Had to review this one for two reasons. First, it's a hybrid contemporary-historical piece. I love those. I've written two of them.
Second, the historical part covers WW II, the Greatest Generation era. I love that era. I've written in 1.5 of them. But then, this isn't about me--no, really. I just have this weakness of wanting to identify with really good authors who write the kind of stuff I love to read, and with novels I'd really love to have written.
Dan Walsh and The Discovery fall very neatly into each of those categories, respectively. Here's why.
First, the book. Micheal Warner, an aspiring writer, has just lost his grandfather, Gerard Warner, a world-renown best-selling author. That's another reason I'd like to identify with this--(Stop it! Sorry, back to the book). Michael has inherited a sizable estate from his grandfather, including his historic house in Charleston, SC. It's not the real estate Michael values, though. It's the enduring spirit of his beloved--and reclusive--grandfather and writing mentor that pervades every room. But Gerard Warner has left his grandson something more than an aura. He's left a manuscript--yellowed with age, never before seen--for Michael to find. And read. And, well, discover.
Mr. Walsh takes us back to the historical period using a book within a book, a story within a story. Michael settles back to read with the notion of publishing it into what would be sure to be a best seller. I mean, a secret manuscript by a renown author coming to light after his death; how could it miss? But what lies between the age-tinged pages, revelation after revelation, urges Michael back forward in his seat. Why? To tell you more would spoil it. And you don't want me to do that.
Second, the author. Bravo to Mr. Walsh for penning so well an unforgettable tale with equally unforgettable characters. His gentle prose glides the reader along effortlessly; his writing voice, though unique, never interfering with the story. The tale delivers bittersweet poignancy and romance, but not without action, that settle on your mind and spirit in an emotionally satisfying way. A thoroughly enjoyable read. Highly recommended.