Review and Giveaway: A Diary’s House: Where True Love Endures by C.David Murphy

Today I am pleased to present my review of  A Diary’s House:Where True Love Endures by C. David Murphy.  This tour is hosted by Promotional Book Tours, and there are opportunities to win a Kindle Fire and 5 autographed copies of the book in paper format.

This is the 3rd appearance of this author and book on my blog: check out the interview with the author of 16 October, here:  Interview

To see all of the upcoming events planned for this tour, check out the Tour Stops and be sure to enter the drawing:  Rafflecopter

To read my review, and see where to purchase the book, please read on

Title:  A Diary’s House: Where True Love Endures
Author:  C. David Murphy
Publisher:  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN:  978-1477641187
Format:  Paperback and eBook
Pages:  478 Paper, 734 eBook
Buy Now: Barnes & Noble  Amazon  Smashwords  Kobo
About the Book:  A Diary’s House is about adventure, lost love, and the hope that dreams, even those in the final years of life, can at last prevail. It is of a young boy’s attempt to become a man, the once-lost secrets of a diary, a sweeping romance which transcends time and place. It is more than a boy’s journey into manhood, but the mysteries of so many lives unknowingly intertwined, now brought together in a climatic ending; all from the engrossing world embedded in a forgotten diary; a diary of a woman.

Born in the vast and looming mountains of North Carolina during the 1870’s, Landon Hampshire always remembered the folklore and legendary tales his father told him during his early childhood; about the people of the Kituhwa (Cherokee) and the birth of this tribal nation – an enchanting story he could never forget. Incorporating the aid of an eccentric old French trapper (old man Montague), Landon and his friends set out on an adventure, their initial intention is to discover treasure and become men. But what Landon will eventually come to discover is more than he ever bargained for.

Landon didn’t realize his boyhood adventure would yield the incredible journey he ultimately experiences – going down the mysterious and mystical Randola River.  At the base of the river is an island even more mysterious than the Randola itself.

The island releases many of its mysterious, yet even many more are created when Landon discovers, on the island, a diary of a young woman who lived forty years prior during the 1830’s (Trail of Tears). The diary entries are hopeful, though haunting. It reveals, in intimate detail, the life and dreams of this very special young girl who is turning into a woman of beauty and adventure, her love for a Cherokee boy, and the trials she will ultimately face. Her story unfolds through the reading of her diary, and Landon suddenly finds himself caught up in a sweeping, empowering world of re-invention and ultimate redemption.

My Review: I received an eBook copy from the author for purpose of honest review. Participating in the Promotional Book Tour with this review. I was not compensated for my review, and all conclusions are my own responsibility.

I’ll be honest and start this review by saying this was not the book for me. But, it will strike just that chord of WOW with other readers, and most of the issues that I had with the story are based in my own personal prejudices garnered from years of reading.

The author has created a beautiful story that feels much like a love letter to the possibilities of what might have been.  That is the overwhelming sense I had when I turned the last page. As habit, I tend not to read dedications before I read a book: in this case, the dedication was a reinforcement of my thought of this book as a love letter.

The story starts with an elderly Landon, feeding the pigeons, and his personal favorite pigeon, also named Landon, who is the gentlemen of pigeons, and far more reserved and introspective than the average pigeon. As a metaphor, it works beautifully to highlight the personality of the main character, and his introspective narration of the story.  While the author shows great facility with metaphor, simile and description, the overuse of all 3 literary techniques removes the reader’s imagination and input, making the reading feel overdone to me.

I have been reading for a long time, and part of the joy of a new story is to visualize that scene using my own references with a few choice options from the author. It isn’t required for the author to use detail to describe a frosty breath on the air: we have all seen that. Unfortunately, in this story, the author has detailed to the smallest degree, leaving no scope for me as a reader, and that tends to pull me out of the story and erase my own visual imagery, or readjust it to fit his.  As an occasional event, this is not an issue. Sadly, this extreme wordiness and directed description had me putting the book down, it blocked the flow and the enjoyment promised by the elements converging in a unique way, while explaining and incorporating history and references that were not familiar to me.  There are, however, readers who want to be treated to a movie or stage play in their reads: to have each detail accounted for to just ride along, with a surety from the author that what they have presented is exactly what each reader will see.  I’m just not one of those readers.

The story is unique with incorporation of Cherokee Legend and a coming of age trek by a group of young boys, a ghostly element that may be more a facet of their own suggestibility or could be residue from the area and history. At the heart, it is a love story: love of self, family, history and romantic interests. While the wanting to know kept me coming back to complete the story, I wish I had been able to toss my own need to be involved in the story by creating my own imagery, to really fully appreciate it.

I give this book 3.5 stars: with the realization that other readers will and do love this book – but the length and wordiness did not hold my interest in the way I had hoped it would.

About the Author:   I am a writer; first and foremost. Anyone who reads my works will instantly know this.  I have found no greater joy on this earth than to be close to God and nature; exploring the serenity of landscapes, waterfalls, epic mountains, meadows and grasslands. To sit on those spots of earth and write to where my imagination will take me yields a tremendous amount of peace and serenity.. To create characters with true and genuine emotions, feel their heartbeat thru every word I write; their trails, their hopes and ambitions; to breathe life into their eyes and see their soul become one with me and the reader is absolutely amazing. I simply love to create on that venue and canvas; to affect change in the lives of others. It is my hope, when someone picks up my stories and reads the full weight of them, that somehow I have affected change in their lives, brought them to places they could never have imagined before, and moved them to believe in humanity again – to go out into the world and create ‘goodwill towards all’.

