Good morning, book nerds!!
Today is my spot on the Enemies of Doves book tour! And I have to tell you, I’m incredibly thankful that Gluhm’s book found its way into my hands via this tour opportunity. I’m not sure if I would have found my way to this debut under “normal” circumstances, and what a shame that would have been. This historical fiction novel is unlike anything I’ve ever read before and I’ll try to explain why in the review below. Please do yourselves a favor and add this to your TBRs today and enter the giveaway below for a chance to win YOUR very own copy!
Enemies of Doves by Shanessa Gluhm
Title & Author: Enemies of Doves by Shanessa Gluhm
Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery
Release Date: March 20, 2020
Publisher: TouchPoint Press
Series Details: Standalone
Page Count: 324 pages
Opening Lines: “Joel woke up to a white world: white walls, white sheets, a white pitcher of water, and a stranger wearing white. White like Mama’s favorite flowers, white like the coat Daddy wore to work, white like the doves that…No, don’t think about the doves. Don’t think about the doves ever again.”
On a summer night in 1932, twelve-year-old Joel Fitchett wanders into an East Texas diner badly beaten and carrying his unconscious brother, Clancy. Though both boys claim they have no memory of what happened, the horrific details are etched into their minds as deep as the scar left across Joel’s face.
Thirteen years later, both men still struggle with the aftershocks of that long-ago night and the pact they made to hide the truth. When they find themselves at the center of a murder investigation, they make a decision that will change everything. A second lie, a second pact, and, for a time, a second chance. In 1991 college student Garrison Stark travels to Texas chasing a rumor that Clancy Fitchett is his biological grandfather. Clancy has been missing since 1946, and Garrison hopes to find him and, in doing so, find a family. What he doesn’t expect to discover is a tangle of secrets spanning sixty years involving Clancy, Joel, and the woman they both loved, Lorraine.
Told in alternating timelines from World War II to 1992, debut author Shanessa Gluhm’s Enemies of Doves is a tale of family secrets, jealousy, and deception perfect for fans of Kate Morton and Katherine Webb.
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Thank you so much to LSBBT, the publisher, and the author for providing me with a finished copy in exchange for an honest review.
“It wasn’t how we were born or raised that made us the men we are today. It was what happened that day that set the rest of our lives in motion.”
In less than 320 pages, Shanessa Gluhm’s powerful debut delivers a family saga that captures everything I love about storytelling. With fully formed and fleshed-out characters, a narrative pacing that keeps you hungry for answers, and themes that could resonate with readers young and old, Enemies of Doves provides a captivating fictional story that felt entirely tangible.
Maybe it’s because the action is divided over the course of 60 years with tidbits being gleaned from major and minor characters alike, but consuming this story felt like discovering my own family history from a beloved grandparent. I could envision being told the tumultuous tale during a family reunion with chatty aunts and uncles chiming in with those supplemental details that truly round out a story. And not because I can personally relate to some of the heinous secrets revealed in this decade-spanning novel, but rather because of Gluhm’s empathetic exploration of the human condition. Her ability to portray a character as they see themself, as they’re seen by others, and how that affects and shapes their life’s narrative was truly impressive given the amount of years she needed to address with so few pages to do so. It allows you, as the reader, to form true bonds to these characters and see how tiny, seemingly insignificant choices can accumulate into decisions that will leave lifelong scars.
“Living things shouldn’t be caged…”
Tackling everything from racism, poverty, PTSD, war, child abuse, prison, and our duty to our fellow man, Enemies of Doves packs a punch in nearly every chapter. Thanks to the synopsis, I knew I was diving into a book full of secrets surrounding a duo of brothers, but I did not expect the subtle social commentary hidden within its pages. Some topics were addressed with just a sprinkled line or two, while others evolved throughout the book. What blew me away was how the issues plaguing the characters in the 1940s could very easily be written about modern-day characters. Perhaps it’s these universal themes that gave me such a real connection to the material, but I have a strong feeling that this book will linger long after it’s placed back on the shelf.
“A second lie, a second pact and — hopefully — a second chance.”
There’s so much to talk about when it comes to this book. The incident that sparked the initial secret between brothers and what’s kept them tied to it for decades. The love triangle that developed between them during WWII. The aftermath of trauma and how it changes people. The lengths we’re willing to go for a loved one wronged. A grandson’s search for truth and a new family to call his own. Or the mega plot twists Gluhm employed to keep readers on their toes.
Whether it’s one or all of these topics, Enemies of Doves is clearly a book you’ll want to discuss long after the epilogue is read. All is not what it seems and I personally think it’s best to go in with as little information as possible and let the story take you where it will. If you’re in the market for a murder mystery full of secrets, sacrifice, and heart, I suggest aligning up with this debut.
Shanessa Gluhm works as a librarian at an elementary school in New Mexico, where she lives with her husband and children. It was during her own elementary days when a teacher encouraged Shanessa to write and share stories with the class. She hasn’t stopped writing since. Enemies of Doves is her debut novel.
1st Prize: Signed Copy of Enemies of Doves + a $20 Amazon Gift Card
2nd Prize: eBook of Enemies of Doves
July 28, 2020 – August 7, 2020
VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
|7/28/20||Playlist||The Page Unbound|
|7/28/20||BONUS Post||Hall Ways Blog|
|7/29/20||Top Ten List||Chapter Break Book Blog|
|8/1/20||Author Interview||All the Ups and Downs|
|8/2/20||Scrapbook Page||That’s What She’s Reading|
|8/4/20||Deleted Scene||Book Bustle|
|8/5/20||Review||The Clueless Gent|
|8/6/20||Review||Reading by Moonlight|
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