Wednesday, January 11, 2023

WHEN STONE WINGS FLY by Karen Barnett, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"If a bird wants to fly free, first it has to release the branch."

"And you're not some kind of serial killer, right?"
Smoky Mountain National Park historian Zach Jensen supposed it was a fair question; Kieran Lucas had never seen him before and here he was offering her an overnight stay . . . in the "barely habitable" cabin on the edge of his property. Admittedly Zach was curious, who was this lovely woman, determined to traipse all over the park, resigned to sleeping in her car in order to do it? There had to be a story there.

"These mountains hid countless secrets - what was one more?"

Scrolling back decades earlier to a time when another young woman inhabited a ridge of park property; Rosie McCauley held tightly to her heritage and to her home. Having obtained a rare lease from the national park service, she and her disabled sister would be allowed her to remain on the land for the extent of her lifetime. When a handsome young ornithologist shows up to study area bird life, Benton Fuller's entrance onto the mountain made Rosie wonder if hanging on tightly to the past was worth jeopardizing their future; life in the mountains was hard. Tragically, the decision to "fly free" was made for her.

The connection between these two women? . . . an historical artifact . . . a small stone bird.

Tying the threads between generations often proves difficult at best and impossible at worst. Yet in doing so, this author gives rare glimpses into the complexities of what we might imagine to be a simple life, that was anything but simple. Yet the same God inhabited both, teaching Rosie and Kieran the value of letting go.

Outstanding story! 

*I purchased this book and was under no obligation to provide a positive review.

BackCover Blurb:
Kieran Lucas's grandmother is slipping into dementia, and when her memory is gone, Kieran's last tie to the family she barely knows will be lost forever. Worse, flashbacks of her mother’s death torment Granny Mac and there's precious little Kieran can do to help.
In 1931, the creation of the new Great Smoky Mountains National Park threatens Rosie McCauley’s home. Rosie vows the only way the commission will get her land is if they haul her off in a pine box. When a compromise offers her and her disabled sister the opportunity to stay for Rosie’s lifetime, her acceptance sets her apart from the other mountain folk. And the bond she’s forming with ornithologist and outsider Benton Fuller only broadens the rift.
Eighty-five years later, Kieran heads back to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to find answers to her great-grandmother's mysterious death and bring peace to Granny Mac before it's too late. Park Historian Zach Jensen may be the key to locating both the answers. But what Kieran needs clashes with the government regulations Zach is sworn to uphold. Can she trust God for a solution to heal this generations-old wound?
Kregel Publications, June, 2022



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