Title: Soul Painter
Author: Cara Luecht
Publisher: White Fire Publishing
What an epic tale! At first glance it seemed like there wasn’t much to draw the reader’s eye to the page, but how deceiving that turned out to be! The further I progressed in the book, the deeper I was drawn to what was happening in Chicago in the late 1800s where the author sets the stage. Miriam is the main female character of the novel. She is living alone above a warehouse where her father once ran a business. By all accounts she is a hermit, refusing to interact with society or even enter a church as the last time she was in the local cathedral was to attend her mother’s funeral.
From her window on the second floor, Miriam watches children and then takes paints their faces on the canvas of her picture, perhaps even what she feels how their future might turn out. Miriam is not always sure what her paintings mean exactly just that until she puts what is within her on canvas she can think of little else. Her groceries are delivered; she has s solicitor take care of her money and though society calls her many names, she refuses to interact with anyone. One night she ventures out to stare at a statue of the Virgin Mary, and she is touched by a woman on her ankle. As Miriam decides to care for this woman in her home, even calling the physician, she has now turned a corner in her life from which there is no retreat.
Now let me assure that is just a teaser, because the author writes a fantastic tale of mystery, suspense and intrigue. I enjoyed discovering who Miriam was, why she detached herself from her heritage and then found hope through ministering to women cruelly treated by an unknown assailant with the help of the local priest. While the locals in the story refuse to help or notice that many women of ill repute have gone missing or are found beaten and more, there are two women who begin to help Miriam shed her cocoon and reenter society.
The internal battle Miriam engages in and how she begins to blossom for more reasons than I have revealed was just spell-binding. I found great encouragement in the story as the themes of breaking free of fears, finding romance, and willingly placing herself at risk to catch a murderer and embark on a new life beyond words. The antagonist is a character that embodies evil and even his chilling presence affects those he interacts with or intimidates.
The novel, Soul Painter, is one novel that readers should grab a copy of and get comfortable before entering the world within the book. You might even want to share the story with those friends and family who are always open and looking for a great tale to get lost in during the cold nights.
My rating is 5+ stars.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”