When David Burton is cheated out of the family farm by his older brother, James, he leaves home in a fury, threatening retribution as he goes. Those words come back to haunt him when James is killed in a farm accident and Burton, although innocent, is blamed and sent to prison.
So begins this portrayal of one man’s life, from wronged son to the quest for peace with the past and a brighter future.
This is a simple tale where the good are ultimately rewarded – albeit not without challenges along the way – and the bad get their due. While the characters can be one-dimensional and their plights a bit clichéd, there is a ring of truth in their tales, too.
Author Gerald Cload’s voice has a pleasant British tone to it, and he does a nice job of describing the countryside. Here, he writes of David watching the seasons change from the prison library: “… David could see over the moors as the autumn heather changed colour, [sic] and heavy mists came down blanketing everything [sic] and during the winter months the mist became very cold with white hoar frost bringing its own kind of beauty to the moor.”
Unfortunately, this book lacks professional editing. The punctuation is at best inconsistent, as is evident from the above passage, and often nonexistent, resulting in run-on sentences and confusing quotes. At one point, a character’s name changes from Edward to Andrew and then back again. Cload clearly put thought into his story, but as it stands, the constant and numerous errors are too distracting to make it an enjoyable read.