Review: The Saints of Swallow Hill
THE SAINTS OF SWALLOW HILL by Donna Everhart is not like the type of fiction I normally read, but it captured my attention. Which is a big thing for me because I’ve had a tough time finding books that just won’t let me walk away. I was intrigued with this author’s reasoning from beginning to end.
As I turn the pages, I automatically analyze the author’s process and my reaction to it. I ask myself and the author questions. I suppose this is why I can’t read a book without reviewing it, even if I bought it. This book was provided by the publisher for my honest review, so I was extra conscious of how I reacted to it.
Reading is like unraveling a mystery because of how I analyze as I go. THE SAINTS OF SWALLOW HILL revealed my own processes more than most books. It really made me curious.
At first, I swore this book was written by a man because of the way the main character approached sexual encounters and how the author described them. I find that men and women usually write differently about sex, unless it’s a part of the character’s revelation. I wasn’t exactly thrilled with Del’s behavior in the beginning.
That’s what kept me reading, even though I didn’t like the main character and his and the author’s methods. I wanted to know why. After a while, I discovered it was proof of his evolution and I respected the author’s choices.
Once I got through that hurdle, I couldn’t put the book down. Del and Rae Lynn are unusual characters with quirks based on their past. Their struggles are real and believable. The villains are despicable, so although I hated reading about some of their atrocities, I couldn’t wait to find out if they get what they deserve.
Author Donna Everhart’s research into the turpentine camps is thorough. The only criticism I have for this book is that it seemed overly described. Others may find that absorbing. I think it will depend on the type of reader you are.
For those who love fiction, this book should tick all your boxes. For those who like a little romance in your reading, there is bit for you as well. I consider this fiction with romance elements, but above all, it’s exceptional storytelling that I wished was longer because I didn’t want to let the characters go.
Reader have caution – some of the content is gritty, but I wasn’t disturbed by it. I enjoy reading Southern Gothic Fiction, which this book resembles the most, so I’m used to grit.
In the end, this piece of Depression Era historical fiction convinced me I’ve found a new-to-me author of exceptional merit. I will hunt down Donna Everhart’s backlist and look forward to her next endeavor. Thanks so much for helping me end my moratorium on reading and reviewing!
Review by Dorine, courtesy of TheZestQuest.com. A digital copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review. Thanks in advance for following links and sharing this review on social media.
The Saints of Swallow Hill by Donna Everhart
Category: Southern Historical Fiction
Publisher: Kensington (January 25, 2022)
Rated 4.5 out of 5