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  • Writer's pictureWendy Sura Thomson

After years of research, it's finally here!

After two and a half years of research, thought, and rethinking, The Man from Burnt Island is finally finished. Prepped for an October 15, 2021 release, reviews coming in tell me the work [and anguish] were well worth it.

First of all, however, I feel obligated to state that the town name is Burntisland. People in general stumble over that, so I separated the word into two. Enough housekeeping.

Here are several reviews, unabridged. As is evident by the differences in font, these are cut-and-paste.

5 stars

Reviewed By Vincent Dublado for Readers’ Favorite

Wendy Sura Thomson’s historical personage novel, The Man from Burnt Island, is one of those rare generational tales with a heart. This story reminds you how much power time possesses in turning the wheels of life. It tells the story of Frank Sharp, a man born into a Scottish family having a tough time during the economic upheavals at the turn of the twentieth century. You immediately grasp this as the story opens with Frank receiving encouragement from his schoolmaster to continue his education. Yet, at the dinner table at home, he can’t mention this. As families are being lured by the promise of the Great American Dream, his family sails across the Atlantic for a better life. But Frank had to stay behind, and it took him longer than he expected when the Immigration Act reduced the number of immigrants allowed into the country. Frank will face more social, political, and economic challenges that will shape his legacy and demand him to sacrifice more than he bargained for. The story is simple and told with strong, evocative details. Wendy Sura Thomson has a talent for capturing the Scottish accent and dialect, and she generously provides you with a guide to understanding Broad Scot at the beginning of her story. Fair warning: Reading the dialogue might not come easily to those conditioned to reading standard English dialogues. However, the way Frank and his fellow Scots speak is true to what Sura Thomson writes: it mirrors Frank’sambition-driven transformation. The Man from Burnt Island feels very much rooted in the time in which it is set. I believe that it hits the spot of what Tennessee Williams calls a memory play. The beauty of this novel persists, and it creates a strong nostalgia for anyone who has a fondness for family history. The Man from Burnt Island is a novel with a big heart, one that is guaranteed to engage your senses from start to finish.

International Book Review:

Which line stood out from all the others in the book?

The only men worth their salt are men who keep their word. There’s nothing more important.

General Summary for Context:

The story of a coal miner who single mindedly pursued his ambition. In order to fulfill his dream, he went even to the extent of changing his name, and finally through hard work and a bit of luck, was able to achieve his goal.

Concise Review:

This is a heart warming story of the hardscrabble life of a coal miner who reinvented himself at every step in his life to manage his difficult circumstances and outwitted everything that life threw at him and finally became a successful person in his later years. This story is about the life of the Scottish Sharp family in the beginning of the twentieth century. It is about the protagonist Frank Sharp who later became Robert Sharp by the end of the story as he re-invented himself all along through his life to finally achieve his ambition. We get to know about the profound history of Detroit and other places during the Great Depression and beyond. A beautiful story with a lot of twists and turns as we experience the life of a coal miner who became a successful person in his later years.

Entrada Book Review

The author of The Third Order, Summon the Tiger, and others Wendy Sura Thomson has returned with another historical fiction novel that will take readers on an amazing journey from Scotland to eventually the Florida Keys.

The Man From Brunt Island follows the life of Frank Sharp from the Scottish coal mines to World War I and II, to the shores of America. The novel is full of adventure and some thought-provoking moments.

Born in 1899, Frank dreams of doing anything other than working in the coal mines with his Dad and older brothers. The headmaster suggested continuing his education, but Frank knows there is no money for school. He resigns himself to the mines until WWI changes everything for the young Scot.

Frank limped into muster the next morning. “Sharp – are you injured?” “Na, nae much, Lieutenant. Just a few blisters.” “Get those tended to. You’ll be marching again tomorrow.” Sharp put his socks back on and headed towards the door, carrying his boots. “Ah'd gie a poun’ sterling fer mah auld boots, even wi' th' holes ’n th' soles. At least ah cuid walk in thaim wi'oot blisters.”

Frank continues to find adventure in the United States, WWII, and through his association with [the thinly veiled - my add] Jimmy Hoffa and the Teamsters, and finally his well-deserved retirement in the Florida Keys.

The Man From Burnt Island is more than a historical novel, it is the fictitious story of Frank Sharp’s life.

Wendy Sura Thomson captures the Scottish spirit, and the dialect only makes her characters seem more real. At the start of the novel, readers will find a handy reference guide to help them better understand the characters’ speech.

As readers follow along with Frank, they will also be reminded how easy life is for them compared to their grandparents. Hopefully, readers will begin to understand that some of the things they place importance on are trivial in comparison to what past generations endured.

When you settle in with a copy of The Man From Burnt Island, be prepared to be lost for a few hours. The book sucks you in by the second page. The author has a relaxed writing style that flows rhythmically along. Before you know it, you are transported to Scotland at the turn of the nineteenth century.

The Man From Burnt Island is for history and adventure lovers. It is also a novel for anyone that appreciates a good story. You will have a hard time to putting it down until you get to the end.

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