I love to read reviews, whether for films, books or restaurants. I'm one of those who may base a choice on such information, although I'm the first to admit I don't always agree with the critics. There's this contrary side to me more likely to see a film the critics pan, or love a book they hated.
Even when there's no question of a purchase, when the subject matter is something of no interest, the review is still one of my favorite forms of entertainment.
But with the release date for This Bird Flew Away drawing ever closer, I awaited the first review of the work with more than a little trepidation. Suddenly, my words which at one time seemed so heart-felt, so true after months and months of laborious and sometimes painful work, not to mention the input from my wonderful editor, Kathryn Lynn Davis -- well, suddenly I was sure they were trite, dull, feeble and unworthy.
Do you know that feeling? Isn't judgment an absolutely soul-destroying feeling?
Mr. Brian Knight of Premium Promotional Services was the first to provide a review. When I saw his name and the subject: Book Review in the in-box of my email, my heart started tripping along at two/four time, and a cold stone settled in the pit of my stomach. I could barely stand to click the thing open.
Every snide and sarcastic remark by a reviewer that had once elicited a superior giggle, a facetious nod of agreement or that sense of Schadenfreude we all enjoy so much, though never admit, leaped into my mind. This time it was my book under the magnifying glass. My book! Two years of my life.
I opened it, quickly scanned his words and sucked in a deep breath, feeling and sounding much like Sally Fields at the Oscars: "He liked it! He liked it!"
To those of you used to this, I'm sure I come across like some needy child hearing her first ever words of praise. Okay -- I am some needy child and these are my first ever public words of praise. This is my debut novel. Bear with me, and let me dance for joy. I promise; I'll grow up one day soon.
Title: This Bird Flew Away
Author: Lynda M. Martin
Reviewed By: Brian Knight
Official Premium Promotional Services Rating: *****
What do you do when innocence dies?
Bria is a typical little girl by all outward appearances but inside lurks dark secrets and problems only adults should have to face. She is smart but confused with the world around her. To top it off, she has no one to talk to about these problems. That is, until, Jack finds her in the basement of the family home during a funeral. Jack is Bria’s best friend and the one person she will talk to. Unbeknownst to them both, that friendship will be tested and strengthened, and eventually will save a life.
Bria doesn’t have a real home. After years of being shuffled between Aunts and across the border, the only family she can count on is her Aunt Mary and Jack. She takes it upon herself to protect her younger sister but, as fate would have it, she is forced into a difficult decision in her efforts to find them both a safe home. Her impossible situation turns into a nightmare as she is soon abducted and trafficked. The unspeakable acts she endures and witnesses leave her a shell of the girl she once was.
After a daring escape, Bria now faces the most difficult obstacle of all – finding her place in society again. Along her harrowing path, she confronts her inner enemies and discovers new life when it seemed her life was over. Can she truly recover? Will she learn what love really is? Will she allow herself to be more than the ‘nobody, nobody wants’?
From the first word, Lynda Martin’s passion for crafting a gripping story combined with her career of helping missing and exploited children takes center stage. Instantly, you are immersed in Bria’s journey as she struggles to navigate a cruel world. With each passing page, it is virtually impossible not to care for Bria and the others like her in “This Bird Flew Away.” You will find yourself wanting to hug, talk and listen to Bria as the connection is made on multiple levels.
“This Bird Flew Away” is a story of betrayal, abuse, hope, love and strength.
The emotions experienced as the story unfolds carry it from page to page. Sadness, anger, grief, hopelessness, joy, love, hope and peace are all present and combine to deliver a surreal experience; one that will haunt and demand that you ponder the reality that the story depicts. This book is a must have for those seeking an emotionally charged story of survival.
Author Lynda Martin’s debut novel, is sure to take the world by storm. I see a bright future for this up and coming author.
(He liked it! He liked it!)