Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Thousand Sleepless Nights by Michael King

From the Back Cover:

In the 1970's, escaping a home where he knew nothing but violence and hate, Jim Harding found work and love on the largest horse ranch in Virginia.  The object of his love, Nena St. Claire, is the daughter of the owner-a man who ruled his ranch with an iron fist and would whatever it took to keep Nena and Jim apart.

Against the wishes of her family Nena marries Jim--and after her father dies, she sacrifices everything--including her family--to keep the ranch alive.  Now their three grown children have lives of their own, and they want nothing to do with Nena.  She was never the mother they needed.

When cancer strikes, and Nena is given a devastating diagnosis, can Jim reconcile the family before it's too late?

My Thoughts: 

If you live your life and have no regrets, have you really lived it?  We all have moments and decisions we'd change if we could go back...but Nena's choice to put the ranch first is a life-changer for her entire family.  Still, I felt for her as she realized the repercussions of her decision while in the battle of her life.

The flashbacks were very effective, telling the story of Jim and Nena today contrasted with the Jim and Nena of yesterday.  Sprinkled in between we met the children, now grown and reaping the harvest of both Nena's harmful choices coupled with their own.

I've said this before, so I hope it hasn't lost its meaning:  this is the novel Michael King was created to write.  "A Thousand Sleepless Nights" is both a personal work of fiction as well as a life-changing one.  Michael includes snippets of his own cancer journey as he weaves Nena's, and it is both gorgeous and painful to observe.

Each character is well developed and will tug at your emotions in a variety of ways.  I had moments of tears, moments of intense frustration, and moments that made me nod my head and feel like Michael had been in my home watching family interactions. 

What is crafted as a work of fiction could be a real-life drama.  Which is my way of giving a head's up for twists and turns you may or may not embrace!

I've loved Michael's writings from his first novel (that's a whole other story), but this stellar debut under a pen name tops them all.  I received a copy of "A Thousand Sleepless Nights" from Realms Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Honestly...DO NOT MISS THIS NOVEL.  Highly, highly recommended.
Happy Reading!



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