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By the Light of Embers

Narrated by: Kimberly M. Wetherell
Length: 12 hrs and 45 mins
Categories: Romance, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

It's 1954, and 22-year-old Lucia Lafleur has always dreamed of following in her father’s footsteps. While sock hops and poodle skirts occupy her classmates, she dreams of bacteria and broken bones and the day she’ll finally fix them.  

After graduation, a letter arrives, and Lucia reads the words she’s labored a lifetime to earn: "We are pleased to offer you a position at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine." But in the midst of her triumph, her fiancé delivers a crushing ultimatum: forego medical school or forego marriage.  

With fractured hopes, she returns home to Louisiana, expecting nothing of the summer of '54 but sweet tea and gumbo while she agonizes over her impending choice. There, she unexpectedly befriends Nicholas, a dark-skinned poet whose dignity and intellect are a salve to her aching heart. Their bond, initially forged from a shared love of literature, soon blossoms into something as bewitching as it is forbidden.  

Yet, her predicament deepens when a trivial misunderstanding between a local white woman and a black man results in a brutal lynching, and the peril of love across the color lines becomes chillingly real. Now, fulfilling her lifelong dream means relinquishing her heart...and escaping Louisiana alive.

©2019 Shaylin Gandhi (P)2019 Shaylin Gandhi

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Just..wow! So real, so sad

This is the first book I’ve read/listened to by this author and I would gladly listen to another.
What a wonderful, heartfelt, enlightening, sad-happy story. It could be a true account, not a fictional tale.
The publisher’s summary says it all!

This is the first book I’ve listened to by this narrator ( Kimberly M. Wetherell ) and I would listen to another. She does a such an enthralling performance and really brings the story to life. Her accents are appropriate and pace great.

There are no explicit sex scenes, excessive violence. There is a bit of swearing.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and voluntarily left this unbiased review.
Please feel free to comment on whether you found my review helpful.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

“Life is pain, it’s what you do with it...”

Absolutely beautiful. It’s rare I give an overall 5 stars. But this was such a hauntingly beautiful and well executed book, it deserves it.

Shaylin Gandhi takes you back to a time when the value of life depended on the color of your skin. Where choice was subjective and tradition was king. But all of her characters push the boundaries of their lives and transform this story into a heartfelt message of sacrifice and love.
Passion, mystery and grit are developed through exceptional written prose. Beautiful poetic images of the lives and emotions the characters live out was a gift to read and listen to.

Best of all, all of her characters grew and had purpose and personal plot, a rare quality in most fiction.

My only qualm was the heroine’s naïveté when it came to almost being caught with her lover and her continuing to “play”. Sure, there is some naivety to be granted based on how she grew up, but it repeated even when she knew it could have cost someone’s life and I just don’t believe someone would not “learn” caution quicker.

Standing applause to Kimberly Wetherell. It was a gift to hear her bring life to Gandhi’s characters. She was dealt ranging dialects, ages and genders and she performed them with ease. My favorite being her portrayal of the Doctor’s metamorphosis throughout the main storyline.

Overall a book I’d recommend. It has some hard points to swallow, as it should for the story it told. But in the end, you feel more human having read/listened to it.

This audiobook was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • deanna
  • ELLINGTON, CT
  • 11-20-19

great

I received a free review copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review. I totally enjoyed reading this book. It’s well written and the characters were fantastic. I would suggest this book to my friends that like this sort of genera. this was a good book.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Transporting

The gorgeous cover of this novel attracted my attention first, and then the blurb sealed it. I can't resist a story about forbidden love!

However, I found it difficult to root for the central couple as wholeheartedly as I was expecting to. They acknowledge that their relationship will have deadly consequences if anyone finds out...and then they proceed to make foolish, reckless choices again and again.

Nevertheless, Shaylin Gandhi writes beautifully, and her descriptions have a magical quality that transported me back to Louisiana, where I lived for a year. It's astounding that this novel isn't by a mature author at the height of her career. Gandhi's writing is so sophisticated and self-assured. She's actually a young author at the beginning of her career. I eagerly anticipate her future novels!

Kimberly M. Wetherell is also a fantastic narrator. She uses a lovely Southern accent and modulates her voice differently for different characters. It's never over-the-top; it's perfect.

I was given a free review copy of this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. I had already purchased the Kindle edition.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic, thought provoking novel!!

I absolutely loved this novel! I was captivated by Lucia and her life travels from the very first chapter and was so captivated that I couldn't turn it off. The book is set back in the 50's where women and people of color are not treated with respect or compassion, especially in the deep south. Lucia's dream is to become a Doctor, as her father is. Her best friend comes home with her to Louisiana, where drama ensues and she falls for a black man, which is unheard of in the 1950's. Although the ending was rather sad, it was so emotion and thought provoking, I would recommend this book for anyone who would like to take a step back in time and have a feel for the way things really were. 5 BIG STARS for this awesome book! The narrator was great as well, she was able to get the accents right and it was easy to distinguish between male and female characters.
"I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant, Heart-wrenching Debut.

I read about this title and requested and received a promotional copy of the audiobook from the author. I told her I was intrigued, as the book Five Smooth Stones, which I first read decades ago, has lived in my heart as one of the most memorable books I have ever encountered. The description of By the Light of Embers reminded me of that earlier treasure. This book does not have quite the heft of Fairbairn's work, but it is beautiful and memorable in its own right. An inter-racial love affair based in Louisiana in 1954 would never warrant good odds from a bookie, so don't start this tale expected a Disney-type ending. What you get instead is a well-paced, sensitive, beautifully written story that concludes the way any wild bonfire might: its dying embers nonetheless continuing to emit reassuring warmth and comfort. As a hardened northerner, I found the descriptions of the bayou--with its tangled swamps, its heat, and its unyielding culture, to be evocative and engrossing, but the inflections of the narration were a bit grating to my ear (though no-doubt authentically delivered). Had I been reading the text, I think I would have absorbed the atmospherics without that added, ever-so-slight, irritation. All of Ms. Gandhi's secondary characters are well crafted, interesting, and often heroic in their own right, but a secondary plot involving a cynical, world-weary WWII combatant provided a brilliant counterbalance to the main story, showing that redemption can come in all sizes and colors.

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EXCELLENT READ!

I absolutely loved it! This story is a true heartbreaker, I was an emotional wreck! The narration was superb and gave the story that extra flair! This author does an amazing job with the character builds and plot. I look forward to reading more books from this author! I was given a free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A natural love

Some books or better on audio and some are better as print books. I first read this book on my Kindle and loved it. When I saw it for review I knew I had to get it. I love her relationship with the doctor, her relationship with Nicholas and her overall general attitude. All she wants is happiness and she knows she won’t get it from her betrothedNor will she get it following the social constraints of her southern Louisiana society. What is a girl to do when she is in love with the wrong man and the right man just isn’t for her. What do you choose to be happy I wish you choose to make others happy. This is a great book I can’t tell you how it ends because it would ruin the surprise and boy is there a surprise. I loved it I loved it I loved it! I love this author I can’t wait to read her other books and I’m sure there will be plenty. The narrator did a wonderful job. I’d recommend this book to those who are in love with love and no it comes in all forms shapes and fashions.