Book Review: A Shadow Life


A Shadow Life by Leta McCurryPublished September 1st 2016 by Embers Press

“If we don’t get away, and if anything happens to me, you have to find a way to get away from Harley…If i’m not here, get away. Run. Find a way. Run. Promise me. Do you understand, Laney?” -A Shadow Life, Leta McCurry


After her father passed away, Laney and her mother, Mattie, were left to fend for themselves.  Then one day, Harley Faddis strolled into town intending on marrying Mattie and taking her and Laney away. However, as soon as they leave town it’s apparent that Harley isn’t the man he said he was. Five years later, Laney finds herself alone, frightened, and on the run. Eventually, she “finds a way to hide in plain sight and builds a safe and near-perfect new life. Safe and near- perfect, that is, until three people from the past show up looking for revenge, redemption and love.” (McCurry)

Ruby Jo is a wild eyed girl who knows she is destined for more than her small country town has to offer. She knows she is beautiful and there is a fire inside of her that she can’t keep tamed. When her mother attempts to marry her off, Ruby Jo makes the decision to flee to Hollywood. Nothing is going to keep her from chasing her dreams. Not even the birth of her daughter, Mercy Grace. Following a timeline from 1930 to 1962, Leta McCurry introduces us to four women who are interwoven and desperately trying to run from their pasts and build a new life.

My Thoughts:

I had no idea what to expect when I started reading this novel, but I was immediately immersed after the first page! I seriously could not get enough of it! The characters are so vibrant and real, you could definitely feel their pain and anguish. I haven’t experimented with many historical fiction books, but this novel definitely changed my outlook. Utilizing historical events, such as The Great Depression, McCurry was able to explain the type of grief the characters were experiencing in a contextual way.

This is one of the first books I finished this year and I can not think of a better way to begin my 2017 reading journey. It’s a book about self discovery that forces you to reflect on your own life and to be thankful for what you have. McCurry’s writing is very ‘readable’, but also extremely impactful. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading women’s fiction. Also, you can learn more about Leta McCurry and her novels at

Rating: 4/5



Author: Revitalized Reading by Danica

Working in a public library for three years has introduced me to some of the most interesting books and book related ideas! I am a creator, dreamer, and lover of all literature and i'm here to share my bookish ways with you!

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