About the Book
Book: The Sinner in Mississippi
Author: D.L. Lane
Genre: Historical Fiction, Inspirational Romance
Release Date: May 1, 2020
Not expecting me to live, the midwife cleaned me up, wrapped me in an old tea towel, and placed me in a knitting basket beside the wood-burning stove. According to Mama, the storm raged until morning, but I never made one sound. So, hours later, when they peeked in at me, they were surprised to see me sucking my thumb, staring up at them with eyes the color of bluebells.
Mama told me, that’s when she cried.
See, she hadn’t shed a single tear during the harsh pain of giving birth or out of fear of the horrible storm taking the house and her with it, but she sobbed when she saw me. To her, it would have been better for all of us if I’d passed on in the night, carried off on the wings of angels, never to suffer the evils of this world. And sometimes, I wondered if she hadn’t been right.
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About the Author
D.L. Lane is a wife, musician, a graduate of Liberty University, and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. In 2010 she walked away from the day job and started a writing career using a pen name. As far as the world was concerned, she was very successful writing romances, however, success aside, she knew she wasn’t on the right path but stubbornly kept on going for nine years. Although a Christian and raised in a religious home, D.L went her own way, leaving God out of her choices until He said, “Enough.”
Weary and seeking guidance, she finally listened and left the course she was on as an established novelist to take a new path—putting God first in her life where He always should have been.
More from D.L.
I love writing, and I love to challenge myself as an author, and so I thought, why not write a fictional historical piece. This was a test for me since there are many things to research when writing during a different era, especially when I wasn’t around at that time. But I prayed about it, grabbed my laptop, and started writing about a poor, uneducated girl who grew up in Louisiana during the Great Depression in a motherless home with a group of reprobate males.
Not unlike the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis, a boy despised by his brothers who plotted against him, later rose from the depths to become one of the most powerful men in Egypt, facing the very men who had been responsible for the atrocities he’d suffered. Joseph had a choice. Let them die or help the ones who never helped him? This story weaves some of that same treachery with truth, teaching not only the heroine but the hero the ultimate meaning of love.
I wanted to give readers a book demonstrating the fact God will never leave us, even if we have left him for a time. That a personal relationship with Christ is our ultimate source of strength, and with His help, we can be pulled out of the depths of great sorrow, rising to heights we never imagined possible.
This is the most difficult book that I’ve read this year. To be honest, had I not signed up to review it, I probably would have put it down after the first 30 pages because the subject material is difficult. BUT I am glad that I persevered and gave it a chance because the story reeled me in and I ended up not wanting to pause in my reading. It reminded me somewhat of Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and although it is fictional, it has a very authentic ambiance that sets it apart as unique.
The Sinner in Mississippi by D.L. Lane is a transformative novel, a journey through the evils of the world to the grace of God. The title itself is polysemous; it can mean and refer to several different things within the story. Most of the story is narrated by Mississippi Singleton, with a few interludes by Thayer Drayton King. Mississippi is an underprivileged 17-year-old girl who lives with her abusive father and likewise violent brothers and whose future seems predictable until an encounter with tycoon Thayer King. While this is not a suspense novel, Lane has a way of writing that clutches the reader and doesn’t let go until the final page. There is a trigger warning by the author for violence and sexual assault, which are not graphic but are still disturbing and would be traumatic for sensitive readers. There is, I think, one instance of cursing toward the beginning of the story. However, there are welcome respites between the more painful scenes, and Lane draws it all together to demonstrate the impact and reason of the bigger picture.
What is most intriguing about The Sinner in Mississippi is the faith aspect. In the beginning, this does not seem like a Christian novel, and I would venture to say that this is intentional on the author’s part, which is also why I would encourage potential readers to press on. There is a slow, mostly subtle faith build throughout the narrative, and to depict it otherwise would ruin the work, in my opinion. This story features two people who are not Christians, although one acts as the Good Samaritan, and the series of events which befall them, ultimately leading them to Christ. Thayer’s metanoia begins slightly earlier, at a turning point in the novel: “How arrogant had I been to believe, for one single moment, there wasn’t a much higher power than me? God was real, and he heard my plea. He’d saved her. Mississippi was alive.” Whereas Mississippi has a moment of revelation while reading the Bible: “I didn’t realize it at the time, but looking back, I know what it was—God’s love. It started small, pushing back against the walls I’d built around me, until one day they cracked and a trickle ran down them, then a drip, drip, drip.” Because they each work out their faith both separately and together, it comes across as natural and genuine, a result of healing, love, and even pain, too.
In the end, I think that Mississippi’s words from a bit earlier in the text epitomize this eye-opening novel: “There are moments in our lives that seemed to leave everlasting impressions—memories, either good or bad, that will stay forever with us.” I, for one, know that The Sinner in Mississippi and its lessons in compassion, faith, and endurance will stay with me for years to come. Love never fails because God never fails.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
My rating: 5 stars ♥♥♥♥♥
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To celebrate her tour, D.L. is giving away the grand prize package of a $10 Amazon eGift Card and a free Audiobook of The Sinner in Mississippi!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.