4 out of 5 stars
Like MERCY’s RAIN, LIAR’S WINTER chronicles a difficult time in history and in the life of a little girl.
Set in the Appalachian Mountains in the 1800s—a time when people grappled to survive—Lochiel Ogle is raised in a dark world of hatred and fear. Literally marked since birth, Lochiel is stolen away from her mother and raised by a family that treats her like she is the plague incarnate. Called the Devil’s child because of the red-wine birthmark on her face, Lochiel is abused physically, emotionally, and psychologically. She is brainwashed into believing she is evil and constantly told she is worthless and has the ability to hex others. When her brother beats her, and leaves her to die, a stranger rescues her. Instantly Lochiel’s world changes. She is treated with kindness and compassion for the first time in her life. Suspicious why strangers would treat her so well, she soon finds out Walton and Edna aren’t strangers at all. What follows is a story of discovery and hope. Lochiel learns of her past and looks forward to a new future. Unfortunately, even with people who love her and want to protect Lochiel, the world might never be a safe place for her. When her life is threatened once again, she must be spirited away to safety.
There are both pros and cons to Ms. Sproles artistic style. Though the writing vernacular is authentic to the time period, it takes some getting used to, and the darkness of the subject matter can weigh heavy on the reader. However, if you can get past those snags, and allow yourself to attach to the characters, the story moves quicker. This isn’t a series I would necessarily recommend to the typical fiction reader. Someone with an interest in the historical value would appreciate the authenticity, but for the average reader, it might be a stumbling block.
Book provided for review purposes.