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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Lance has been a wanderer most of his life. Once a lawman, then a steer wrangler, he partners with a man named Vern, one who was kicked in the head by an ornery steer, one who is slowly dying from the head injury which, in the nineteenth century, was clearly not understood. Lance cares about his partner, and sets his course to make sure Vern’s last days are remarkable, like a maverick steer, wild and free for the taking, but also belonging to no one and free to be oneself.
This is just one story in Francis Louis Pipolo’s book, Searching Hearts: Two Short Tales. Both stories are westerns with a good dose of wholesome prophecy and prophetic learnings. Lance’s story is told in the first-person narrative from Lance’s perspective while the second story, which challenges the concept of whether or not a person can change, is told in the third-person narrative. Both stories have a compelling plot that leads the reader through multiple scenarios in the protagonist’s life, both past and present. There are several flashback time changes, but each change is constructed with ease so as not to confuse the reader. There is a good mix of descriptive narrative and dialogue to help move the stories forward. The main theme that connects both stories is the bond of family and the bond of friendship, as well as the importance of faith and the blessings and comfort one receives from believing in the Almighty. Engaging short reads to enjoy at one’s leisure.