By: Patricia Hamilton Shook
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Publication Date: 2018
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Patricia Hamilton Shook’s debut novel, Seeking Glory, delivers intriguing twists and turns from beginning to end.
Kate LaRue ended her day just like many before at her beloved store, the Sea Witch Art and Gifts. After locking up and steering her trusted Toyota onto Route 6A, the ‘King’s Highway’ as it was known to the locals, she made her way along the Cape Cod highway to her Yarmouth home. She thought about the last twenty years of her life and how she had made the Sea Witch a success after so many losses. Her marriage had failed years before. Her daughter was gone — too many moments filled with arguments between mother and daughter.
Kate arrives home and kicks into her nightly ritual. She stares into the refrigerator and goes through the mental process of what to cook for one for dinner. Thankfully, the phone interrupts her thoughts; rescuing her from the plight of the immediate need to make the decision. When the stranger on the other end of the line, Shirley Randall, identifies herself as a social worker at San Francisco General Hospital, Kate is confused. Who was this woman and why was she calling? Kate didn’t know anyone in San Francisco. Shirley manages to capture Kate’s attention when she asks her if she has a daughter named Allison LaRue. It takes Kate a moment to process the question. It had been at least a decade since Kate had even heard her daughter’s name, let alone seen her. When the woman is insistent she has the right number, Kate believes her when she follows up with: “…Ms. LaRue, we have a young woman named Allison LaRue here. She gave us this number to call as next of kin…”
Dr. Shook has done a marvelous job in hooking her audience with an engaging tale. Having lived on Cape Cod for a summer, I was immediately drawn in by her fantastic ability to paint such an accurate picture of the many faces of the Cape. It’s been many years since I lived on the Cape and I thank Dr. Shook for resurrecting fond memories because of her adept way of painting the sceneries with her fine word placement. Shook also has a knack for developing characters full of personality and affirms their respective realities with credible dialogue. However, I must caution Dr. Shook on the amount of typographical error throughout. Editorially, the flow and context of the story is intact. It is the consistent incorrect tense of word and missing words that was a distraction for me. These are errors that often cannot be caught by a ‘spell check’ and easily remedied by a deep re-read. Aside from this, Seeking Glory is engaging and has a wonderful ebb and flow of mystery and intrigue throughout.
Quill says: Seeking Glory is a lovely read that touches on loss and redemption with the promise of new beginnings on the horizon.