The Story Keeper

reader notes + a mini review


I live in the northern end of the Appalachian Mountains, deep in the midst of Maine’s highest peaks. I can trace my mountains like the thin lines that travel across my palms and as long as I can find the mountains I know that it’s all right.

The Story Keeper by Lisa Wingate takes place in the Blue Ridge Mountains, deep in Appalachia, in a world I have never lived but still somehow know. The people in this book are familiar and so are their stories.

This story is one I see every day. Rural life, struggling families, scratching a life deep in the woods and mountains of the Appalachians. It is beautiful, but harsh and unforgiving. I have always found that while the world here in the mountains may be harsh, there is always a great capacity for hope and for love.

I am glad to find that others see this, too.

The Story Keeper is a novel woven inside another novel. Sarra’s story first presents as a manuscript that mysteriously lands on the New York desk of editor Jen Gibbs, plunging Jen into a whirlwind rush back to the Blue Ridge Mountains where she was born, raised, and from which she ultimately escaped to pursue her dreams.

I first picked this one up on a whim. I have been listening through audiobooks lately, and after Frankenstein, opted for something a little more modern before I continue my way through the classics. There’s another Lisa Wingate novel I’ve had my eye on for a while but The Story Keeper was available for free with my Audible subscription so I started there to see how I felt about the writing before I spent the money on the other one.

(I will be picking up Before We Were Yours and starting that one soon, I can assure you.)

This story was compelling and mesmerizing and I stayed up late more nights than I should have in order to finish it. I would recommend it for readers 17 and up.

My favorite line is from the epilogue, and I will leave with this.

When we lose our stories, we lose ourselves.”

2023 Reads:

  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
  • The Story Keeper by Lisa Wingate

Which classic novel should I listen to next? Let me know in the comments or send me an email!

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