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STORK BITE by L.K. Simonds | BOOK REVIEW

STORK BITE 

by 

L.K. SIMONDS 

Genre: Historical Fiction / Southern Fiction 

Date of Publication: November 30, 2020 

Number of Pages: 359 pages

  

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Caddo Parish, 1913. On an October morning, a Klansman confronts seventeen-year-old David Walker at a hidden oxbow lake where he has gone to hunt. David accidentally kills the man and hides the crime. His determination to protect his family from reprisal drives him far from home and into manhood. 

Shreveport, 1927. Cargie (rhymes with Margie) Barre and Mae Compton are two vastly different young women, but both are defying convention to reach for their dreams. The men in Cargie’s and Mae’s lives help and hinder them in more ways than one. After years in hiding, David Walker finally resurfaces, and we discover the past is never as far from the present as it seems. 

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Simonds is a wonderfully talented author and evokes the South in astonishing detail in Stork Bite, making us feel we’re sitting in on a long, sumptuous, serial film production. But don’t think it’s mere eye candy–like the best period dramas, there’s plenty of social commentary here. Highly recommended!”

Linore Rose Burkard, author of Regency Romance and Contemporary Suspense

After previously reading and reviewing the author’s debut book All In, I was excited for the opportunity to read her newest release. An intriguing synopsis and unique title also certainly helped pique my interest.

Spanning decades, this riveting historical narrative is the slow-burn story of three seemingly disconnected individuals that gradually weave themselves together. This is very much a slice of life story following one act of violence that indirectly steers the course of so many lives. The writing is incredibly atmospheric and richly detailed, bringing the Deep South to life right off the page. There is definitely a strong sense of place that can be felt by the author’s masterful choice of language. Each character is given such a unique and distinct voice that readers will gradually find themselves invested in even the lesser developed plot points.

In a blog post about this book, the author provides an explanation on the meaning behind the title, which at once seems a totally obscure reference, yet actually works as a metaphor for the “humanness we all share.” The stork bites each of us as we are brought into the world, but for many, the mark remains, emotionally or physically. Each character carries their burdens, some more troublesome and traumatic than others. The plight for each is subtle and touching, yet never sentimental. This is about survival for each of them in their own way and on their own time.

Unfortunately, I felt that Thomas’s story did get lost within the pages, which the author openly admits is like the past being buried by the years ticking away. I can completely understand and appreciate this; however, a lot of the tension and mystery behind the murder and its fallout is lost as well so that its ultimate impact felt more like an afterthought. Personal preference aside, the story does provides relevant and timely discussions on how we construct our own sense of morality even in the face of surrounding social mores that could seemingly threaten our own mortality and/or livelihood. Cargie and Mae’s stories also open up conversations about class and gender that adds to the power of their point of view and strength of character.

Mercy just happened.”

As with her previous novel, readers will more than likely find themselves stepping outside of their comfort zone, but with her skillful storytelling, that isn’t a bad thing! These unconventional lives provide an uplifting message that speaks to us all.

4 stars.


L. K. Simonds is a Fort Worth local whose debut novel, All In, was published in 2019.   


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4 thoughts on “STORK BITE by L.K. Simonds | BOOK REVIEW”

    1. Allie, I’d be thrilled for you to read it. There’s just no better experience for a writer than when readers become lost in a world they’ve created. It makes all those hours at the keyboard worth the effort!

      Liked by 2 people

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