Monday, September 10, 2012
More Than Sorrow by Vicki Delany
Hannah Manning was a renowned journalist for a Canadian newspaper who fought to cover the war in Afghanistan. Following an "incident," she's now at her sister's small family farm in Prince Edward County, Ontario, suffering from a traumatic brain injury. She suffers agonizing headaches, blackouts, and fears she's hallucinating at times. And, the only person who seems to understand what Hannah lost in Afghanistan, and what she's suffering is Hila Popalzai, a young Afghan woman living with the neighbors. When Hannah drops a tea cup while visiting, and says she doesn't know what came over her, Hila does. "Grief, pain, sorrow beyond endurance. But we do endure."
But, Hila doesn't. When she goes missing, Hannah becomes a suspect. With her faulty memory, she can't account for her time when Hila disappeared. As the police prod her, and enemies circle, Hannah only knows she couldn't have hurt a friend who accepted her as she was, damaged and afraid. Both women were only seeking safety after what they had experienced in war-torn Afghanistan.
But, More Than Sorrow is about the trauma of war in the past as well as the present. Hannah's lost time often occurs when she goes to the root cellar. She's afraid she's hallucinating when she hears and sees a woman, but it's not a woman she knows. How does the woman connect with the house, and with Hannah?
I can't reveal more without spoiling this powerful story. It's a story of refugees, the refugees who flee from war in their own country, from their neighbors and families. It's a story of strong, brave women. And, for those of us who are Americans reading this, it's a revealing story of a part of our history that we've forgotten. Who were the refugees who fled our American Revolution?
Vicki Delany set an enormous task for herself. Write a suspense novel with a gothic spin. Tell of the trauma of war, the injuries, mental and physical. Tell of the anger, the stories of neighbors suspicious of each other. And, combine two storylines, one contemporary, and one from the late 1700s, that brilliantly come together in a terrifying climax. More Than Sorrow is a powerful story that works on so many levels. It won't be easily forgotten..
Note: Vicki Delany will be appearing for Authors @ The Teague on Oct. 25, along with Donis Casey.
Vicki Delany's website is www.vickidelany.com
More Than Sorrow by Vicki Delany. Poisoned Pen Press. 2012. ISBN 9781590589854 (hardcover), 312p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The author sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.