Love hopes for the simple things to last forever, even though life itself does not.
When Susan Combs discovers a heart-breaking truth from the boy she has loved her entire life, she must make a life-altering choice. Will she still cling to the simple, small-town life she has always cherished, or will she chart a new path by overcoming this unforeseen trial?
Calder Hurtz hopes to escape his dumpy Texas town for a promising career and life away from the dusty dirt roads...and even farther away from his family’s tragic loss. In his escape, he intends to leave behind his simple childhood ideals of family and love, but perhaps he will learn that redefining one’s identity isn’t that simple after all.
Can two hospitalizations, two confessions of love, and one betrayal bring two simple souls together?
Compulsively readable, The Simple Soul of Susan is an engaging, soul-endearing romance and a mesmerizing debut.
“I don’t remember ever smiling so much while reading a book.”-Melanie, Paperback Darling
“...a literary gem that must be experienced.” -Nicole, Christian Fiction Girl
Plot: The Simple Soul of Susan is a romance novel that is both heart-warming and heart-wrenching. Branham's story is relatable, simple, and at times it feels drawn out. However, this is dwarfed by the masterful writing and delivery of a topic that is often infantilized. The author makes it clear: love is not perfect, but that's okay.
Prose: The prose here is pleasant to read, even, and almost whimsical in its flow. There are occasional inconsistencies with tenses and instances of repetition, leading to minor confusion and needless overcomplexity, but overall, the work is refreshing and eminently readable.
Originality: Branham's polished and genuine story does not noticeably echo other works of fiction. Its narrative gracefully balances exposition with description, and in-scene development.
Character Development: The author does a remarkable job of establishing characters who are dynamic, multi-layered personalities who continue to evolve and grow through the novel. These qualities make them quirky, memorable, and engaging. The author also masterfully distinguishes between main protagonists and secondary characters without over-resourcing on the latter.
Date Submitted: May 04, 2020