Book Review: “Avonelle’s Gift” by Nova Scheller

Thanks to NetGalley and Bookbaby for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.

A gripping biography of an American family. This story of the Medling family spans from the late 1800’s to the 1960’s. Virgil and Ethel Medling are both born into difficult circumstances in rural Missouri. Falling in love as teenagers, they marry after Virgil returns from military service in Europe. They picture themselves building the family they never had but when life starts throwing curveballs their resolve begins to falter. The book traces their story as they suffer the death of a child, extramarital affairs, and Virgil’s imprisonment. Along the way Ethel raises their two children. After Ethel’s premature death, Virgil remarries and makes some heart-wrenching choices.

I found this book to be beautifully written. The author’s notes mention a family tradition of story-telling which she has put to good use in telling the story of her ancestors. The characters are vivid and the author does not gloss over their faults in an attempt to make them more likable, but tells their stories with honesty and the clarity that comes with hindsight.

Alinefromabook’s recommendation: THUMBS-UP to a thoroughly enjoyable and engaging read. Caution: there are some sex scenes so this may not be appropriate for younger readers.

Happy Reading!

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