A Diary’s House by C. David Murphy ~ Book Review
A Diary’s House is about adventure, lost love, and the hope that dreams, even those in the final years of life, can at last prevail. It is of a young boy’s attempt to become a man, the once-lost secrets of a diary, a sweeping romance which transcends time and place. It is more than a boy’s journey into manhood, but the mysteries of so many lives unknowingly intertwined, now brought together in a climatic ending; all from the engrossing world embedded in a forgotten diary; a diary of a woman.
Born in the vast and looming mountains of North Carolina during the 1870’s, Landon Hampshire always remembered the folklore and legendary tales his father told him during his early childhood; about the people of the Kituhwa (Cherokee) and the birth of this tribal nation – an enchanting story he could never forget. Incorporating the aid of an eccentric old French trapper (old man Montague), Landon and his friends set out on an adventure, their initial intention is to discover treasure and become men. But what Landon will eventually come to discover is more than he ever bargained for.
Landon didn’t realize his boyhood adventure would yield the incredible journey he ultimately experiences – going down the mysterious and mystical Randola River. At the base of the river is an island even more mysterious than the Randola itself.
The island releases many of its mysterious, yet even many more are created when Landon discovers, on the island, a diary of a young woman who lived forty years prior during the 1830’s (Trail of Tears). The diary entries are hopeful, though haunting. It reveals, in intimate detail, the life and dreams of this very special young girl who is turning into a woman of beauty and adventure, her love for a Cherokee boy, and the trials she will ultimately face. Her story unfolds through the reading of her diary, and Landon suddenly finds himself caught up in a sweeping, empowering world of re-invention and ultimate redemption.
In My Opinion
Truth be told, this book took a lot of effort to read. The sheer volume alone is daunting. Not that I am afraid of size having read many books by Stephen King as well as the entire Harry Potter series. But with a new author it made me a bit leery.
I found it difficult to really dive into the book as well. The author has a strong propensity for description with a heavy emphasis on metaphor and simile. Most of the time I felt as though I was reading the love child of a dictionary and thesaurus. I think with half the descriptive language edited down the book would have read easily and quickly.
Having said that, the story line itself was well conceived. I have a special place in my heart for historical fiction. This was my first based on Native American legends but I found the plot heart-warming and intriguing.
There is a fair bit of mystery and mysticism which is strongly appealing to me as a reader. While this genre isn’t exactly one I have delved into before, the story was worth the effort it took to get past the slow opening. I enjoyed the characters and the adventure had just enough suspense to keep me wanting to know more.
If you are a fan of this genre and enjoy the detail of a writer who shares every nuance and picture, you will enjoy this book. From me it only gets 3 stars for being too wordy and there-by too long.