Sunday, August 9, 2015

Review: The Damnable Legacy by G. Elizabeth Kretchmer

About the Book:

Lynn Van Swol still regrets the decision she made thirty years ago to place her daughter for adoption so she could climb the highest mountains of the world. Frankie Rizzoni is the troubled biological granddaughter Lynn has never known. And Beth Mahoney is a minister’s wife with terminal cancer and the only one who knows the relationship between the two. She designs a plan upon her deathbed to bring Lynn and Frankie together, but now, narrating from the afterlife, she must helplessly watches her legacy threatens to unravel.

The Damnable Legacy is a story about both love and survival, exploring the importance of attachment, place, and faith, and asking how far we should go to achieve our goals and at what cost.

Book Details:

Kindle File Size: 1886 KB
Print Length: 320 pages
Publisher: Booktrope Editions (July 25, 2015)
Publication Date: July 25, 2015

My Review:

The Damnable Legacy takes the reader on a very emotional journey through the lives of several people. The cast of characters range from a teenager in a bad home environment, to a mountain climber, to a still grieving widower. Yet, as different as the lives are, they are very much intertwined; connected by things that they weren't aware of and things that will forever change the rest of their lives - for however long that may be.

The book is told from Beth's POV. Beth is a cancer victim speaking through the pages as a spirit watching her carefully thought out plan come unglued at the seams, threatening to go astray. She knows a secret that will unite the cast of characters in unlikely ways and has set a plan in motion to do just that. As many plans go, however, nothing seems to be working out the way it's supposed to and her entire legacy is threatened. Will what Beth knows but never revealed while alive ever make its appearance into the lives of those she left behind?

I'm must be upfront about something - I would never have chosen to read this book on my own. It's not that it doesn't sound good or interesting but I prefer cozy mysteries, something paranormal/urban fantasy filled, or contemporary romance. I was asked to review the book. It's a re-release and the new publisher requested a review. I went ahead and decided to give the book a chance, knowing that if I didn't like it or wasn't interested in it after I began, I could stop reading it and move on to something else.

I was hooked from the first page. The author puts so much emotion into her writing and is so descriptive that you can't help but keep reading. As clues are given and parts of Beth's plan are revealed you have to keep reading in order to find out just how everything relates. The novel bounces between Lynn, as she prepares to climb a mountain, Ryan as he prepares to honor his wife's final wish that he scale Mount Denali in Alaska, the entire climbing team, and then Frankie's various adventures throughout the novel. Engagement is very strong in The Damnable Legacy and keeps the reader interested, emotional vested, and unable to put the book down.

The book is full of regrets, sadness, and tense moments but it also teaches lessons, displays courage, and emphasizes that not all hope is lost. Be prepared to become fully immersed in The Damnable Legacy as you take on and feel the emotions of each character - Frankie when she's taken to a ranch for troubled children; Beth as she watches her husband Ryan display an attachment to Lynn; Frankie's grandfather when he makes the decision to send Frankie to the ranch; Lynn on her last encounter with Ryan; and the revelation that Beth and Lynn both come to at the same time as Lynn ventures back down the mountain.

Frankie exhibits emotional issues and as such, I must note a trigger warning involving self-mutilation.

Review copy courtesy of the publisher, at no cost, in exchange for an honest review.