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Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite
Tarnished: A Fictitious Tale about Family, Friends, and a Startling Felonious Deed by Beverly A. Massey is an emotionally rich family saga with very strong characters and the story of a town. This is a story for readers who enjoy a setting that feels like a character in its own right. The author introduces readers to the life of a small-knit community with its own thrills and low moments, and in center stage is Hal Rollins. He has been the darling of the community and has enjoyed many successes, from sports to becoming the respected principal of the high school. But he is about to experience a tragic fall and miss his biggest opportunity when he is involved in a felony.
The plot is plain and simple, but it is a deception the author uses to craft a story filled with the everyday reality that readers can identify with. I loved the drama and how the author explores family dynamics in this narrative. Each character comes across as a symbolic representation of a group in society. Women sit idly and gossip. Men pursue success and fame. The image of family and honor is impeccably developed. The characters are richly developed, from Hall to Pamela, Ann Louise, James, Octavia, Marion, and many others. Beverly A. Massey’s writing is beautiful and thoughtful, the prose is crisp and the conversations create the drama that makes the narrative an interesting read. I particularly enjoyed the colorful setting and the way the author depicts life in a small community. It is a lovely read, poignant, and meaningful.