Sway of the Siren by L.K. McCall
First, I need to share with you, that I am not a frequent book reader. Why? I think it’s the commitment of time. I just don’t seem to have blocks of time to fill, and that’s exactly why this first novel by local talent L.K. McCall impresses me so. Laurie (L.K.) McCall has two sons, a husband and full time job, so what’s my problem? She managed to craft a skillfully written tale on top of her full daily life, the least I can do is read it.
Under full disclosure, I’m already a big fan of L.K. McCall the person. She’s my Client Concierge with Pink Magazine, and I appreciate her eye for detail and her general, all around kindness. So, for me to discover she has this whole other dimension to her life experience as an author was really thrilling.
When the book first came into my hands, being a very visual person, I was impressed with the satin matte feel of the cover and my eyes danced between the elements of the crane, waves and the stylized cherry blossoms dotting the twisting branches.
Inside the front cover were the hand written words, “May you always feel like morning.” Intrigued, I knew that phrase and the cover design would both unfold their deeper meaning.
Things that made this book captivating:
> Size: It easily fit in my bag so I could fill idle minutes while waiting in line, or during my lunch—‘eye gobbling’ up chapters one by one. It’s one of those books that has the magic ability to make you feel like the story is going on without you, and I didn’t want to miss a minute.
> Memorable: Book lovers—get ready to gasp—I dog-ear my pages—a lot. I have a code. Top pages dog-eared mark my spot. Bottom edges folded over mark something profound, and this book earned many.
> Spirituality: L.K. weaves a refreshing walk in faith into the book. The excerpts from song lyrics of prolific singer-songwriter Josh Garrels between the chapters lend the perfect pause to stop and reflect, as well as pay homage to the binding faith of the Gullah people.
> Setting: The story is anchored in the Lowcountry, which I delight in hearing familiar places mentioned. I devoured it in short periods over three days. L.K.’s seamless ability to shift from past to present is a smooth journey in her skillful hands.
> Trust: This is my favorite aspect of this story. L.K. did some serious research to be able to write this book. She gives credit in the forward to Elijah Heyward, Jr., author of Stories and Poems of A Gullah Native, as her mentor and muse. This book is like a peek into a world where I don’t belong. The fact that the local Gullah/Geechee community gave her access to their history, practices and traditions fed in me a great curiosity. I have been personally troubled over heirs property, and this book tells first hand of its impact on their ancestral homes.
> Perspective: Each chapter is told from the perspective of a character, in their own unique voice, saturated with the Gullah culture. I adore a book where you develop a strong connection with the characters. To understand their motivation for the choices they make is a rare gift in a story. The dance between the main figures is captivating, the way their lives ebb and flow together is artfully told.
While the book does revolve around a mysterious death, the three love stories that entwine their way through the lives of the characters is really the story that binds this book together. The raw, genuine narrative tells of the passion and obligation that pulls a person in many directions. The passion in which the main character, Maya Indigo, embraces life and love is inspiring.
When the last page is read, pause in quiet stillness, and let the details of the cover wash over you, now, with personal understanding…and, may you always feel like morning.
www.swayofthesiren.com will lead you to book links to purchase a copy of your own. This is the first novel by local author L.K.McCall, published by May River Press.
Upcoming L.K. McCall Events:
June 10- Authors Under the Live Oaks
Frampton Plantation, Yemassee 1:30-4:30 pm
June 24- Book signing at Newtique Boutique
Beaufort, 1-3 pm
October 20- Annual Pat Conroy Literary Festival- Lowcountry Writers Panel, USCB Center for the Arts auditorium, 10-11 am
November 18- Bluffton Book Festival
Calhoun St., Bluffton
Contact for book clubs/readings/signings:
Proceeds Go To:
L.K. McCall donated the first fruits from her book sales, 40% of proceeds, to the Pan-African Family Empowerment and Land Preservation Network—a local grassroots charity that helps preserve Gullah/Geechee ancestral land. She continues to give 10% and will as long as she owns the rights to the book.
Purchase Sway of the Siren Locally:
Three Sisters Resale and More, HHI
Lowcountry Store, St. Helena Is.
Newtique Boutique, Beaufort
The Red Piano Too Art Gallery, St. Helena Is.
Bluffton Boundary Cultural Arts Center