Tuesday, December 7, 2010

SOMBER ISLAND by T Lynn Tolles

Somber Island
Pgs: Approx 103 pgs

Woman Battles Supernatural Storm of Adversity

I was overjoyed when the author tagged me as a beta reader for her new book as I had previously read the blurb and watched the moving and haunting trailer.

Phoebe is the youngest daughter of a miserly, mean and selfish curmudgeon. He bitterly blames her for his financial woes.  His wife had died giving birth to Phoebe, then, when she was but six years old, Phoebe became gravely ill with polio.  Eventually, she recovered from the malady but was left with a twisted leg and severe limp. Her father has never forgiven her because the medical costs brought about his financial ruin.  His greedy goal is to reap the benefits of large dowries and future settlements by marrying his daughters off to wealthy husbands. To him, Phoebe is a total waste of space because all he sees is her deformity and plainness.  Phoebe has known only a life of servitude. It is she who cleans and cares for the family home, tending to her ungrateful sisters and unappreciative father. She leads a sad, lonely existence. Then, quite unexpectedly, her father informs her that a position as servant has been secured for her. The following day finds her on a crowded ship and sailing to Newfoundland. Follow Phoebe as she embarks upon a new life – one filled with mystery, intrigue and a spiteful, malignant apparition.

Ms. Tolles has crafted a superbly haunting story.  The mood is darkly gothic in this well-constructed tale that literally pulses from the mechanizations of an evil force who invades without compassion or pity. It is a book filled with characters you will care about and become invested in – sharing their dreams and their failures. The imagery of the bleak Newfoundland coast will thrill you.  Mostly though, you will fall in love. Fall in love with Phoebe’s unconquerable optimism and spirit and with her tenacious fortitude as she holds steadfast against a supernatural storm of adversity.  She makes us all better for having known her.  This is a book you will enjoy reading and one which you will savor long after the last word is read.  It has my highest recommendation!  

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