Walking Through Shadows: A Novel
by Bev Marshall (Goodreads Author)
When Lloyd Cotton hears that Sheila Barnes is consistently beaten by her daddy, he offers her a room and a job cleaning up around his dairy farm. Despite physical deformity, poverty, and years of abuse, Sheila manages to see the silver lining in every cloud–and her bright spirit touches everyone in the Cotton family, including young Annette who finds an enchanting Best Fri...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 30th 2005 by Ballantine Books
(first published April 1st 2002)
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Here is a mystery set in the early 1940's, one of my favorite eras to read about. The story was "voiced" by different characters in Zebulon, Mississippi who were, in one way or another, involved in the life of the young woman who was murdered. I enjoyed this author's second novel very much also. There are some "rough" places in the story due to the subject matter, but it reads very well.
Oh I wanted to like it. I really did. But it just seemed to be one gigantic flop. The pity character was too pathetic, Marshall tried too hard to make each point-of-view written different (which, in the end, always failed and they always started sounding the same), and I just found myself rolling my eyes at the end of it.
I really liked this book. The characters are real and interesting. The author is local, and in talking to her, I learned that this book is based on her own family history and the event was real. Her grandfather is the owner of the dairy farm. The tragedy is heartbreaking and you hope for a good resolution.
Bev Marshall was one of my college professors, so I felt obligated to read it. I really enjoyed it, but I just felt so angry at the end. I do love how Bev used each character's voice as a narrator. It definitely kept things interested. I would recommend this book to others.
Because the subject matter is disturbing, verging on appalling and disgusting, I would like to be able to dismiss it as a literary work. However, it is not to be dismissed. The story flows along flawlessly, realistically and vividly.
Bev Marshall is the author of three novels, Walking Through Shadows, Right As Rain, and Hot Fudge Sundae Blues. She is writer-in-residence at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana. She grew up in McComb and Gulfport, Mississippi, married her childhood sweetheart and now lives in Ponchatoula, Louisiana, just down the road from the live alligator that serves as the town's tourist a...moreMore about Bev Marshall...