A Diary’s House is C David Murphy’s first digitally published novel.  He is also the author of two Shakespearean-style genre plays: In the Years of the Ages and Hildengrass. He is currently finalizing his next novel, When Tomorrow Never Comes and The Chronicles of Good and Evil – Dracula’s Lair / The Darkest Tower, both due out later this year. Also, the sequel to A Diary’s House is in the works – The Long Journey Home due out the first part of 2013.

Find the Author:   Blog   Twitter  Facebook   Goodreads

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2 thoughts on “Review and Giveaway: A Diary’s House: Where True Love Endures by C.David Murphy

  1. A Review – The Author’s Perspective:

    When a writer comes to review their own work, it becomes a tenuous ground to stand on. Any relevant praise will be considered bias if but for the mere lack of constructive criticism that a normal review may ultimately garner. A balanced, even approach is quite often required to fully encapsulate such a work in its correct lighting.

    I was reluctant to do as such for the aforementioned reasons above. I would press upon any reader/reviewer to relate and simply understand the immense task and required thought process to weave, incorporate & invent a storyline as complex a novel as ‘A Diary’s House’ would entail. This is no ordinary novel…

    You may often hear the terms ‘wordy’ or ‘long’ with some of the reviews, but hardly will you here the word ‘unjustified’ behind it. Simply put, to create and intertwine the vast nature of two worlds as I made an attempt to do so in this novel – it simply required such lengths in order to instill the gravity this particular story required.

    Add to the flair a literary tone & narrative style (of a consummate ‘Victorian ingredient’) created and invented from this particular era in order to bring more realism to the story, it becomes a daunting task to achieve. As a writer, I have always pushed myself and challenged the nature of the written word – in order to create a world and vision unique to my ‘voice’. Most writers garner and value commercial success. I seek to bridge the quality of writing with imaginative elements to induce the common-day reader to join with me ‘for the ride’. Commercialism can give you a ‘vanilla’ taste, and in truth this may bring great satisfaction to many common readers of today. But I also want to press the reader as I press myself in writing mode & movement, to think alternatively to what they are used to; to invent their own imagination from a manifold they would not think of otherwise.

    Look at the same reviews and in the end, the reader feels justified in making the effort to read this story, and also having a real & true satisfaction when the ending came. Abstract and/or art; verse & prose or relegated, toned-down word usage; the story still sits in the bed of these book covers. In the end, the story is what sweeps the reader to explore & indulge within those fantasies. I feel ‘A Diary’s House’ measurably prevails to give the reader such an engrossing tale to ‘snuggle into’ & grow within the story itself.

    ‘A Diary’s House’ can be conveyed in a thousand different ways and in a thousand different formats – each reviewer/reader has a specific & opinionated view on which best serves their ‘likes’ in reading styles & manuscripts. One that serves the ‘goose’ for one, will not serve the ‘gander’ for the other. It is simply impossible to please everyone’s likes and avoid their ‘dislikes’ in revealing a singular story. The parameter is just too large to evade criticism and incur praise all in the same moment. A paradox of variable reviews will ultimately ensue…

    I ask the reader/reviewer to not be so enclosed, but to venture out a little and come out of their traditional comfort zone – in the end, I believe, you will be greatly rewarded. To harness constriction will only distort an enhanced & overall viewpoint that will ultimately evolve if one is exposed to such works.
    Before there was a ‘Mark Twain’, was there a ‘Mark Twain’; had anyone heard of a ‘Mark Twain’? And if ‘Mark Twain’ had not made a difference in the world, would the world be a lesser place for it?

    There are many great writers of the past, and for this reason alone we should hold their works in high regard; after all, they’ve stood the test of time and previous generations thought highly enough of such gifted writers to place with them a literary life which will endure.

    My general consensus is we owe the current literary writers, who have true art in value with the written word, the identical care and consideration. After all, will there never be another ‘Mark Twain’ of ‘Jane Austen’ to rise in the current-day fields of the literary world – that is for us, as consummate readers, to manifest and cultivate for our generation, and for the ones to come…

    If you feel compelled by the brief storyline of ‘A Diary’s House’, you will not be disappointed in the final outcome this novel creates. Rather, as one reviewer stated, it might bring to you the ‘Wow’ factor. If so, then your initial intuition will hold true. And you will find real value in reading ‘A Diary’s House’. As much value as I received in writing such an enduring story….

    • While I appreciate your explanation and justifications – I clearly stated that there was no question of your ability with turn of phrase – nor that the book failed to deliver on the initial sense of “feeling like a love letter to possibilities”. It did both of those. But – my interest did wane as the story wore on – specifically because of the lack of input required from me, the reader. I wanted to love the story – I wanted it to be something that I would think on – and there are phrases that I could not have come close to creating for pure beauty – BUT Reading is a subjective pastime – what does not ring all the bells for me will be just that everlasting classic for another. I also went to great pains to state that my conclusions were specifically based in those personal likes / dislikes that we all carry – and few refer to when crafting a review. It does not mean that your story was bad, or poorly crafted …

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