by Judy Bruce
Series: Wind #1
Genres: Literary Fiction
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.
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