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Explorer Meriwether Lewis has been stuck in Nowhere since his mysterious death nearly two centuries ago. His last hope for redemption is helping nine-year-old Emmaline Cagney flee her madame mother in New Orleans and find her father in Nashville. To get there, Merry must cross his own grave along the Natchez Trace, where he duels the corrupt Judge, an old foe who has his own despicable plans for Em.
Alternating viewpoints between the three main protagonists along with unique narrative create a riveting read. Watkins manages to stir plausibility within a imaginative questionable storyline. Emmaline’s predicament is emotional, with depth in Watkins prose, the delicate edge is not lost. The Judge is undeniably viscous as opposed to Merry’s gentle and kind ‘spirit’ on Emmaline’s behalf. Emmaline manages a duality of naieve child and sage soul, snagging the readers attention as well as serving as the centerpiece of the emotional draw of entire narrative.
Knowing Watkins walked the 444 mile trail in honor of the book’s debut adds a richness and rooted connection to the story. Her writing is evident of her passion and insight.
A strong female protagonist, with a subtle paranormal touch, along with adventure, combined to make To Live Forever an incredible read. The emotional element throughout the narrative is the just reward. Juicy tidbits on Lewis and a politician serving as a double agent ignite the perusers thirst to learn more.
Watkins demonstrates an eye for originality, command of language, excellent characterization. Hands down her future is nothing less than bright. Looking forward to her next book.
▪︎Published March 1st 2014 by Word Hermit Press
A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review