A Higher Voice by Sheri Wren Haymore
Britt Jordan is a famous rock singer. He’s been a hit for more than 20 years. Lately, though, he’s had some issues. He’s hearing overwhelmingly loud noises in his head and feels excruciating nausea. Nothing seems to quiet the noise or calm the sickness except dumping ice water over his head – complete pitchers of ice water. Nothing that is, until he meets Dena Martin.
Dena is the owner of a small-town newspaper and the mother of a 12-year-old daughter. The connection between Dena and Britt is instantaneous. Within days, Britt knows this is the woman he wants to share his life. She has quieted the noise in his head and healed the sickness in his gut by her very presence.
There is more to this simple story, though. Britt is losing his voice. His career will be lost to him without his voice – but Britt has damaged it beyond repair with years of screaming into the microphone.
Add to this ongoing drama a stalker; a psychotic brother who looks eerily like Britt and hates him fiercely and the story gains even more intensity.
Sheri Wren Haymore wrote most of her characters as multi-dimensional beings, making Britt easy to like. He walks off the page and takes on the persona of a “real” person. The reader gets wrapped up in the saga of Britt’s and Dena’s lives. Secondary characters are not as well developed. One example is Phillip, Britt’s brother who is stalking Dena. There simply aren’t enough details provided to make his hate understandable. He comes off as a cardboard cutout of a character.
Dena, though definitely a well-created character, is occasionally too sweet, almost saccharine. I found myself asking how many people are always this kind and always this patient, and found it unlikely any human could be quite this perfect. Dena could be annoying with her sweetness. She was also a really religious person, and brought the “Christian” aspect to the book.
Frankly, I am not a fan of Christian fiction and, as a general rule, do not read or review it. That being said, Haymore never came off as preachy and only had her characters mention “being saved” or church or other traditional Christian terms a very few times. When it came time for Britt to do some soul-searching, at no time was any specific type of religion foisted about. This was a very refreshing change. For those considering reading A Higher Voice (and I encourage folks to do so), I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the outcome.
A Higher Voice is an exceptionally well-written novel with a smooth writing style and fun characters. Even though the novel is quite thick, it is so wonderfully engrossing and the tale so appealing, I read it almost entirely in one sitting. The author is able to pull the reader into the story so deeply, the outside world ceases to exist. The reader wants to know what happens to the characters. The characters’ lives take on meaning and importance. Haymore is an author to watch.
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.