Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Review: The Salvation of Daniel by DH Sidebottom

An Angel visited me three times in my life. I would like to say that I deserved each visit, but we all know, I didn’t; in fact far from it.
I didn’t even deserve to see the sun rise the day after I first saw Mae, an angel amongst the chaos of Satan who resided inside me. Her wide beautiful smile eclipsed everything else around me. I selfishly took that smile and I created a screaming hell with it. I took her dreams and I sculptured nightmares from them.

The first time I was given a piece of Mae’s soul, death took it away and through the years that followed, I was only ever granted it twice again.

The second was the day I met our daughter, the reflection of her mother. Annie was the angel formed from the sins of my own soul. Yet her light drown my dark, her smile broke my anger and her innocence massacred my past.

The third time… well that is what you are about to witness. The third, and final piece granted was the last card played, the closing hand dealt. The definitive roll of the dice and the conclusion to my story.
Would my angel grant me redemption against the sins I indulged, even in loving her? Was life and death the deliverance of resolution? And did my butterfly, soaring with the wings of an angel, award me forgiveness?

I’m sure many of you will interpret this story in your own way, each of you as in Mae’s death, experiencing either a happy ever after, or an ending without hope or escape. And I have no doubt that you will all see the end to my own story in many different ways. But whichever way you go for, I, myself, know that I was granted the ending I feel I deserve. I earned.

I am Daniel Shepherd, and this is the story of my Salvation.

4.5  Shaking My Head Stars!
Review by Jen Hagen
I actually think I need therapy.  There is absolutely no way that I should feel empathy towards Daniel after all the horrible and despicable things he has done in the past; but yet he still pulled at my heart strings.  When I first saw the title of his book was “The Salvation of Daniel” my thoughts immediately went to the author giving us a glimpse of Daniel from a different, albeit softer, light.  Perhaps even hearing his story from the beginning of his and Mae’s planned meetings and their subsequent falling in love.   But that didn’t happen, instead I believe something better arose.  This is seeing Daniel trying to do what is right and hoping beyond hope that Annie will be safe and taken care of. 

Daniel and his 4-year-old daughter, Annie, have a simple life.  One of which that does not allow those close to Daniel to know of her existence.  As far as his evil father knows, he ran off with Mae and lived happily ever after.  Instead Daniel bears the pain of losing Mae, wondering if she was still coherent enough to hear his words of love as she passed away in his arms.  One evening as he is drowning his past in alcohol, an intruder arrives and thus begins Daniel’s tale of salvation.  Daniel is amenable to the plan as he would do anything to save the life of his daughter.

I held no regard for my own life but every breath I took was for Annie, every lift and fall of my lungs was programmed so I could take care of my daughter.  My blood only flowed so I could nurture an angel that had been created out of hell.

Daniel is fully aware of what will happen when he walks out the door with his daughter.  He is not afraid.  He will not run.  He will enable the Phantom in their quest for revenge, a revenge that he also is a subject of.  No matter his admittance of loving Mae, it does not take away the vile acts he committed.  No one can understand how deep his love ran for her.

“I love you, lamb.  I’ll always love you.  I still feel you, watching me,” I disclosed with a shameful whisper.  “You’re still in here,” I palmed my chest and sighed.  “You’ll always be here, right at the very front.” 

Will Daniel save his own life in order to be a constant figure in Annie’s life, or does he see death as the only way to atone for his sins?

This was a beautifully written tale of repentance, suspense, and love.   I find myself wondering how this could be classified as a love story, but the love Daniel felt for Mae was immeasurable.  Even though you may have seen him as a monster, I saw him as a man who was raised by enablers and had no guidance in unconditional love.  Mae was his savior when it came to opening up his heart and soul.  She gave him the means to honor her life with the love he shows for their daughter and his unselfish decisions.  

“I was her decimation.  She is my salvation.”

If you are uncomfortable with scenes of graphic physical and sexual violence, I would recommend that you stay away from reading this story.  For those of us that enjoy a dark read, you will not be disappointed. 

Amazon The Decimation of Mae

Amazon The Salvation of Daniel

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