the recluse storyteller

The Recluse Storyteller by Mark W. Sasse. Here’s his blog.

Red Hat hijacks a yoghurt truck and barrels into the Chester Walz Bank at full speed, desperate to open a safety deposit box.

The twins, beckoned by an ominous streak of light across the sky, climb Harper’s Hill to encounter an apparition of their missing father.

The reverend stands on a muddy ridge, the barrel of the rifle in his neck, looking down on a Vietnamese village, scarred by war and regret.

The stories come to Margaret at all times, but they are anything but random. A fractured view of Michael Cheevers’ red hat through a discreetly cracked door sends her off on adventure. A glimpse of the Johnson twins from apartment 2D takes her to the lonely hill on a Midwestern prairie in 1887. The regular letters from Reverend Davies, who has tried to look after Margaret since the death of her mother, brings her to the brink of exhaustion, staring intensely into the heart of war deep in the jungle of Vietnam.

Margaret is not insane, at least not in a clinical sense. She’s like a midnight raccoon, painfully aware of her surroundings, gleaming crumbs of information at every turn; eyes peering incessantly in the night, stealing glances of neighbors behind partially opened doors.

But the tales that she weaves were not meant to merely hold empty court to the receptive dead air of her apartment. Her stories were meant to embolden the lives of the inhabitants of that drab apartment block because her story is also their story—and everything would be different if they could only hear her stories.

The Recluse Storyteller weaves five stories into one as the loner Margaret not only searches for meaning from her reclusive life, but also gives meaning in the most unexpected ways to the troubled souls of her apartment complex. Part adventure, part tragedy, and part discovery, The Recluse Storyteller bridges genres, bringing hope, life, and redemption to the broken relationships of modern society. (Synopsis from Goodreads).

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I normally break down the book into 10% parts and say what I was feeling at each segment, I am not going to do that with this book, I did try but all I kept writing was “I do not know where this is going but I love the stories and the writing is lovely”, not really much of a review. So I am going to try my best to explain from memory why I loved this book.

It was a complicated story that was written so well it was fairly easy to understand. I was always wondering where the story was going, not that it was slow, it featured stories within the stories that were quicker paced than the main one,I loved all of the little stories even if I did not understand their relevance until the end.

The writing style was beautiful and it was well executed. I loved the characters and Margaret, although a little strange was wonderful and I really wished I could hear her tell her stories. I adore how all the stories had a different purpose and from different perspectives. Even when things looked bad for Margaret she did not seem upset by it, she just went about her business and slowly came out of her shell.

I cannot put into words how good this book was, cliche I know, but it’s true. It’s a masterpiece, a modern classic.

5 stars out of 5.

Who would I recommend this book to?