I got a wonderful surprise today via a review posted on Amazon for my novel, Each Angel Burns. The review was excellent and doubly appreciate because it was posted by author/novelist/poet Barry Yelton. This is what he said:
Of Angels, Love, and Miracles,
June 16, 2010
This review is from: Each Angel Burns (Paperback)
Kathleen Valentine is an author with a vivid eye for detail and a knack for telling a good story. This one is exceptionally well told. It is the story of a tormented priest and an abused wife, along with a cast of believable and capitivating characters. Throw in a mysterious old abbey with a storied past, a string of murders, and a globe-trotting villain and you have an engaging and entertaining read.
Ms. Valentine has a gift for description and her often lyrical prose brings the story depth and texture. Describing the view of the ocean from the crumbling abbey she writes, "Silver light from a full Snow Moon rising out of the Atlantic just beyond Owls Head sweeps across the frigid black waters like a trail of angel's wings and shimmers through the frozen night." She paints such vivid pictures that the reader can easily visualize the scenes and the characters in them.
The story pulls you along with surprising twists and turns, and an unexpected ending.
This is one of the best independent novels I have read. Highly recommended.
I "met" Barry (in the cyber sense) a couple years ago when I read his book Scarecrow in Gray which is a beautifully written novel about the Civil War based on the experiences of one of his ancestors. While the story is told against the background of the Civil War it is really something of a morality story about what happens to a good and decent man who is forced to be party to terrible things. I wrote an Amazon review for his book and he wrote to tell me it was his favorite review. I was flattered.
So I want to thank Barry for his kind words and encourage you to check out his book. In some senses his hero, Francis Yelton, and Father Peter Black in my book have much in common. Though Francis is a married farmer and Fr. Black is, well, a priest, both are good, decent, moral men with great integrity who are, through circumstances they had no choice in, thrust into impossible situations in which they have to act in ways they never thought themselves capable of.
There is a conventional wisdom in literature that the most interesting of all characters are the ones with secrets. That's all I'll say about that.....
Thanks for reading, and thank you, Barry Yelton.