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The Story Keeper

Lisa Wingate
The Story Keeper
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New York editor, Jen Gibbs has built her career from the bottom up. Years ago, she left her Appalachian past and twisted family ties behind her. She worked hard to make a name for herself, and nearly forgot the life she left behind. That is, until she finds a filthy manuscri... Read More

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New York editor, Jen Gibbs has built her career from the bottom up. Years ago, she left her Appalachian past and twisted family ties behind her. She worked hard to make a name for herself, and nearly forgot the life she left behind. That is, until she finds a filthy manuscript on her desk about a young woman trapped in Appalachia. The search for the rest of the manuscript and Jen's suspicions about the identity of its unnamed author, will draw her into a mystery that leads back to the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains . . . and through the doors she thought she had closed forever.

Product Details:
Page Count: 438
Released: 09/2014
  • Product type: Book
  • Format: Softcover
  • Release Date: Sep 1, 2014
  • UPC: 9781414386898
  • Volumes/Discs: 1
  • Pages: 438
  • Publish Date: Sep 1, 2014
  • Language: English
  • BISAC: "FIC044000"
  • ISBN: 1414386893

Customer Reviews

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Beautiful, Lyrical Prose, God’s Healing Love – Don’t Miss This One!! by Jeanie on 4/18/2015

Sometimes the past comes to claim us in ways we hadn’t planned on, especially if we try to bury that past so that no one in our present can find out just where we came from. It happened that way for Jen Gibbs, a professional editorial team member who landed a dream job at Vida House Publishing. In the past, she has worked with non-fiction manuscripts, and a twist of God’s hand working in her life lands her into what is presumed to be a fictional manuscript, the first three chapters of a story, from the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. A manuscript with a beautifully drawn cover page and titled The Story Keeper was left on her desk one day, thought to be part of the editorial Slush Pile that nobody was supposed to touch. Yet Jen felt compelled to see what it was, read it, until such time that she could slide it into the pile when nobody was around. One could almost feel the guilty pleasure of opening and reading the contents of the envelope.
Jen thinks she knows who – and where – the mystery author might be. The contents teased her into looking for the author, bringing it up to her supervisor who tells her to stop the pursuit and if she presents it to the owner, she does so at her own risk. The next thing she knows, Jen and her pup are on a plane back to North Carolina, where her roots were – but more importantly, where the potential author was. And everything she learns about the adversarial writer tells her to stop and go back to New York City. In spite of the ugly memories of her childhood and the bad attitude of the author, Jen just can’t let it go. Then she visits her sisters, additional chapters of The Story Keeper appear at the cabin she is renting, and she wishes she could believe in God as one of the characters in the book does, a loving God instead of the one she was taught about through her father’s church. Does this bring Jen to dream the dream of publishing the novel of a lifetime, or to pursue the desire to find the love that makes her life worth living?
The men, women and children in Lisa Wingate’s novel, The Story Keeper, step off the pages into my mind’s eye as if they are real. For the days that the story consumes me, they are real. One can see and hear each one, which is a testament of the gift of writing that the Lord has given to Ms. Wingate and the ability to reach into the heart and soul of a reader to seek the God she serves.
This is a magnificent, unforgettable novel of loss and redemption, of anger and rejection and the love of God. The prose is lyrical, at times wailing a dirge and at others exalting the wonders of God’s world. The characters are real, representing all of us who have secrets and wounds – and bringing those secrets and wounds into the light to find the love of the Lord. I highly recommend this novel – to be read, re-read, and shared with friends and loved ones.
With a grateful heart, I received a copy of this book through the “For Readers Only” group at The Book Club Network, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.

Intriguing & Emotive! by quiltcat26@sbcglobal.net on 2/8/2015

Shortly after beginning her career with a new publishing house, Jen discovers a mysterious, old, partial manuscript on the corner of her desk that defies explanation. After reading these first chapters she is determined to find the elusive author in order to publish the book in its entirety. The owner of Vida House Publishing makes arrangements for her to travel to the community where the suspected enigmatic author resides. Her past converges with the present as she discovers herself in the Appalachian community where she grew up.

"The Story Keeper" is a mystifying, poignant story within a story that evokes numerous emotions as the story of the protagonist's childhood unravels, and the events described in an old manuscript take her on a journey that is esoteric and compelling. The intertwining of the stories interwoven in this masterful novel are intriguing and revealing. The descriptive elements are picturesque, descriptive to the point that visions of the Appalachian mountains and the glory contained within come alive with the beauty of the terrain, waterfalls and streams. The characters presented are colorful, diverse and distinctive.

This story moves at a pace that leaves no room for boredom. I discovered emotional connections throughout this story, told with depth and sensitivity. Lisa Wingate has once again created a deeply moving and entertaining story filled with mystery, intrigue and ethereal qualities. I highly recommend "The Story Keeper!" I was completely engrossed in this creative story within a story.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from The Book Club Network's For Readers Only program in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.

Lisa Wingate has given us a profound glimpse into the history and lives of the Appalachian people! by Jeri's Real Reviews on 9/2/2014

Jen Gibbs is a successful editor at Vida House publishing in New York. She has just taken this job and is looking forward to continued success. A manuscript mysteriously appears on her desk that she tries not to read, but cannot keep herself from looking at it. It is twenty years old and she is certain that it comes from the “slush mountain”, a huge pile of unsolicited manuscripts that are destined never to be published. As she begins to read, she becomes aware that it is from the Appalachian Mountains that she was raised in and called home until she went to college. As she is drawn into the story, only eight chapters are in the manila envelope with no author’s name, she feels compelled to find the author and read the rest of the book and possibly get it published. She makes a convincing plea to her boss, the intrepid George Vida. Off she goes to the mountains, perilously close to her hometown where her family still lives. She is in pursuit of just a few minutes of time with the man whom she believes to be the author of the novel. The ensuing happenings that take place during her stay are the meat of the story. The Story Keeper is filled with the connection between her past and the history of the characters in the manuscript. Jen is pulled into the story of Sarra, a mixed-race Melungeon girl and Rand Champlain, the preacher who takes her safety to heart, which is also the heart of the story. It was difficult for me to get into this book at the start. It is an interweaving of the old manuscript and Jen’s modern day story. The Blue Ridge dialect was difficult for me to read and understand. I felt myself losing interest since I was not getting the full meaning from the parts with the dialect in them. The hook came for me several chapters in when the story became personal for Jen. As I read on, the dialect became easier and the writing more compelling so that, by the end of the book I was thoroughly involved and ended the story with a lump in my throat. An excellent story, well told was my reward for staying with it. Lisa Wingate has also given us a profound glimpse into the lives of the Appalachian people. I give The Story Keeper four stars!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher Tyndale, in exchange for my honest review. These words are my opinion.

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