Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Review: "A Silver Willow by the Shore" by Kelli Stuart

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

A couple years ago, I read Kelli Stuart's Like a River From Its Course. I was blown away. So when I heard her next novel was about to release, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. 

A Silver Willow by the Shore
By Kelli Stuart
Adult Historical, Contemporary, Time-Slip
Paperback & ebook, 380 Pages
October 15th, 2019, by Fine Print Writing Press

How do you face the future if you don’t know your own past?

When an unexpected pregnancy changes her dreams, seventeen-year-old Annie tries to keep it from her mother and her grandmother. But secrets have a way of coming out. In a household of strong women, the arrival of a new life sets off a spiral of truth that reveals a past full of whispers and lies—a past that existed in another world under the heavy hand of Soviet oppression. This history has dictated the circumstances of the present, but hope, redemption, and forgiveness will grow in the rocky places of these generational differences.

A Silver Willow by the Shore is the story of the unshakable love between mothers and daughters and of the impact that past decisions can have on present day circumstances. This novel weaves together the stories of generations of women, from the gulags of 1930’s Siberia, to the quiet oppression of 1980’s Soviet Moscow, to present day Tennessee. It is an unforgettable narrative of the treachery of secrets, and of the light that unites the heart of a family.

(Affiliate links included.)

Oh, my, this book! This story of three generations of women gripped me right from the beginning. Elizaveta, Nina, and Annie are mother, daughter, and granddaughter all living under the same roof, but as the story begins, they couldn't be farther apart. Each woman carries a secret, and it's in the revealing of these secrets that they find healing.

While the novel centers around the three women and is told largely from their perspectives, Viktor (Nina's love interest) and James (Annie's friend and maybe more) are both wonderful and add a lightness to the story. (A couple times, the perspective shifts from Nina to Viktor and from Annie to James, and I did find those shifts to be a bit distracting.)

A Silver Willow by the Shore is largely set in present-day Tennessee, but Stuart also takes readers to 1930's Siberia and 1980's Soviet Union, and I found myself captivated by the stories of these places and times that I know little of. Elizaveta's and Nina's experiences during those times—which included exile, molestation, near starvation, and state indoctrination—informed the women they became and influenced all of their relationships. Elizaveta's story was especially mysterious (and heartbreaking), and I loved how Stuart slowly revealed the details of her past.

As I read the epilogue, which so perfectly concluded the story, I found myself crying. Elizaveta, Nina, and Annie worked their way into my heart, and this is a story that will stick with me. 4-1/2 stars.

Read my review of Stuart's Like a River From Its Course (5 stars).

Kelli Stuart is a wife, mother, novelist, and the driver of a smoking' hot minivan. When she isn't wrangling her five children, she can be found tapping away at the keyboard. Kelli is the award winning author of Like a River From Its Course, her debut novel which won the ACFW Carol Award for Best Historical and was nominated for two Christy Awards. Kelli is also the co-author of Life Creative: Inspiration for Today's Renaissance Mom with Wendy Speake. You can find more information on her life and writings at www.kellistuart.com.

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Ends November 20, 2019

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free through Prism Book Tours. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and make a purchase, I'll make a small commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


  1. I have read many time slip novels. Kelli Stuart is a terrific author!

    1. She really is! I loved this book so much :-)


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