Monday, July 27, 2020

Book Review: These Nameless Things by Shawn Smucker

This is a first for book reviews here at Life on the Gravelly Road... the first time I'm posting a review of a fiction book!

 The book "These Nameless Things" by Shawn Smucker is a haunting story that kept me pondering the layers of meaning long after I set it down. It pulled me into the story of Dan and his friends, their peaceful simple life in a rustic village on the side of a mountain after each escaping from something terrible inside the nearby mountain leaving them little memory of their life before. What Dan does remember clearly is that his own escape from the mountain mean leaving his brother behind, so he waits and watches for his brother's escape. Slowly you learn more about the characters, as their memories start returning, pasts are revealed and secrets uncovered. Themes of friendship, sacrifice, family, guilt and forgiveness weave together throughout the story as Dan must face secrets, his past as he slowly remembers it, and decide what he is willing to do to save his brother and help his friends.

As soon as I finished this book, I wanted to read it a second time, knowing a second read would show more connections and meaning I missed the first time through. The world the author builds for the story is captivating and he reveals new information into the story line with artistry. The book was hard to put down not because of action or suspense really, more a burning desire that I needed to understand what was really happening, what the character had not figured out yet, what the author was keeping just below the surface.

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