In The Discovery by Dan Walsh, famous author Gerard Warner has just passed away. Though well-loved, he was reclusive, not allowing photographs of himself on his book covers, only granting print interviews, never going on book tours. No one knew him like his family, especially his grandson, Michael, who is also an aspiring author.
At the reading of the will, the family members discover that they are each now ridiculously wealthy, and Michael has been willed his grandfather’s beautiful home in Charleston, SC. Michael can begin in earnest now to pursue his own dreams of writing.
In his grandfather’s office Michael discovers a previously unpublished manuscript from his grandfather along with a note indicating that he had intended for Michael to find it. As Michael becomes engrossed in the WWII spy novel, he begins to realize the impact this book will have on his family. And since his grandfather’s manuscript is published as a book within this book, readers can follow along as well.
I can’t say too much more about the plot without spoiling it, and some readers may be able to figure out the main thrust of it just from these few words. But even though I figured things out way before Michael did, this was still a very intriguing read.
My only real criticism of the book is that the spiritual truth in it comes through a character who is a part of what I would consider to be a works-based denomination (though one is not saved by denomination but by personal repentance and faith in Christ). This is the second book in which Walsh has done that. I wouldn’t have a problem with it if this was a secular novel, but in Christian fiction I am dismayed to see such lines blurred.
But overall I really enjoyed the story. Charleston is one of my all-time favorite cities, and I loved the scenes there. The dilemma that Ben, the character in Gerard’s manuscript, finds himself in is heart-wrenching, and making sacrifices for one you love is displayed on several levels.
(This review will also be linked to Semicolon‘s Saturday Review of Books.)