2015 Christy Award Winner
THE STORY KEEPER
Successful New York editor, Jen Gibbs, is at the top of her game with her new position at Vida House Publishing — until a mysterious manuscript from an old slush pile appears on her desk. Turning the pages, Jen finds herself drawn into the life of Sarra, a mixed-race Melungeon girl trapped by dangerous men in the turn of the century Appalachia. A risky hunch may lead to The Story Keeper‘s hidden origins and its unknown author, but when the trail turns toward the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a place Jen thought she’d left behind forever, the price of a blockbuster next book deal may be higher than she’s willing to pay.
Praise for The Story Keeper:
“Not since To Kill a Mockingbird has a story impacted me like this.” — COLLEEN COBLE, USA Today bestselling author of Seagrass Pier
Wingate is, quite simply, a master storyteller. Her story-within-a-story, penned with a fine, expressive style, will captivate writers and non-writers alike. — Booklist
- In the beginning of the story, Jen feels as though she has finally achieved her dream, but the dream is about to take an unexpected turn. Have you ever stepped through an open door expecting one thing, then found something completely different?
- Jen’s adult life is in many ways a facade, in that it involves denying and concealing her past. Do you ever feel the need to conceal parts of yourself in order to fit in or advance in a career or social situation? What price do we pay for such choices?
- When Jen finds the Story Keeper manuscript, she is compelled to read it, even though she knows it’s both a personal and a professional risk. Why do you think she makes that choice? Describe a time when you were driven to take a risk personally or professionally. Did it pay off? What happened?
- In Sarra’s day, women were given far fewer options in life. Are there stories in your own family of women who faced difficult circumstances and survived or triumphed? How did they overcome their trials?
- Faced with either helping Sarra or preserving his own safety, Rand chooses to take the risk. In the moment of crisis, he steps forward, even while imagining how a bullet would feel. Do you think we all have the capacity to become heroes? Have you had a heroic moment in your own life? Or can you identify a situation in your past for which you now regret not stepping up?
- Evan finds himself limited by the persona that has been created by his success. Have others’ expectations of you ever made you feel the need to “play a part”? How can we get real in front of the world?
- In Helen Hall, Jen sees the “quiet festering of a dream” that was sacrificed in favor of family and business needs. Are there any dreams in your life that have been shelved by necessity? What would it take to go after those dreams? Will you be able to pursue them at some point in the future?
- Evan Hall’s fans have taken literary love to the point of borderline mania. Have you ever been so enthusiastic about a book that you wanted to visit the setting, contact the author, or “live the book” in some way? What characteristics captivate you and draw you into a story?
- Because life among the Brethren Saints caused religion and abuse to become hopelessly tangled in Jen’s mind, she has pushed faith aside. Have you dealt with “wounded believers” in your life or been one yourself? How can we separate what we’ve been told about God from authentic truth?
- Sarra lives in a world that is limited by abuse and prejudice, yet she remains hopeful, determined, and faithful. Rather than blaming God, she looks to God. Where does this attitude come from? Do you think Rand’s faith is “softer” because he has not been tested?
- Despite the difficult history between Jen and her sisters, the ties of sisterhood still bind and tug. Are the bonds of siblings always lifelong bonds? When those bonds are broken and tattered, what are the results? Have you ever wished a relationship could be different from what it was?
- The mountains are a touchstone to Jen’s childhood. Where are the touchstones to your childhood? What do they mean to you?
Sound interesting? Here’s the link for a discussion packet if you’d like to do a full Book Club meeting on the book.
Selected among Booklist’s Top 10 for two consecutive years, Lisa Wingate skillfully weaves lyrical writing and unforgettable settings with elements of traditional Southern storytelling, history, and mystery to create novels that Publisher’s Weekly calls “Masterful” and Library Journal refers to as “A good option for fans of Nicholas Sparks and Mary Alice Monroe.”
Lisa is a journalist, an inspirational speaker, and the author of twenty-five novels. She is a seven-time ACFW Carol Award nominee, a multiple Christy Award nominee, a twotime Carol Award winner, and a 2015 RT Booklovers Magazine Reviewer’s Choice Award Winner for mystery/suspense. Recently, the group Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Lisa along with Bill Ford, Camille Cosby, and six others as recipients of the National Civies Award, which celebrates public figures who work to promote greater kindness and civility in American life. Booklist summed up her work by saying, “Lisa Wingate is, quite simply, a master storyteller.” More information about her novels can be found at http://www.lisawingate.com.
More about Lisa can be found on her
She can also be found online at:
Blog tour services provided by Lone Star Literary Life.
Blog tour services provided by Lone Star Literary Life.