When I Love You…I Die

Steven Todd Fisher
Outskirts Press (2013)
ISBN: 9781478707028
Reviewed by Sheri Bebee for Reader Views (2/14)

“When I Love You…I Die” by Steven Todd Fisher is set in a small town called Sully Village in 1902.  The town folk are highly religious, albeit self-righteous people that live by the Bible, and persecute by the Bible (as in - an eye for an eye).  Anyone choosing not to live by the town standards are ostracized and shunned by the community.  Rufus, a young African-American boy does not share the religious views his family and is continually punished for joining hands with “da devil”!   He meets a young Native-American woman, Le Eagle Feather, who shares his views on spirituality and life and they fall in love at first sight.  There is a connection between the two that need no words, for they seem to exist on the same spiritual plane.  Le was orphaned as an infant, raised by a well-to-do white family, and is courted by the town lawyer, Stonewall Oliver.  Oliver will do whatever it takes to win Le’s heart and make her his wife, and when he learns of Le’s “infatuation” with Rufus, chaos ensues.

Reading this book was such a treat.  I absolutely loved the characters, from the bible thumping families and hypocritical town folk, to the mysterious medicine woman that lives on the outskirts of town.  Rufus and Le seem to be ahead of their time and I loved how they daringly spoke up and stood their ground for their beliefs.  I can’t imagine living in such a closed-minded era.  Fisher is such a creative writer and his work is highly entertaining. The character development was excellent – it was so easy to picture these good, “God-fearing” people and I often caught myself laughing out loud at their vexations.  The story turned out to be very different than I imagined it would be from the title.  I thought it was going to be more of a mystery/thriller novel.  True, there was much mayhem and a couple of murders but the murders weren’t the main plot.  I also didn’t expect such a heavy focus on the bible but the way it was written was purely for the entertainment value.

I found “When I Love You…I Die” by Steven Todd Fisher to be a highly entertaining read.  I look forward to seeing more work from Mr. Fisher soon.

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