A Word from the Author:
I never planned to be a writer. In fact, it took me a while to finish college. But I did, and here I am. And I now I can’t imagine not being a writer.
By day, I am an English Instructor at MATC, Marketing Manager for Degnan Design Builders, Inc., mother to four amazing children, wife to an eternally patient and supportive husband, and Worship Leader for Living Hope Fellowship in Sun Prairie, WI. In the evening, when I can squirrel away some quiet time, I read and write historical fiction.
I have a B.A. in English Lit. from UW Whitewater and an M.F.A in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, NJ.
If you have a question for me, or if you are local and would like me to stop by your book club or writer’s group, please drop me a line via the “Ask the Author” tab. I always love the opportunity to meet with others who share my love of books.
Learn more about Cara and her books on her website.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Miriam paints the future…but can she change it?
Chicago – 1890
Miriam watches the people jostle their way below the windows of her warehouse home, never thinking to look up at her as she paints their faces. But Miriam’s gift as an artist goes beyond a mere recording of what is: Miriam paints their futures. Only once was she wrong. One woman doesn’t match the future Miriam saw. The bright girl was supposed to grow into a respected businesswoman. Instead, Ione disappears nightly into the shadowed alley next to the cathedral with the other prostitutes. Then one night, while walking through the city fog, Miriam finds Ione broken and beaten. Miriam is forced to open her home to the stranger whose face she knows so well and open her life to change she never could have foretold. Women are missing—some found floating in the river, some never seen again. The deacon from the cathedral is the first to help. Soon Miriam’s solicitor, Michael, aids her in rejoining society so they might uncover the evil at work in the corrupt city…and awakens feelings she had never considered before. Finally engaged with the world she has so long observed, finally stirred by love and friendship, Miriam realizes the responsibility of her gifting. No longer can she just paint what will be. She must now help Ione find the future she is meant to have…and find her own along with it.
I almost hesitate to review Soul Painter, partially from fear of revealing too much and partially because I am not sure I have the words to adequately describe my impressions of it. I have always loved what many call “gothic romance” novels and read innumerable books by authors such as Mary Stewart and Victoria Holt back in the day before good Christian fiction became so readily available. Soul Painter has that dark and brooding atmosphere so prevalent in the best of the classic gothic novels. Many readers of Christian fiction may possibly find it too dark for their sensibilities.
Soul Painter is the story about Miriam, a reclusive heiress who has chosen to remain in an apartment above her deceased father’s warehouse that is located directly across from the neighborhood cathedral. An artist, Miriam enjoys watching the people from her window and often walks among them during the evening. The discovery of an injured prostitute one evening changes Miriam’s life as she is compelled to become involved with several other people as they endeavor to find and stop the person responsible for the attacks and disappearance of so many women from the area near the cathedral.
I thoroughly enjoyed every page of Soul Painter and was not happy to reach its end. The characters were so well developed and the author set the perfect scene for the plot. Although the crimes depicted were disturbing, they were described tactfully and without the gratuitous violence and obscenity found in many secular novels. I loved how Miriam, John, Michael, the doctor, and the pastor’s family reached out to “sinful” women and showed them the true love of Christ without judgment. I look forward to future novels by this new-to-me author. I sincerely hope I won’t have to wait too long.