Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Pain Collector by Christian Strayhorn Spence

The Pain Collector by Christian Strayhorn Spence

Author: Christian Strayhorn Spence
Publisher: Strayhorn Spence (Self-Published)
Publish Date: April 2014
Page Amount: 232 Pages
Price: $13.00 Paperback
ISBN: 0615932843 (ISBN13: 9780615932842)
Purchase the Novel Here!

Learn More About the Author Here!

"Eva Kingsley recently had a solitary and quiet life as a traveling writer who knew little about her family. When her father commits suicide, she is left with a library full of written pain and a dark family secret. Using her library and the hints left by her father, Eva is forced to search through her family's history from World War II. She finds herself faced with the appalling acts of those she never really knew and must make a decision between family and justice." (Goodreads Description)

I enjoyed reading this novel. It was a short read, but the plot was intriguing and interesting! This book follows the story of Eva, who, after finding out her father is deceased, is asked to trace her family tree. Along the way, she figures out the motives behind her family member's actions, as well as meeting relatives that she never knew she had.

In terms of character development, I was quite surprised to see that, even through all of the stories that were not Eva's, I was still getting a sense of who she is as an individual. The stories of her relatives and the items in the War Chest that were left behind, also give a very strong impression on what these people were like. Spence does a GREAT job of conveying exactly what she wants you to feel toward certain characters, and she also does a great job of "turning it around", bringing out parts of these characters that you would have never expected.

I also feel like I connect to Eva really well. The shy individual who always stays in her library, and even sleeps there sounds a lot like myself. It was not hard for any reader to get to like Eva. Spence crafts her life in a way that the reader can truly understand her struggles in the world and can craft sentences in such a way that it just makes the reader want to help her in any way possible.

There is a deep contrast between characters, some of them being portrayed as polar opposites of one another. But Spence finds a way to make it so that they all connect, and that there is common ground between them. This takes true talent.

There are minor errors in the book, a few punctuation spots here and there, but I could over look these for the character development and the story. Also, there were several different fonts throughout the story, and while I understood their purpose, the different styles of font and the bold, italic, normal switches were a little too much for me. However, this did seem to go on for only one part of the book, in the beginning. This was also the part in the book where the story itself was quite hard to grasp.I had to go back and re-read the long narrative that was written by *spoiler* Jack Addison *end spoiler* in order to truly understand Eva's family tree.

Other than these small things, I truly enjoyed the story. It was a quick read for me, and I know now that these types of novels hold my interest very well.

I also truly enjoyed Spence's style. It was quite shocking to me that she is not more well-known. I thought that this novel was perfect! This novel was part of a writing contest, and I am shocked that this did not win the contest! I love this author.

I was gifted a copy of this novel through the Goodreads Giveaway promotion.

Rating: 4-4.5 stars out of 5 stars

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