by Judy Bruce
Series: Wind #1
Genres: Literary Fiction
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Amid the desolate, windblown, harsh land of the pioneer, American Indian, and cowboy, a young attorney accepts a job at her imperious father’s law firm, which forces her to confront tragedies old and new, and leads her into a harrowing fight for survival and the transformation that brings forgiveness and a new perspective. Along the way, my heroine, Megan, must deal with a crooked attorney, a tornado, lots of root beer, a blond stud, voices in the wind, heartbreak, a lunatic with a shotgun, delicious pastries, isolation, and a lifetime of lies. Even in adulthood, the rugged High Plains of western Nebraska stirs a strange yearning in Megan, as she deals with the pressures of a law firm and a new love, and attempts to unravel the haunting mystery surrounding her mother. Meanwhile, a disturbed neighbor seeks vengeance against Megan and her friend, driving them into the darkness of the rough land in a test of her wits, fortitude, and resourcefulness. Ultimately, her greatest challenge is to forgive.
I chose to review Voice in the Wind after meeting the author Judy Bruce. Judy is a fellow Nebraskan and has a passion for reading, writing and her family. In Voices in the Wind, she takes us on a young woman’s journey through loss, betrayal, discover and love. Set in Nebraska I enjoyed watching her transformation, and seeing the familiar Nebraskan landscape. With a touch of spiritual awareness, Megan’s story will capture the reader.
I was not sure what genre to place Voices in the Wind and ultimately decided on literary fiction. At its heart, it is Megan’s journey of self-discovery but Bruce also weaved in mystery and a little suspense to this contemporary story.
We meet Megan as she travels home to the rugged High Plains of Nebraska. Her father’s law partner has passed away and her father needs her. Megan has recently graduated from law school and finds herself at a crossroads. She has been offered a position in a law firm in Omaha. She has built a life with her boyfriend but her father has made it clear he wants her to join the family law offices. As we travel through cornfields, and across the wide-open plains of Nebraska, Bruce gives us a clear picture of Megan and the decisions she faces.
When Megan arrives home, it is clear her father needs her even as home stirs up questions regarding her mother and the voices she hears on the plains. As the story unfolds, we get to know Megan and the secondary characters who fill their home and those of the small rural town. Bruce does an excellent job of fleshing them out while weaving in danger, heart and a new romance for Megan. The dilemma’s she faces, her deep-rooted love and conflict regarding her father and the countryside spring to life. Bruce added twists, turns and conflict all while keeping the story realistic and allowing Megan to grow. The tale is delivered through Megan allowing the reader to understand her on a deeper level.
The mystery surrounding Megan’s mother, the strange voices Megan hears on the bluffs and her complicated relationships kept me engaged. A few threads in the story felt misplaced or unnecessary particularly those concerning an old flame which caused a few hiccups but overall I enjoyed Megan’s journey. I love that she is smart, educated and despite a few issues was grounded. The tale has a spiritual base, but felt natural to the story.
On a personal note, I loved the references to Nebraska found in Voices in the Wind and it is clear that Bruce is a native, from the root beer to the sunsets. A picnic set in the town I reside in made me smile.
Thank you for all your responses.
I love when books are set in familiar areas, it’s fun to see the familiar places. I’m glad you enjoyed!
Tyler H Jolley
I didn’t realize you were a Nebraskan. A fellow midwesterner! I’m originally from Utah 🙂
I am really a Jersey girl Tyler but have moved all over the US. This is the longest stretch in one state. 9 years in August.
Tyler H Jolley
Wow, I had no idea! Well, now I know. That’s pretty cool~
I think reading a book after meeting / listening to an author is a really different experience. You go into it with some insight you don’t get from back cover blurbs or online interviews!
I agree Deborah. Enjoy your weekend!!
I love a book that has spiritual tones and is about self discovery. This one sounds really interesting with the added elements of romance, mystery, and suspense as well. Great Review Kim 🙂
I loved all the elements Lindy
I agree this seemed hard to place in a genre. The cover isn’t all that fantastic but the story has me very interested.
Yeah, not a complete fan either, but it kind of fits once you’ve read the book
Ouch! That hurt. That’s my daughter on the front cover! But I do think it fits the story–the spirituality and otherness of it. And no, she’s not a cliff–she’s in the basement of my house with five fans and my husband with a big plastic board trying to make her hair move “in the wind.” Meanwhile, my autistic son sits nearby probably thinking: “And you thought I was the odd one!”
