The three most important parts of a book are: a well constructed plot, compelling characters, and a satisfying conclusion.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

GOOSEBERRY ISLAND By Steven Manchester

Gooseberry Island by Steven ManchesterPublisher:  The Story Plant
Expected Release Date:  January 6, 2015
Pages:  300

Book Description:  They met at the worst possible moment...or maybe it was just in time. David McClain was about to go to war and Lindsey Wood was there at his going-away party, capturing his heart when falling for a woman was the last thing on his mind. While David was serving his country, he stayed in close contact with Lindsey. But war changes a person, and when he came home very little had the same meaning that it had before – including the romance that had sustained him. Was love truly unconquerable, or would it prove to be just another battlefield casualty?

Gooseberry Island is the most nuanced, dramatic, and romantic novel yet from a writer whose ability to plumb the depths of human emotion knows few peers.

Wanda's Thoughts:  I’ve said it before – Steven Manchester has a very definite style of his own. His books all display beautiful descriptive writing, poignancy, and include an inspirational message, and this one will simply warm your heart. 

Gooseberry Island is the story of a love between Lindsey Wood and David McClain. It is a love that will make you smile and feel good for a short time, but eventually turns to sadness and heartache. It is a deeply moving story that has themes of love, joy, tears, and forgiveness. 

And the story unfolds from beginning to end with ease and at a moderate pace. It toggles between two relationships – David and Lindsey, and Lindsey and her father. 

The relationship between David and Lindsey felt real from the beginning, and I especially liked the mutual respect they had for each other. It was as though they had known each other their entire lives instead of just one evening together. David is portrayed as a victim of PTSD, and he is searching to find peace again. As a result of his service in Afghanistan, where he spent 12 long months, his anxiety level becomes so severe that he has problems functioning at a normal level. David’s mind is riddled with guilt and he is not in control of his life. 

Lindsey’s father, Denis Wood, had been an infantryman in the first Gulf War, so Lindsey had the utmost respect for men and women in uniform. Denis Wood was a decorated Operation Desert Storm veteran, but lived in a state of uncontrolled emotions since his return home. 

I highly recommend Gooseberry Island, a moving story from an author who never disappoints. My rating is 5 stars. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Author and publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. 

Steven ManchesterAbout the Author: Steven Manchester is the author of the #1 bestsellers, Twelve Months and The Rockin' Chair. He is also the author of the award-winning novel, Goodnight, Brian, as well as the critically-acclaimed novel, Pressed Pennies, A Christmas Wish (Kindle exclusive), Wilbur Avenue (novella), Just in Time (novella), The Thursday Night Club (novella, released November 2014) and Gooseberry Island (novel, released January 2015). His work has appeared on NBC's Today Show, CBS's The Early Show, CNN's American Morning and BET's Nightly News. Three of Steven's short stories were selected "101 Best" for Chicken Soup for the Soul series. When not spending time with his beautiful wife, Paula, or their four children, this Massachusetts author is promoting his works or writing. Visit: