Red Hat hijacks a yoghurt truck and barrels into the Chester Walz Bank at full speed, desperate to open a safety deposit box.
The twins, beckoned by an ominous streak of light across the sky, climb Harper’s Hill to encounter an apparition of their missing father.
The reverend stands on a muddy ridge, the barrel of the rifle in his neck, looking down on a Vietnamese village, scarred by war and regret.
The stories come to Margaret at all times, but they are anything but random. A fractured view of Michael Cheevers’ red hat through a discreetly cracked door sends her off on adventure. A glimpse of the Johnson twins from apartment 2D takes her to the lonely hill on a Midwestern prairie in 1887. The regular letters from Reverend Davies, who has tried to look after Margaret since the death of her mother, brings her to the brink of exhaustion, staring intensely into the heart of war deep in the jungle of Vietnam.
Margaret is not insane, at least not in a clinical sense. She’s like a midnight raccoon, painfully aware of her surroundings, gleaming crumbs of information at every turn; eyes peering incessantly in the night, stealing glances of neighbors behind partially opened doors.
But the tales that she weaves were not meant to merely hold empty court to the receptive dead air of her apartment. Her stories were meant to embolden the lives of the inhabitants of that drab apartment block because her story is also their story—and everything would be different if they could only hear her stories.
The Recluse Storyteller weaves five stories into one as the loner Margaret not only searches for meaning from her reclusive life, but also gives meaning in the most unexpected ways to the troubled souls of her apartment complex. Part adventure, part tragedy, and part discovery, The Recluse Storyteller bridges genres, bringing hope, life, and redemption to the broken relationships of modern society.
The Recluse Storyteller by Author Mark W Sasse
Reviewed by Laura
The opening pages of this book had me hooked and needing to read
more! The Recluse Storyteller is cleverly written and combines five
stories into one. Each story had me riveted and wanting to know what
happens next and the author certainly kept me reading.
Margaret, The Recluse Storyteller, changes the life of 5 people with her
stories that just keep taking over Margaret’s mind. The people in her
apartment block keep hearing bits of these stories and start to think that
maybe they’re not just stories after all. Theirs the twins down the hall
who have to keep coming back for more. The guy across the hall whose
past might have just come back to haunt him. The reverend, whose
memories of Vietnam just won’t go away. The Aunt who has to try and
determine if her niece is going insane.
I have never read a book quite like this and the author has a fantastic
way of entwining the stories together without it being confusing.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would read it again. I will definitely
be reading more of Mark’s work
A very well deserved 5 Golden Apples
Mark W. Sasse currently lives in Malaysia teaching drama and history. He lived in Vietnam for ten years which provided the rich background of modern day Vietnam in his first novel “Beauty Rising” released in December 2012. His second novel, “The Recluse Storyteller” will be released in October 2013. He just finished writing his third novel with a release date of 2014.
When he is not writing novels, his other passion comes out: live theater. He has published a series of plays of different genres including “Grandparents’ War”, “Spy Blue”, “Take Two: Who Directs Your Life”, and “Life with Stewart”. He also produced and directed all of these as original stage productions.
Sasse grew up in western Pennsylvania as a huge baseball fan. He loves to cook and spend time with his family.