Thursday, May 31, 2012
Within the Dark Hills - Sian Ann Bessey
I was so excited to read this book. I loved how we got the in depth lesson about Welsh mining in the 1800's. And I have to say that I LOVED the first part of this book.
We start with Annie Morgan, a young chambermaid running for her life, after being accosted by a wealthy mine owner. She runs through a terrible rain storm and runs to the only place she can think to go, the home of the town reverend. She is warmly embraced by the reverend and his wife, and is ready to collapse when the alarm sounds at the mine. At this point there is no time to rest. There is only the desire to rescue and care for those who are trapped miles below the surface.
Evan Powell is a miner who becomes buried beneath the rubble with his partner Hugh. They wiggle through their tunnel only to trip over the legs of a very young boy under a pile of rubble. Evan and Hugh dig as fast as they can and are able to pull out a young friend and fellow miner Rhodri. He is alive but unconscious. It is a great challenge for Evan and Hugh to make it to the exit, especially carrying a fellow miner.
We are walked through a harrowing rescue at the mine. Followed by a fantastic story of fear, love faith and trust. The time spent in the mine felt like you were in the mine. Sian Ann Bessey has a wonderful way with words. I truly felt the pain that Evan felt, the fear that Annie felt on a daily basis, and the terror the wives of the miners felt every time the mine alarm sounded. This is a fantastic read. I was thoroughly intrigued and entertained.
But here is my problem. The book was extremely well written until the end. It felt like just when the story started getting really good it was over. And this is the second book I read this week that left me feeling very unsatisfied. I don't know if there was a deadline approaching, or the publishers were getting anxious, but this book was over way too soon. I truly hope that in the future the story is really what matters most to all those involved in writing and publishing books.