Thursday, July 2, 2020

These Nameless Things by Shawn Smucker {A Book Review}

**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley for consideration. All thoughts are 100% my own.

Before Dan opened his door to find a wounded woman who had escaped from the tormentors in the mountain, his life had become rather quiet. He and the eight other people in the mostly abandoned town had become friends. They spent peaceful evenings around the campfire and even made vague plans to journey east one day and leave the ominous mountain behind.

But the woman's arrival changes everything.
Who is she? How does she know so much about Dan's brother, who is still held captive in the mountain? Why are long-forgotten memories rising to the surface? And why does Dan feel so compelled to keep her presence in his house a secret?

Visionary writer Shawn Smucker is back with an unsettling story that invites us to consider two challenging questions: To what lengths will we go to assuage our own guilt? and Is there a limit to the things we will do for the people we love?

Shawn Smucker is the award-winning author of Light from Distant Stars, the young adult novels The Day the Angels Fell and The Edge of Over There, and the memoir Once We Were Strangers. He lives with his wife and six children in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. You can find him online at

Do you ever find yourself really WANTING to love a story... but simply unable to find yourself getting into it? Not because of writing or story line... but simply just because? I must admit this is where I found myself with These Nameless Things. I absolutely wanted to love this book. I've read previous books by Shawn Smucker and greatly enjoyed and appreciated his unique voice among this genre. Likewise, this book had that same fantastic writing and storytelling that I had come to expect. It was complex, it was mysterious, it was well thought out and beautifully written... a book that at it's surface I feel like I should really have enjoyed. Unfortunately though, try as I might, I just really couldn't connect with this one.

While the story did have a bit of a slow start and kept me feeling a bit in the dark, I don't believe that was actually it for me. For this story, that mystery really adds to the suspense and keeps you reading. No, for me I think perhaps it's simply a matter of timing. With all that is going on in the world (and in life) at the moment, I think this was just not quite what I needed in the moment. I need something a bit more lighthearted. Perhaps if I had or do read at a different time and a different state of mind, I would have gotten much more enjoyment out of it and I do hope to revisit at a later time too.

Despite my lack of connection, I would still give this book a solid 3.5 stars based on the writing and the concept alone. While it wasn't for me in the moment, it is a thought provoking and mysterious tale that I know many are going to absolutely love.


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