3 out of 4 stars
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What do a young reporter, an old man, and a 1936 Auburn 852 Boattail Speedster have in common? Steven Wilkens has woven an amazing epic saga in Charles’ Story showing just how those things come together. From the beginning to the end, I was engaged and fascinated by wonderful characters and experiences.
Karen Snow is a small-town reporter who is fascinated by the mysterious philanthropy occurring around town. She learns that Charles Henderson McCormick, a local retired businessman, is behind the gracious gifts that are helping the town businesses, churches, and more. Her journalistic curiosity makes it impossible to not seek out the story. McCormick agrees to share his story, on his own terms. The Auburn connects these two in ways that no one can see coming, taking the two of them on an incredible journey.
Charles has deep secrets that hurt people in so many ways. Karen’s desire is to learn “who” Charles is, not just in the present, but in the past. Charles is not sure he is ready to share all, as trust comes hard for him. What will happen if he does? How much should he share?
The various forms of love play a significant role in Charles’ Story. The love between friends, between family, as well as between man and woman. Charles life was rife with love lost for the wrong reasons. His hope is that Karen learns from his experiences. Love and the impact of not prioritizing the people that you love are seen throughout the story. Does life have to be full of regrets, or can it culminate in something else? Watching Karen and Charles explore the different forms of love makes the reader explore it in themselves, as you experience their emotions. I felt these emotions as I read, which made me want to know more about these people.
Some parts of the story are predictable, but there are many surprises along the way, especially as the story comes to a close. The culmination of the journey was not quite what I expected, but I was happy to see it. Answers to questions are clear, without any cliffhangers.
What I found difficult were the number of grammar errors, as well as a few spelling errors. For example, “arraignments” instead of “arrangements,” “Armarillo” for “Amarillo,” and “form” instead of “from.” Punctuation was often missing. The errors did occasionally get in the way of the flow of the story.
I rate Charles' Story 3 out of 4 stars. Watching the relationships unfold was interesting, as was the journey of life. Readers who enjoy watching people evolve as they explore their lives will enjoy this story. If it had not been for the grammar and spelling errors, this would have had a 4-star rating. Karen and Charles's journey is not just about the places they travel, but what they learn about themselves along the way.
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