“Judge, 22nd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards.”
From the author, "I did not place in the 2014 Book Contest, regardless, I received an excellent review."
Books are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement” and 5 meaning “outstanding”.
Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 4
Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 5
Production Quality and Cover Design: 4
Plot and Story Appeal: 4
Character Appeal and Development: 0 (Non Fiction)
Voice and Writing Style: 4
‘My Father’s Keep’ is beautifully written, well structured, and well edited, a professional and worthy book on every level.
The author tells his story without delving into pathos or cliché and the framework of the trip through the Himalaya works beautifully with the subject matter. The fact that, in the end, he got his dad’s ashes to the summit of Everest really hits it home. And it’s a great testament to the book that the author realizes and portrays what a good conclusion this was for him without any hand wringing about not making it to the summit himself. A lot of writers would have fallen into that trap.
The author weaves in scenes from his boyhood, and it works well as he makes his journey. Despite his family’s challenges and the damage it did, many of those scenes are fond memories and as the book progresses, have much more of an impact in the context of the rest of the material. Both the short scene where the author climbs the cliff near Lake Michigan and the one where his dad drives him back to college after his girlfriend have broken up with him hit the reader in the heart. The author’s skill at selling a scene without overwriting it really works here.
The cover, font and interior structure are all professionally done. The fine and professional editing of the book are also a big plus and a rare find in self-published work.
Overall, it is a beautifully done, professional book that would be at home on any bookstore shelf.