I specialize in reviewing Print-On-Demand (POD) published books for my website and Midwest Book Review. Please query for a review by email to hgunther234@hotmail.com.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

IRISES TO ASHES by Charlie Hudson

Outskirts Press, Inc.
Parker, CO
Genre: Fiction - Family/Adventure/Dreams
Rating: Very Good
ISBN: 9781432773892, $16.95, 317 pp.

Quoting from the back cover:

“Young Maggie Stewart loves the beaches of the Outer Banks, but that doesn’t take away from her desire to travel beyond the ocean’s edge. She knows that her family expects her to marry and settle down. It is an unexpected encounter with Amelia Hatcher, the village recluse, that leads to surprising opportunities that can open a path for Maggie to find a new future. Thus begins the intertwined stories of Maggie and Amelia; a fifteen year relationship between a young woman seeking to find her own way and an older woman seeking redemption for a past she has kept shrouded in secret.

“Charlie Hudson, military veteran and author, brings a different type of book in Irises to Ashes. Her comfortable writing style and touches of humor are still present in a story that explores self-discovery and the price we sometimes pay for choices that we make. See all of Charlie’s books at www.charliehunson.net.”

Irises to Ashes is divided into 3 parts: Part One - Maggie’s Beginning - Summer 1976 - Summer 1978, Part Two - Maggie’s Time - Fall 1978 - Spring 1992, and Part Three - Amelia’s Secrets - April 1992. This is not only a novel about young Maggie Stewart’s self-discovery but also about the de-mystification of Amelia Hatcher. Throughout Hudson’s novel the page-turning tension flows from one page to the next...starting with: will she give up her virginity to Billy Ray?; how can she get to know the recluse Amelia?; how to keep their relationship a secret; how to work around obstinate parents; how to get to Paris; will she succeed?; dealing with negative family jealousy; having to choose between family expectations and a successful career; and why no meaningful relationships? Then, you find out the secrets that led Amelia to choose the life of a recluse..

Irises To Ashes has a great beginning to pull you in, tension to keep you turning, and a satisfying conclusion to fit the title. Hudson excels at descriptive writing and character development which bring this story to life. Can you relate to her Maggie?...might you distort the truth to get what you want? And, in some ways, Irises to Ashes is a light mystery...will she break from family?, will she succeed?, what are Amelia’s dark secrets? Other books by Charlie Hudson include: Your Room at the End, Parallel Worlds, Islands in the Sand, Orchids in the Snow, Shades of Murder, Parents’ Guide to Business Travel. And yes, I can highly recommend this novel.

Kaye Trout - July 24, 2011