I was hoping to read Boo Walker’s Red Mountain Chronicles series before adding more of his books here, but since that doesn’t seem to be happening anytime soon, I would be remiss if I did not talk about the wondrous An Unfinished Story (2020) and The Singing Trees (2021.) What really lit a fire under me was seeing a Facebook post this morning where he talked about “killing his darlings” (scrapping 8000 words he just wrote–ouch) and starting over. It was this unsolicited admission of a writer’s blood, sweat and tears that reminded me of his character, author Whitaker Grant, in An Unfinished Story, and I knew I had to add these today.
An Unfinished Story: Claire Kite is attempting to reassemble her life after the death of her husband, David. Among his belongings, she discovers his final, unfinished manuscript. In an effort to give it the ending it deserves, Claire seeks out disillusioned writer, Whitaker Grant. Whit is suffering from “one hit wonder” syndrome. His debut novel was an instant success that became a hit film, but the pressure has crippled him from writing anything else.
The plot is unique, the twists unexpected, and the ending wholly satisfying. Both Claire and Whit have something that the other needs to put the pieces of their lives back together. Only by getting to know each other, as well as unlocking secrets about Claire’s late husband, can the unfinished story take flight.
I gave this book 5/5 Stars on Goodreads, but I’m not going to rate it here. Between Whitaker Grant’s personal angst and the real author’s willingness to share his process with the rest of us, I feel it would be unfair. Let me just say that An Unfinished Story is a beautiful book that I highly recommend.
The Singing Trees: Maine, 1969. Annalisa Mancuso has just lost her parents in a car crash and is living with her grandmother. She has artistic aspirations, but the town of Payton Mills is suffocating. She’s talented and determined to make her way to the thriving art scene in Portland. What she doesn’t expect is the impact that Thomas, an Ivy Leaguer, and his troubled younger sister, Emma, will have on her plans. Like flipping magnets, these three are drawn together and pushed apart over a series of years.
As other reviewers mention, The Singing Trees addresses love in many forms: family, friendship, and romance. Some of that love is healthy, some is toxic, a lot of it is self-sacrificing with lasting consequences. There is betrayal and redemption with lessons learned by all. Another winner that I highly recommend with 5/5 Stars on Goodreads.
Visit Boo’s page: http://www.boowalker.com/