An Untold Want: Award Comments

The ratings and comments below are from The Writer’s Digest 2nd Annual Self Published eBook Contest. And though I didn’t win, I am very proud of the rating and comments I received from the judges.

Entry Title: An Untold Want
Judge Number: 4
Entry Category: Mainstream/Literary Fiction

Books are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement” and 5 meaning “outstanding”.

Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 4
Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 5
Production Quality and Cover Design: 5
Plot and Story Appeal: 4
Character Appeal and Development: 5
Voice and Writing Style: 5

Judge’s Commentary:

[Sort’ov Spoiler Alert: Comments contain somewhat of a synopsis, including reference to the ending, but does not give away what happens exactly.]

In An Untold Want, Sara Stark introduces us to Maggie MacAllister, her family and friends who inhabit Jacob’s Creek a small Georgia town not far from Savannah. Maggie comes from a long line of witches and thereby hangs the tale. Her feelings of lifelong isolation in her surroundings affect her dealings with all including her mother and her daughter.

The story is skillfully unfolded with the back-story of the family history revealed throughout as Maggie and her daughter Liz read an old family journal. The other asides lifted from Maggie’s book in progress enlighten the reader as to the cures and aids offered by traditional herbs and other plants. Both departures from the bigger story add depth and meaning with no distraction or confusion as to which tale carries the book.

The book is fraught with secrets; everyone is hiding something. Universal emotions depicted in multi generational views serve to tie the narrative together. Personal perceptions are dashed and walls removed to open Maggie and Liz to growth and positive interactions with those around them.

The cover is a graphic success depicting the crows that haunt the story on a ground that suggests spidery handwriting as in an old journal. It is a cover that I would pick up in a bookstore or library. The book is a delight; a fun read that ends happily despite some really rough spots along the way. It should appeal to coming-of-age youngsters as well as to adult readers.


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