Monday, September 10, 2012

More Than Sorrow by Vicki Delany

As much as I love Vicki Delany's Constable Molly Smith books, she's outdone herself with her standalone, More Than Sorrow. She carefully weaves together two storylines, one contemporary and one historical, in a thoughtful, unforgettable story of the damage and tragedy of war. But, Delany makes this a personal story. This isn't the trauma fighting men suffer. This is a suspense novel featuring women as victims and heroes.

Hannah Manning was a renowned journalist for a Canadian newspaper who fought to cover the war in Afghanistan. Following an "incident," she's now at her sister's small family farm in Prince Edward County, Ontario, suffering from a traumatic brain injury. She suffers agonizing headaches, blackouts, and fears she's hallucinating at times. And, the only person who seems to understand what Hannah lost in Afghanistan, and what she's suffering is Hila Popalzai, a young Afghan woman living with the neighbors. When Hannah drops a tea cup while visiting, and says she doesn't know what came over her, Hila does. "Grief, pain, sorrow beyond endurance. But we do endure."

But, Hila doesn't. When she goes missing, Hannah becomes a suspect. With her faulty memory, she can't account for her time when Hila disappeared. As the police prod her, and enemies circle, Hannah only knows she couldn't have hurt a friend who accepted her as she was, damaged and afraid. Both women were only seeking safety after what they had experienced in war-torn Afghanistan.

But, More Than Sorrow is about the trauma of war in the past as well as the present. Hannah's lost time often occurs when she goes to the root cellar. She's afraid she's hallucinating when she hears and sees a woman, but it's not a woman she knows. How does the woman connect with the house, and with Hannah?

I can't reveal more without spoiling this powerful story. It's a story of refugees, the refugees who flee from war in their own country, from their neighbors and families. It's a story of strong, brave women. And, for those of us who are Americans reading this, it's a revealing story of a part of our history that we've forgotten. Who were the refugees who fled our American Revolution?

Vicki Delany set an enormous task for herself. Write a suspense novel with a gothic spin. Tell of the trauma of war, the injuries, mental and physical. Tell of the anger, the stories of neighbors suspicious of each other. And, combine two storylines, one contemporary, and one from the late 1700s, that brilliantly come together in a terrifying climax. More Than Sorrow is a powerful story that works on so many levels. It won't be easily forgotten..

Note: Vicki Delany will be appearing for Authors @ The Teague on Oct. 25, along with Donis Casey.

Vicki Delany's website is

More Than Sorrow by Vicki Delany. Poisoned Pen Press. 2012. ISBN 9781590589854 (hardcover), 312p.

FTC Full Disclosure - The author sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.


Kay said...

I've loved all of Vicki Delany's book and have read her other standalones. Looking forward to this one. You had me at gothic - LOL.

Lesa said...

Oh, good, Kay. I'm sure you're going to love this one, too.

Sandie Herron said...

It does sound like the author took on quite a task for herself. Sounds very interesting to me also.

Lesa said...

Very well done, Sandie. It was terrific.

Beth Hoffman said...

Terrific review, Lesa! I can tell how much you enjoyed this book so it's going on my list.

Hope you and the kitties have a nice week!

Karen C said...

I've only read one other of Vicki Delany's books and really enjoyed it. Looks like this one is on the list for me, too!

Lesa said...


I think you're going to be impressed with this one.

Thank you! The cats at least will have a good week. (smile) Hope you do, too!

Lesa said...

Oh, good, Karen. Love to see those TBR piles getting higher!

Jane R said...

I haven't read any books by Vicki Delany and it looks like I've been missing a lot! This title, in particular, appears to pack quite a punch. Your review is terrific and it's already on my ever-growing book list. Thank you for the heads up. I'm looking forward to reading it (and some of the author's other books as well!)

Lesa said...


As I said, I'm a big fan of her Constable Molly Smith books. I hope you get a chance to try an early one after you read More Than Sorrow.