Book Review + Guest Post: A Keeper’s Truth by Dee Willson
ashley | I love when our real life overlaps with our blogging life, it kind of adds another level of encouragement and inspiration for why we keep this blog up and running. As we mentioned a few times, we spoke at a Women as Career Coaches event last month, the result of a book review we did on this blog. After the event, we were contacted by author Dee Willson who was at that event and heard us speak. The circle of life, right? I`ve gotten to know Dee a little bit over the past few weeks and not only is she a great writer, but a lovely person. She sent me her book A Keeper`s Truth to read, as well as a guest post about the inspiration and roots for this fantastical story.
A Keeper’s Truth by Dee Willson is rich with mythology, making it more than just a story but a look into some interesting and incredible snippets of old folklore. What I thought could be a rehashing of pop-culture-influenced glittering vampires or clichéd witch hunts was actually a really unique origin story with modern influences and a fresh breath of air.
The lore was by far my favourite part of the book. Willson must have done some heavy research to come up with some of these elements and they are really, really cool. There were mentions of theoretical places (or not, depending who you ask) and almost magical stories about the existence of mankind that I had never come across before. It added a much deeper level to the story and I am so interested in where Willson found the inspiration for all of this.
The core of the story itself is a formula we are familiar with; a newly widowed woman, Tess, starts seeing strange visions, meets a dark and handsome stranger and starts to question her otherwise normal life and the truths she always thought she knew. While the base is familiar, the story is layered with the aforementioned lore and the reader is kept on the outskirts of what is actually happening for a good portion of the book. It moves quickly, but isn’t easy to piece everything together, and we learn more and more about the characters and their histories as the book goes on.
I was a little torn on how I felt about Tess; she was a great mother and a grieving widow, but she was a mess. I don’t hold that against her; its understandable being in the position she was, having just lost her husband and not knowing how to go on without him. But her back and forth between Bryce (the mysterious stranger) and Thomas (her longtime confidant) or whether she even was ready to be with anyone kind of drove me crazy at times. This behaviour secured a love triangle which often rubs me the wrong way, but at least in this case it was a lot deeper than it appeared and was intertwined again with more lore that set it apart from what you would typically expect from the situation.
That said, I really liked the relationship between Bryce and Thomas. At first I thought it might be annoying, but there were good grounds for the actions and reactions and it wasn’t just simple jealousy or something that existed just to add a sense of drama to the story. They created an interesting dynamic and while there was a bit of back and forth between guys, this didn’t totally dominate the whole story and that I can appreciate. It all ends up making sense as the story goes on.
I liked how this all came together in the end. The supernatural elements weren’t super shocking or off the wall to throw the story off kilter and they blended quite well with an otherwise normal-ish modern story. There is a lot more to who all these people are and this first book only just touches on it. I can’t wait to see where Willson takes us with this. Like I said, the lore and the story is so well crafted; I can’t wait to read more of it.
march 1, 2016
copy provided for honest review by
author Dee Willson
Hook, Line and Sinker
by Dee Willson
Like many writers, A Keeper’s Truth came to me in a dream, that four am buzz that had me giddy, watching the scene play out in excruciating detail, the characters as real as life, voices clear and strong in my head. Jotting the scene on paper wasn’t a conscious choice, but a necessity. Like breathing. I’m not the first writer to experience this sensation, and I won’t be the last, but what really got me hooked, was the research this dream led me to.
I’m a detail oriented, it’s-gotta-be-factual kinda girl. Do I love fantasy and science fiction? Hell ya, it’s all good fun, but for me a story has got to be rooted in something I can get my head around, something tangible, something that could be real. This thought process led me to the local book store and library to investigate myths and folklore, to make sense of the dream I’d had. And this is where I was caught, hook, line, and sinker, on what would eventually tell the story of A Keeper’s Truth.
Vampires, Mermaids, Witches, Shapeshifters, Gods, Ghosts…these are some of the oldest myths known to man. People have been telling stories of these creatures for generations, long before the written word.
Had you asked me before I’d researched ancient myths and folklore, what came to mind when I thought of a vampire, the honest answer would’ve been Edward Cullen. Like everyone, I am a product of current day culture. But vampires, for example, have a long history, one that has changed with every generation, and the vampires of old are nothing like the ones we know today. Mermaid legends tell of murderous creatures that sing to kill, and witches were far less gruesome before religion won the popularity contest. Myths and folklore don’t prove any one of these stories to be true, but they set the stage for curiosity. What were these old myths based on? Why were they so important that elders shared them with their young? Fascinating stuff.
Seventy-one percent of Earth’s surface is covered in ocean. More than half is over three thousand meters deep. Less than four percent of our underwater world has been explored by modern man, the technology to reach it doesn’t exist.
Think about that. We’ve put men on the moon, but have never set foot on the vast majority of our own planet. What the heck is down there, leagues under the sea? Sunken cities, living beings we’ve never seen? Maybe nothing. Maybe everything. But think of the possibilities!
We (human beings) know very little about our ancient past, our history. Sure, we know recent history, but very little predating the written word.
I found this fascinating. I’ve watched History Chanel. I went to Sunday School. But the reality is, much of our history is speculative, up for interpretation, theory. The Ice Age, for example, is a theory, not a fact. The theory alters as technology uncovers more and more detail. Evolution is another theory. You get the point. We don’t really know where we come from. We don’t have enough proof, factual information. And what we do know changes with time. Coming to terms with this – being open to what we don’t know – blew me away.
The list of things that intrigue me are endless, and given my penchant for knowledge, I could spend my life researching the possibilities and never know the answers to even a small percentage of the questions floating in my head.
What I do know, is that there is a lot I don’t know. There is a lot I will never know. But isn’t that awesome? Isn’t it amazing to wonder what our history could have been? Isn’t it thrilling to know we might, someday, have the technology to uncover more?
It’s got me, hook, line, and sinker.