By: Sue Piazza (5-23)
© 2023 by Mel Walker
This was an Advance Readers Copy
Written in the first person this multi-racial book has heart as well as drama, Mel walker is the only male writer I’ve read that captures the feelings of a woman accurately.
Rising Baltimore Hospital star Dr. Cynthia Haywood is at the height of her professional life as a respected neurosurgeon. She’s spent the last four years working to reach the level of assistant chair. Suddenly fate throws her a curve ball. While saving someone else’s life, her sister loses hers. Dr. Haywood must make the trip to a small town in Rhode Island to help care for the adopted daughter left behind.
Unaware of how to parent an eight-year-old girl brings challenges as does the new hospital she’s taken a temporary job at. The one thing that helps her maintain her sanity is the next-door neighbor, the self-professed “Hot neighbor”, Simon Baxter. He becomes her knight in shining armor, a man only a book could create. He gives her life balance-and meaning.
Dr. Haywood, previously focused on her career, must decide if a quieter, family life, in RI with a man too good to be true is her destiny. Or, is the life she worked years to perfect in Baltimore, the place the rest of her family lives, the place where she belongs.
Many books use events, drama, to propel their characters and storyline as does this one but Mr. Walker’s books add a different dimension, they are character driven. We are given insight into the day-to-day thoughts and feelings of Cynthis Haywood. The events that happen in the protagonist’s life are believable. They are situations many of us have found ourselves in.
A lot of dialogue is internal. It is the inner workings of Dr. Haywood’s mind. She describes events, people, conflicts, etc. We learn about the world she inhabits through her self-dialogue. The book does not suffer for this but is rather enhanced by this method of storytelling.
The plot takes us, as well as Dr. Haywood, on a journey of self-discovery. And with the likeable and believable characters we are more than happy to go on this journey with them.
The sentence length and words chosen flow freely. They kept me engaged. Mr. Walker’s doesn’t try to impress with his word knowledge. He doesn’t add large words that one has to look up, he keeps his story real. Real people, real situations, real everyday conflicts, everyday decisions. The author slowly spins a tale that, as a reader, you enjoy following.
I laughed, I cried, I spent sleepless nights not being able to put this book down.
I recommend this book.
Susan Piazza, a Navy veteran, is an author, columnist, and blogger. Book One, A Bird Call That Isn’t, In her historical Ongoing Indigenous Tale series can be found on Amazon at: A Bird Call That Isn’t : https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0829MHLRX
Her new book Destiny’s Daughter, the second book in the series, will be out June 2023