Chicago – 1890
Miriam watches the people jostle their way below the windows of her warehouse home, never thinking to look up at her as she paints their faces. But Miriam's gift as an artist goes beyond a mere recording of what is: Miriam paints their futures. Only once was she wrong. One woman doesn't match the future Miriam saw. The bright girl was supposed to grow into a respected businesswoman. Instead, Ione disappears nightly into the shadowed alley next to the cathedral with the other prostitutes. Then one night, while walking through the city fog, Miriam finds Ione broken and beaten. Miriam is forced to open her home to the stranger whose face she knows so well and open her life to change she never could have foretold. Women are missing—some found floating in the river, some never seen again. The deacon from the cathedral is the first to help. Soon Miriam’s solicitor, Michael, aids her in rejoining society so they might uncover the evil at work in the corrupt city...and awakens feelings she had never considered before. Finally engaged with the world she has so long observed, finally stirred by love and friendship, Miriam realizes the responsibility of her gifting. No longer can she just paint what will be. She must now help Ione find the future she is meant to have...and find her own along with it.
If you would like to read the first chapter of Soul Painter, go HERE.
ETA: February 2016. Wow, I'm not even sure where to start to describe this book. The cover painting is dark, and this book is dark in some ways too. It's certainly a story that will stick with me for a long time. I think Ms. Luecht is a masterful story teller and very much drew me in to her narrative. That being said, this is not a story for everyone. I wish there was some way to put a warning without giving away too much.
I do have the second book in the series and I plan to read it in the near future because I want to find out more about what happens to these characters.
I guess the best way to put it is that unfortunately there is a lot of darkness in our world and this story feels almost a bit too true to life. That it could happen is scary. (and not usually my preferred type of story to read since reading is an escape for me) However, the story is not without hope as well, which is the redeeming feature. As I said, masterfully written.
I never planned to be a writer. In fact, it took me a while to finish college. But I did, and here I am. And I now I can’t imagine not being a writer.
By day, I am an English Instructor at MATC, Marketing Manager for Degnan Design Builders, Inc., mother to four amazing children, wife to an eternally patient and supportive husband, and Worship Leader for Living Hope Fellowship in Sun Prairie, WI. In the evening, when I can squirrel away some quiet time, I read and write historical fiction.
I have a B.A. in English Lit. from UW Whitewater and an M.F.A in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, NJ.
If you have a question for me, or if you are local and would like me to stop by your book club or writer’s group, please drop me a line via the “Ask the Author” tab. I always love the opportunity to meet with others who share my love of books.