“Mourning Doves After The Fire,” by Charles D. Blanchard, introduces the reader to similarities that exist between humans and animals – the determination to survive. The dove represents qualities of faith, love, peace, and is a symbol of the spirit in many beliefs. In the bible – the Old Testament – Noah released a dove to signal the flood was over. Thus, the dove has become an emblem for deliverance and forgiveness.
The story begins in the year 1910, by introducing the reader to, Abigail Whitman, a 28-year-old woman whose world is about to drastically change. Her mother, Maggie, is a dominant figure in her life, as her father left them when Abby was an infant. Years of struggling to survive without a husband and father figure have wreaked havoc on their relationship. On a routine checkup, Abby finds out she has cancer. Raymond Fletcher, a prominent doctor and an acquaintance of five years earlier, is given the disheartening task of having to reveal the terrible news. You learn quickly that the chemistry between these two individuals is electrifying. Determined to find a cure, Doctor Fletcher seeks help from a fellow colleague who is experimenting a new cancer treatment. You follow along as Abby endures painful injections, surgery – one heartbreak after another in the search for a miracle.
A passage from chapter nine, A female mourning dove perched herself atop a telephone pole. Her eyes blinked steadily as the first crow swooped down on her mate and pecked at his eyes and neck. The mate told his companion to fly away immediately. “You must be strong, my love,” he said to her. “You will have to fend for yourself and our squabs. Raise them to be strong and trust no other birds, not even our own kind.” “I will find a safe place. I promise,” she replied in anguish, as this was the last time they would see each other.
“Mourning Doves After The fire,” exemplifies the innate longing to survive and flourish. The interaction between Abby and the mourning dove is breathtaking and is described beautifully. The author is quite knowledgeable of classical music and incorporates the importance it plays in our lives as shown between Abby and a young girl named, Madison.
“Mourning Doves After The Fire” is author, Charles Blanchard’s, first novel – a novel well deserved of an award in excellence. The characters are well defined and the storyline flows with ease. I thoroughly enjoyed reading and I know you will too.
Charles D. Blanchard lives in Westchester County, New York.
Review by Barbara Watkins