I love it when a book crosses over so many lines particularly when those other lines are well-loved genres too. This is neat that its set in Western Nebraska. My mom grew up there and there is still family there and I’ve never been so maybe I can do a vicarious visit. 😉
Oh that is cool, I bet your mom would recognize a lot of the sites and foods mentioned
I don’t know if it’s the book’s title or this great review, but this story seems like a touching story filled with lots of emotion.
It was Angela it had depth but also some nice suspense
I am glad you found a connection to the Nebraska setting. I always love reading books set here in Portland, Oregon. This one sounds good.
It really was, and apparently there will be other books feature her, the town, her law firm and mysteries.
It must be wonderful to read a story that features scenes in your own town! Overall, this promises a lovely story. Thanks for pointing me to it, Kimba.
It was, and the mystery and townsfolk kept me engaged
Sounds like a good mystery:D!
It had a nice mystery weaved through it and the townsfolk were interesting.
Every time I hear about townsfolk I automatically think of the sookie stackhouse town, dont know why though!
I now want to read this quiet, hard-to-classify story 🙂
I’ve never been to Nebraska but that makes it more intriguing to me. New setting to explore. Thanks for introducing us to Judy Bruce!
aside: you live there Kim, so it must be a great state, but I am curious as to how a gal from the Jersey shore wound up in the Midwest 🙂 Must be a long story…
LOL, my husband’s career has taken us to Florida, VA and now NE. Once the kids went to high school we kind of stayed put..and now well they are established here, so here we are 🙂
I hear ya 🙂 We are originally from NY, and my husband has brought me to FL 2 different times & different sides of it, Maine, back to NY, and now California. And I once lived briefly in VA before meeting him, so there you go–a fellow frequent traveler.
Thanks for reviewing my book, Kim. Yes, I do think the genre is hard to pin down. But calling it “literary” was quite the compliment (it means I don’t write like a fourth grader). An agent called it “mainstream/high-end women’s,” the “high-end” means its not sappy romance or erotica. When I wrote this novel, I wanted to tell a particular story, without regard to genre or trends.
This is the first book in a series–as soon as I finish this I’m going to make my hot chocolate and continue writing the 7th book. The stories move to local mystery, community crime, and even more root beer as Megan’s protectiveness of her family, friends, and community make her bolder and more prone to getting in the middle of trouble.
Next month Kim will review Death Steppe: A World War II Novel (finding love in the midst of rubble).
Thanks Judy, I love that Megan is going to be in more books
This sounds like a lovely story that I would enjoy. Thanks for sharing…and I can imagine Nebraska from movies and books I’ve read…but it is one state I have not visited yet.
Yes, I could see you enjoying this one Laurel
I’m not really a literary fiction reader but I do love when a book really puts you in the setting, especially when it’s one you’re familiar with.
thanks Mary, I liked the different elements she brought to the story
I love reading stories set in places I’m familiar with, it’s always adds an extra layer of intimacy to the story knowing I’ve been to/seen what’s being described. Glad this story had a bit of that for you Kim!
Thanks Jenny, it was fun being familiar with the setting
Great review Kim. I also especially love reading novels that I can relate geographically speaking with the characters. Thanks for sharing
I do too Debbie
This sounds like a beautifully written story Kim! Wonderful review!
Thanks Ali 🙂
Oh interesting! The mystery part of the book seems quite interesting. I want to know what’s up with her mother and the voices she hears.
Lovely review, Kim!
It was almost paranormal or a gift perhaps..quite interesting Nick
This sounds intriguing! I like the finding yourself type stories and the additional mystery of her mother makes this sound especially interesting.
This was and it had a realistic feel which I appreciated.
Kim! This one looks like a fascinating read that’s both intriguing and full of fantastic characters. Add in the danger and suspense and i’m sold! Great review 🙂
Thanks Lily, I loved the mix of elements
I really enjoy this type of book because it gives a well-rounded story with a heroine that is interesting and intelligent. Adding a little danger to the mix is an exciting twist that I enjoy. As you know, I’m a cheeseburger fanatic, so back in the 80’s we drove through Nebraska and I visited my first Fuddrucker’s while watching flurries of snow and loved it! Don’t know if it’s still there, but gives me fond memories of the state. Great review! Time for dandelions, so I’m off. (lol) Hugs…
We did have a Fuddrucker close by but it’s gone now 🙁
It sounds like a really intriguing book with all the mysteries. I didn’t know about this one but it’s nice to read something a bit different sometimes. thanks for the review!
Thanks Melliane, yes it is nice to mix it up, and I loved the setting