The Simple Soul of Susan by Noel Branham
Susan Combs had long ago found the love of her life. The only problem was the other party still didn’t know he had been found.
Every day Susan saw Calder Hurtz, her next door neighbor and childhood best friend. They always enjoyed the short drive to school down the dusty streets of their small Texas town. She was happy in those perfect moments, for her life at home was most imperfect. The challenging homestead she inhabited was also the favorite subject of local gossip.
But one autumn day she overhears Calder and another boy having a conversation. This occasion of accidental audience sets Susan’s life on an unforeseen path. In the seasons to come, her future will be changed by two hospitalizations, two confessions of love, and one betrayal.
Compulsively readable, The Simple Soul of Susan is an engaging, soul-endearing romance and a mesmerizing debut.
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this debut novel. The story was very engaging and well-written.
I cried several times as I followed Susan through her last year of high school as she struggled with bullies and mean girls. She also had heartbreaking family issues. Her strength through it all was endearing.
I wasn’t sure what to think of Calder at first. He wasn’t a bad guy, but didn’t seem to deserve her love, or even friendship. But, I really liked how things turned out.
This is a clean, fast read with some surprises and a happy ending. I recommend The Simple Soul of Susan, and would read more from this author.
Bring tissues with you when you read this book, you'll need them. Growing up as a painfully shy child myself, I could really relate to Susan, although I was constantly amazed that even though she was treated so horribly by her classmates, she still loved where she lived, and still made the effort to go to various school functions. Which is awesome for her, and shows that she is way more resilient than I was back then.:-) I loved reading about her friendship with Calder, even knowing how torturous it was for her to have feelings for him that weren't reciprocated. I was glad that we got to know Calder's family so well too. Their relationship with their son, as well as with Susan, spoke volumes about them. Like I said, this book requires tissues nearby, and it is completely heartbreaking at times, but it is such a good story, one that I can see myself reading again.
It took me a little bit to get into this book. Actually, the only thing that kept me reading past the first chapter was the recommendation from both my sisters. I'm glad I kept reading. Once it got to the actual story and dialog I did not want to put this book down. That being said, there seemed to be A LOT of description, and seemingly about things that I didn't feel were pertinent to the story.
I loved the growth that happened for Susan and Calder. Each one had moments that they figured life out and it made them each better. I love when an author will write growing moments for their characters.
I loved how the book ended, but I'm a sucker for knowing more about each character. I want to know what happens to the minor characters in the book as well. Especially since they were so vital to a lot of the growth that happened. Especially to Susan.
Title: The Simple Soul of Susan by
Author: Noel Branham
Publisher: Southern Publishing
Published: October 2017
Source: We received an eCopy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Purchase: Amazon | Kindle