore of Maryland. This is “the land of pleasant living” along the great Chesapeake Bay. It is a rich and bountiful environment where resilient people have lived for generations and where a usually tranquil lifestyle remains undisturbed…until a letter mailed forty years earlier finally reaches its destination.
I started off with high expectations from this book because firstly, I loved The Pope’s Stone, the first book I read of the author and secondly because the summary and title seemed promising. The cover is gorgeous except for the naked lady!. I found that a teeny tiny bit disturbing particularly because I do judge books by their covers (Yep, it’s a sin, I know). However, her being naked and standing there has a significance in the book. So, once I finished reading, I actually found it apt that it made it to the cover!. Saying that, don’t think there is graphic sex or too much nudity involved in this story. It’s a simple historic fiction with some good suspense woven into it.
Marc is the author who introduced me to historic fiction and made me fall in love with it. He successfully does so again with this one!. The story takes place in the year 1943. The pace of the story is relaxing and fluid. The beauty of the lake Corsica, the Chesapeake bay and the surroundings is beautifully described. What I loved the most though is the portrayal of the innocent love between two 17 year olds, Robert and Sandra, the protagonists of this story. You read about them and you simply know that they are made for each other. Their love is sweet, pure and innocent.
So imagine when Robert has to leave his town and go join the Marine Armed services. Sandra is heartbroken, because in those times many were dying at the war and there was no guarantee that she will ever see him again. Many scenes in this book moved me to tears. There is such emotion in the story. I loved all the characters in this book. My favorite though is Sandra. She is so strong in testing times and her character development is very nicely described throughout the book.
Then something happens that makes Robert fill with revenge and sadness. I found myself wondering why, until the very end. The suspense is very well maintained. There is a reference to a ‘treasure’, which I figured out once it was mentioned. But I had to wait till the end to find out why Robert considered ‘it’ Sandra’s treasure. Robert says in a letter that it’s a treasure that Sandra values more than Robert and seriously, those words threw me right off the track. I couldn’t think of anything that was more treasured by Sandra!. But there were certain other wordings / circumstances that lead me to understand what the treasure itself was but how it really related to Sandra, kept me hooked to the very last.
I got to say, I would have liked one more chapter in the end to see how life went on in the town of Centreville after some shocking revelations. The current ending seems abrupt and you sit there wondering what the heck just happened!. Its not like you are left with a lot of questions. Not at all. It’s pretty shocking because you will never see what was coming!.. You really got to read this book to know more. I am not going to reveal any spoilers here!. Oh and the Chesapeake Bay in this story is actually Marc’s favorite place on earth!. It’s nice that he made this story revolve around real places that is close to his heart.
Marc’s writing style is amazing and addictive. Even the Acknowledgement he wrote is so interesting and puts a smile on your face. There is life in his words. I have read acknowledgements of some other books before where it’s just flat, no life at all and you can immediately feel that it was written out of sheer necessity and not from the heart. But that’s not the case with Marc’s acknowledgements. It’s so heartfelt!.
Overall, I give this book 5/5 which by Goodreads standards means ‘it was amazing’. Historic fiction fans, suspense fans and anyone who wants a good relaxing read would absolutely love this!.
Contact the author
How I received a copy
A complimentary ebook copy of this book was provided to me by the author for review purposes. All opinions are 100% my own.