Searching for Amber by David Smith – A Review

21841630Jade does not see the world like everyone else.

A photographer by trade, she sees it more clearly through the lens of her camera. She is tough but takes photographs that show people as they really are, stripping the walls down and laying what she sees bare.

Abandoned by her mother and raised by her adoptive parents, Jade has always felt that a piece of her was missing. Only truly happy when she is creating, Jade trudges through the world, looking for that lost piece of herself. She feels alone in her village, unaware that the answers she seeks to her past are closer than she thought possible.

When she is brutally attacked, she is saved by a Martin, a boatyard worker of very few words. Jade is captivated by him and what secrets he may hold in his past. He walks with an air of sadness and Jade means to find out what is behind it.

Jade is drawn in by Martin and becomes obsessed with him. She yearns to dig underneath his skin and find out what is there. As they get closer, Martin finally tells her what happened to create the air of sadness that surrounds him.

Years ago, his sister Amber, left home. He has never seen her again. Also, his father had a tragedy while at sea. He lost both is father and his sister in on fell swoop and has never been the same. The sea took both of them from him. Though he is afraid of what the water can bring, he works at the boatyard; in that way, he is close to both of them.

Wanting to delve further into the mystery, Jade offers to help Martin find his missing sister. What they learn will change both of their lives forever…

I was blown away and left breathless by Searching for Jade.

First, because the writing is so incredible. It’s very literary in style but draws the reader in with the beauty of it’s words. I was expecting a novel I could rush though but the language slows you down as you want to make sure to read every gorgeous word. There is very little dialogue in the book, but that’s one of the novels strong points.

David Smith brings Jade and Martin’s world to life on the page until you feel as if you are inside the book, with the characters in Aldeburgh, Suffolk, London and Essex. Never before have I read such incredible writing. Smith puts more power in one sentence than many writers are able to capture in one page.

It also has pieces of poetry, dialogue and conversation sprinkled through out to serve as scene breaks or internal thoughts of the characters that help bring the reader further into the story. As the story moves from the present to the past, we are pulled even deeper as more of the story is revealed.

The characters are also engaging. Jade is a tough and life-hardened protagonist that is at once likeable and compelling. Martin is almost broodish, tortured and yet kind. You yearn for these characters and connect with them so completely. I felt I knew them, all of them, when the novel was over. Their lives were bared for us on the page as the story moved to it’s incredible conclusion.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been so entranced by a novel. I took my time reading this as I didn’t want it to end. When I finished it, I was actually left with an ache in my stomach. David Smith doesn’t just tell you a story. In Searching for Amber, he has given the reader a journey.

An absolutely incredible book beautifully told. Begin the search for Amber yourself and fall under the books spell.

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