Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Review of On the 18th of May by Jordan R. Samuel


Welcome to the blog tour for On the 18th of May by Jordan R. Samuel! This was a very powerful debut novel, and I'm sharing with you my thoughts, plus an excerpt from the beginning of the book. Well worth the download! Enjoy!

On the 18th of May
by Jordan R. Samuel
Genre: Adult/YA crossover - Romance/Mystery
Release Date: March 2020


On the evening of the eighteenth of May, a young woman named Cass walks alone into a small village with the intent to stay for exactly one year. Cass soon meets two precocious children, a caring and generous business owner, and the Chief of Police from the neighboring town. Family and loss are parts of many of their stories, and while these people, as well as others, attempt to know and help her, the history and troubled memories of what led Cass to this place begin to gradually unfold. As the potential for love and the pathway for healing become clearer, the date of departure approaches. Cass and those around her will be forced to decide how forcefully they are willing to hold on: to the past, to the pain, and to the person.

On the Eighteenth of May is the story of the people and events that are interwoven throughout Cass’ journey and her life. It is a story that examines the true test of strength in the deepest depths of sorrow, as felt by the human heart. It is a story that explores the perceived helplessness of those within the support structure, and the extent to which those we love can hinder or accelerate the healing process. Finally, it is a story that reminds us of the overwhelming power of comforting influences in all of our lives, as our human souls struggle, against all odds, to survive.

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Excerpt from Chapter 1

She then noticed a clearing ahead, on the right, amongst the never-ending curtains of forestry that lined the road. She passed a particularly massive tree, with huge limbs and large leaves, and then caught sight of a splotch of white. It was a house, sitting alone atop a small hill and gleaming subtly in the muted moonlight. It looked abandoned and quiet, even starkly quiet compared to the vast silence around it. There was a dark bridge that led over the river and merged into a long winding driveway that led to the house. She glanced back up, and she knew…

This house is the most peaceful…in this place.

She took out the single piece of paper and pen from her backpack. Over the span of a few rushed moments she sketched out the little she could see under the growing canopy of darkness. She wanted to draw the house right away, for there was no predicting what awaited her tomorrow or whether she would actually even see this house again. She had not found it to live in it, or even to visit it. She needed only to know that it existed. She would have the drawing as a reminder. A reminder that there was peace, and it was here.

Upon completion of the drawing, which she determined was a fairly accurate depiction, she folded and tucked the paper safely into the right pocket of her shorts while advancing further into the town in whose borders she was now fully immersed. She did so in full darkness, with no visible creature in sight and no available lodging to be seen. She saw a playground ahead and finally allowed herself to accept the weariness that had been gradually creeping into her mind and joints. Her last memories of the day were a slide, the sound of crickets, and a makeshift backpack pillow.

**My thoughts**

Cass is a very enigmatic character, but you cannot help but trust her and feel sorry for her in a way and also want to get to know her better without stepping on her toes. It's a whole lot of emotions wrapped up all together with her. We get snippets of her past when she has flashbacks, and you have a pretty good sense of what has happened to her to trigger her annual wandering. But you really want her to give in to the wonderful people she encounters in this new town and let them help her and love her, because that's what she really needs.

Lucas was hard for me to take a first. He seemed very abrupt and was understandably not very trusting. I liked watching him soften as the story goes on.

Ella is a favorite. She is the kind of mother figure you would always want to run into when you are down and out and in need of some simple care and love. It's no wonder her son dotes on her so much.

Also a character in this book in a different way is Lucas's Cherokee heritage. I enjoyed learning about some of the traditions and seeing how the messages and medicine were able to help them both.

This is a different kind of a romance and a different kind of a story. It's not one you're going to tear through in one sitting, but you're going to be compelled to finish and savor every moment of it. I'm very impressed with this debut novel.

Thank you to YA Bound and the author for providing me a requested review copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

About the Author
Jordan R. Samuel is a former public school teacher and administrator who enjoys her current work as an Assistant Professor of Education. She spends her days with her husband, John, and her three children as she teaches, studies and writes. She enjoys travelling immensely, and penned many parts of this particular story while relaxing in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina.

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