March 25, 2004
Lance Hawthorne returns
to Benevolence, Georgia after years of trying to escape from the scars and bad memories created by the place he once called
"home." Benevolence is a typical "Old-south" community where racism, lynching
and prejudice stain the soil as well as the main characters memories. Lance's
mother has tried to raise her son correctly and to place him on the correct path. After
her death, Lance spirals out of control and creates a life devoid of God and faith but full of materialistic pursuits. He
chooses to live in a place far away from Benevolence with the desire to forget that place.
A business trip sends
him back to the place that he has tried to erase from his memory. As he reaches his destination, his memories are evoked and
what his mother tried to teach him about God and religion come back to Lance one memory at a time. He meets a mysterious stranger, who has the habit of disappearing all too often.
Is this man a figment of his imagination? Can this man be an actual "Ghost of
Benevolence?" Of course I won't tell you, but in reading that scene, you visit the occult and see the great lengths that spirituality
has taken to re-enter Lance's tattered soul.
Lance also holds the
key to solving the mystery of a hate crime that took place decades ago in Benevolence. In
doing so he also finds a way to forgive himself for taking the life of the one person that he loved more than life itself.
"The Ghosts of Benevolence"
is a well-written book. The author's vivid descriptions allow us to view the life of
the main character from a unique perspective. The realism in this book is also unique. You can believe that these events took place and believe in the assemblage of characters
that borrow life from human virtues. This book will pull you in and entertain
all five of your senses through its imagery and concise and flowing text.
Georgia via Mark R. Watters and prepare yourself for an excellent piece of fiction!
Reviewed by Tyrone Vincent