Friday, July 7, 2023

THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS by Cindy K. Sproles, Reviewed by Rebecca and Trixi

"It's over. A secret never saves a soul . . . It had to stop. This is where it ends!"

Nevertheless, the secret that ninety-four year old Minerva Jane Jackson had been carrying around inside, the result of a promise to her dying married-before-God husband, might possibly be the death of her. Minerva had told her Stately that she would never tell, and then proceeded to bury that box alongside him without ever looking inside. Why in the world after all these years was a curious young reporter traipsing up her mountain with information gathering on his mind?

Except, Del Rankin just wouldn't go away. Ignoring Minerva's crusty, crotchety demeanor, he kindly and politely endeared himself to her every need and whim. Promising to stop being so nosy about "the gold story", Del began to draw Minerva back into the pulse-beat of her mountain community, some folks not even realizing that she was still alive. One day that peace and tranquility finally shattered; was Minerva finally losing her mind as well as her body, or was something far more nefarious at play?

" . . . we need to be sure this wonderful lady knows how much she is loved".

Gracious! This story . . . has it all! Side-stepping a conventional fairy-tale ending, or actually  . . . re-writing one, for there is certainly hidden treasure in the fact that "Gold is found in the relationships we build, the time we spend with those we love, and our efforts to bring others into our lives. Gold is found in laughter and tears. . . Gold is found in the legacy we leave behind." Are you convinced? "This is where it ends." 

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

“There ain't a soul alive that's found their happiness in the almighty dollar. Money, gold, possessions—all act like a coiled snake. They build up their fire, strike, and then they're spent. A body's happiness, the real prize, is found in the folks they befriend.”

I'd say after living on this earth for 94 years, Minerva learned a thing or three as evidenced in this quote! She's an absolute hoot with her wise-cracks and sassy attitude. I love her like she was my own kin. She's lived a hard life, socked in up on that mountain top but she sure 'nuff knows how to take care of her own. Until one day when her life takes a detour in the form of Del Rankin...then her world really gets shook up good! Secrets that want to be left buried come to the surface and she begins to question things she believed were as rock solid as those Appalachian Mountains she'd called home. 

I loved watching these two form a bond, even as resistant and hard-headed as Minerva was about it. Del has his own secrets to hold tight to and the author peeled those layers back one by one. His character was so amazing; I loved how he began to take shape in my mind’s eye. He put up with Minerva with grace and eventually won her over by his patient love. As for the box of gold....what secret did Stately take to the grave with him? One begins to wonder as the story goes on, my opinion about it shifted and twisted with each passing page. 

This whole story is simply amazing and one that's very hard to review. I just don't feel I have sufficient words to do it justice! I'd rate this right up there with “The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip”. If you haven't read it, I think you should! There's so much wisdom to be had when you get to know the elderly among us. The stories they tell, the life they lived, and the wisdom they've gained is so much more precious than gold. Even Del agrees:

“I learned that gold comes in many forms. Sometimes it's in the precious metal, and other times it's in the wisdom and love of our elders. Gold is found in the relationships we build, the time we spend with those we love, and our efforts to bring others in our lives.”

If you love well written Southern fiction, nuggets of wisdom to discover, strong characters to care about, an emotional read and a good faith theme, then I think you'll enjoy this captivating story. I can't recommend it enough!

*I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Revell through Interviews & Reviews. I wasn’t required to leave a positive review and all opinions are mine alone. *


BackCover Blurb:
When Minerva Jane Jenkins was just 14 years old, she married a man who moved her to the mountains. He carried with him a small box, which he told her was filled with gold. And when he died 50 years later, he made her promise to keep his secret. She is to tell no one about the box or the treasure it contains.

Now 94, Minerva is nearing the end of what has sometimes been a lonely life. But she's kept that secret. Even so, rumors of hidden gold have a way of spreading, and Minerva is visited by a reporter, Del Rankin, who wants to know more of her story. His friend who joins him only wants to find the location of the gold. Neither of them knows quite who they're up against when it comes to the old woman on the mountain.

As an unlikely friendship develops, Minerva is tempted to reveal her secret to Del. After all, how long is one bound by a promise? But the truth of what's really buried in the box may be hidden even from her.

Revell Publishing, June 27,2023
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:



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