Monday, May 14, 2012

"The Discovery" Review

The Discovery by Dan Walsh was sent to me as an advance review copy by Revell Publishing. This was a new author for me, and I was looking forward to reading this one.

Michael Warner is deeply grieved by the death of his grandfather, a giant in the world of fiction authors. His grandfather’s books of war and intrigue have sold in the millions. When Michael inherits his grandfather’s rambling home in Charleston, along with enough money for him and his wife to live comfortably for the rest of their lives, he realizes that his own dream of becoming a writer might actually come to fruition.
But Michael will discover more in his grandfather’s home than just a great place to live. He is led to an unpublished manuscript that Michael realizes his grandfather meant for him to find. As he begins reading, Michael is transported back in time to 1942. What he finds in those pages is more than a remarkable story of suspense, intrigue, and romance – he finds the key to the secrets of his family’s past.

The Discovery had many of the aspects that I like in a novel: the historical portion was very rich, the characters experienced growth of some sort, the story (once it got started) kept moving, and I was entertained. I even liked the idea of a “novel-within-a-novel.”
But it was so much more than that. More than I can even really explain. After I got settled into the book, especially the historical part, I was hooked, and I couldn’t read it quickly enough. The characters were written so well, as were the action sequences, that I could even see this one as a movie, which I definitely cannot say about every book I read.

The writing and the flow of this novel were really good. Even though I don’t usually like it when new characters are introduced more than halfway through a book, especially if we are getting the story from their point of view, in this book that disruption in flow didn’t last long. It even seemed to be fitting, and I was able to settle back in very quickly.
This novel focuses mostly on the historical part of the story, which I like in these types of books. Others might appreciate more of a balance between the “past” story and the “present” story, but since I like historical fiction so much, I prefer staying in the past for most of the book. I also felt that this novel had just the right amount of suspense and revelation, even with the modern-day story. I liked how the reader gets the mystery long before the narrator Michael does. I can see how someone would find this frustrating, but I thought it was amusing. I felt like yelling at Michael, “Come on, dude! Just put two and two together!” But, having said that, I really enjoyed the “light bulb” moment that Michael had.

This novel went much deeper than I was expecting when I first started reading. It really makes you think about moral dilemmas and situations such as:  is it ever OK to lie? What about in dire circumstances? What would you do…and what would you be willing to give up…for true love? This story is ultimately one of sacrifice and mercy, and it is very powerful.
The author’s note at the end of this book was really interesting as well. It was neat to get some insight into how this story came to be.

Despite the war-time events, the secrets, and the action, The Discovery is still a romance at its core. I don’t usually get swept up in grand romances (Titanic, for example, is NOT one of my favorite movies. Not even close.), but this romantic storyline blew me away.

The tag line of this book from the publisher is “An Engrossing Story of Family Secrets and a Love for the Ages” – This is an absolutely perfect description for this novel.

I will give The Discovery … 4 ½ BookWorms.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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