A Shadow Life by Leta McCurry – A Review

A Shadow Life by Leta McCurry – A Review

Rating: 3/5

A Shadow Life is the second book by Leta McCurry and what a book it is! Filled with tales of love, despair, duplicity, revenge and drama, this book is a captivating read. McCurry has created multiple stories with a great plot that culminates into a single ending. Her characters are rich in their flaws and full of life, the plot is also good with lot of twist and turns. Add top-notch writing skills to this – lo and behold, you have a beautiful book in your hand. This is exactly what Leta McCurry has accomplished in A Shadow Life.


A Shadow Life tells the story of three ladies spanning two generations. It narrates the story of Mattie Hawkins, a fragile and timid woman, who after the death of her husband survives on the charity of people in her church congregation. Looking for a brighter future for her child Laney Belle Hawkins, she reluctantly marries Harley Faddis who disguises as an affluent man to win her hand. However, the truth is far from this and Mattie along with Laney is forced into a confined slavery under Harley. Ruby Jo Cassity is the village belle who is sexually precocious. She fills her head with dreams of Hollywood and elopes to make her dreams come true. Soon tragedy strikes and she is left injured and under the care of Milo French, a pig farmer. Soon after giving birth to their child Mercy Grace French, Ruby Jo elopes with the child to fulfill her dreams. What happens to Mercy Grace French and Laney Belle Hawkins forms the rest of the story which is full of adventure and drama.

This was my first book by Leta McCurry and I was really happy that I agreed to read this book. The characters of the book were well formed and realistic. The women characters in the book vary across a wide range from the meek Mattie to the ambitious Ruby Jo and a practical Laney. Although all the stories have a southern setting, the story line of each character is diverse. Mattie’s tragic story fills us with melancholia over the injustice she faces. Ruby Jo’s story is extremely sensual yet sprinkled with stupidity and foolishness due to her devil-may-care attitude. This might frustrate the readers as Ruby Jo gets into deeper and deeper troubles through her recklessness. Soon, we come to the story of Laney Belle Hawkins who grows up to be a smart teenager with the kindness of two strangers. The story of Mercy Grace, which is the final part of the novel, ties up all the plots to a single ending. Leta McCurry has succeeded in making a great plot which is packed with action, filled with suspense, drama and romance and yet has concluded it in a simple and logical manner.


Overall this book is a good read which has all the elements that is needed to form a great entertainment. I would recommend this book to all lovers of women’s fiction and also to the fans of southern novels.

About the Author :

Leta McCurry “wrote in her head” and sometimes in long hand until her parents were persuaded to buy her a manual typewriter when she was about twelve years old. A career related non-fiction, Introduction to Commercial Real Estate was published in 1990, which she says was “by accident” as she had always wanted to write fiction. But but life, family and career kept fiction simmering on the back burner until retirement. Her first novel, High Cotton Country, was published in 2014, and her second novel, A Shadow Life, in 2016. Both are set partially in the Texas hill country where she grew up. Her third book, Dancing to the Silence, is scheduled for release in 2017. Please visit her site to know more about Leta.


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