By: Sylvia Dickey Smith
Publisher: White Bird Publications
Publication Date: March 2016
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: April 12, 2016
In her latest novel, Original Cyn, Sylvia Dickey Smith delivers the ‘preacher’s wife.’
Cynthia Carter wasn’t always Cynthia. Granted, it was her birth name, but growing up, everyone who knew her called her Cyn. That was one of the first things to change when she married preacher Wilburn Carter. After all, how could the preacher’s wife be addressed as Cyn? Cynthia had no identity or purpose other than the title of the preacher’s wife. Wilburn redefined her role and purpose: up at dawn, cook his breakfast, attend church regularly and keep your opinions to yourself. Better yet, don’t have an opinion at all.
Once her son Justice leaves the nest for college, it’s time for Cynthia to find her voice. Cynthia resents Wilburn and his self-righteous and pious holy behavior. Thankfully, she receives a welcome surprise visit from baby sister Dee who comes for a quick visit on layover to her next foreign correspondent writing assignment. Obligated to join the women of the church for a planning meeting, Cynthia has no choice but to bring her sister along. Stuffy president, Hazel Harrison, is front and center when they arrive all too curious to meet the woman tagging along with the preacher’s wife. Once introductions are made and before the meeting begins, Cynthia is happy to see her one friend toward the back of the rectory. Anxious for her sister to meet her BFF, Ginger Goodman, Cynthia is taken aback by her unsolicited warning toward any woman being Cynthia’s friend. Adamant to convince Dee she is a good friend, it doesn’t take long for Ginger’s true colors to show. Shortly thereafter, Cynthia embarks on a mission to take her life back; beginning with her childhood name.
Sylvia Dickey Smith has a wonderful storytelling quality to her writing. Her voice is recognizable within the first handful of pages and she is quite focused toward her development of engaging plot. There is a fair amount of activity that advances the story from one chapter to the next to keep her audience engaged. In addition to the main plot, there is a subtle nuance that percolates beneath the surface that provides ample food for thought to ponder when it comes to embracing life once the nest is empty. Thanks to a steady flow, smooth prose and dialogue, this is a read that can easily be consumed in no more than a few days’ time. Well done Ms. Smith. I look forward to your next project.
Quill says: Not only is the title a delightful play on the topic, but the story within is an enjoyable and engaging read.