The Thorn Bearer - My ReviewThis story quickly caught my eye and touched my heart in ways I had not expected. Its intriguing cover and the historical pull to learn more about the Lusitania drew me to the book in the beginning, but the real pulse of the story is what I will remember the most. It’s a breathtaking story of redemption and healing, a powerful expression of grace and forgiveness. It made me cry and it made me laugh – both more than once.

The characters are very real, very broken, and very relatable. None of them seemed one-dimensional. They each added depth and perspective to the plot as it grew. And I cared for them greatly. I especially enjoyed the relationship between Ashleigh and Sam. From the very start, I loved their friendship, their charming banter, and the way they complimented each other in both their strengths and their weaknesses. It all seemed so natural… and right… and romantic.

The story touches on some painful and difficult issues, but it’s handled in a very honest and sensitive way. There is a lot of soul-searching throughout the book for these individuals. And I have a feeling it will encourage the same for many readers too. No matter what YOUR story is, I think Ashleigh’s story will move your heart in a big way.

It wasn’t just the characters and their journeys that stood out to me, though. I loved how the conversations just flowed and their voices seemed almost audible. Not only was the author’s phrasing downright lovely, but there were countless quotes I wanted to write down for memory’s sake. They were that good. The truths of the text offer great encouragement for real life.

This just-released debut is a special one.The historical pieces of the puzzle were there and added a great punch – and often surprise – to the story, but the real focus of The Thorn Bearer was about the people and their faith in God. Books like this make me so happy to be a reader and reviewer. I hope you’ll read it too!

Thank you to the author for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.



Ashley Dougall has a terminal disease and forgiveness is the only cure.

Ashley Dougall’s father stole her innocence, her selfish fiancé stole her heart, and unforgiveness is slowly stealing her life.  Drawn by the desire to help others, she tries to escape haunting memories and enlists her services as a nurse in war-torn Europe.  Along with her childhood friend and fiance’s brother, Samuel Miller, the fragile threads holding Ashley’s life in place one-by-one begin to snap. From the deck of the ill-fated Lusitania to the smoke-filled trenches of WWI, Ashley must choose between forgiveness of the past, life in the present, and a Savior who is willing to help her face them both.


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The Thorn Bearer - My Review \ The Engrafted Word

Pepper D Basham is a native of the Blue Ridge Mountains, mom of five, speech-language pathologist, and lover of chocolate. She enjoys sprinkling her native Appalachian culture into her fiction wherever she can. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC, where she works with kids who have special needs, searches for unique hats, and plots new ways to annoy her wonderful friends at her group writing blog, The Writer’s Alley. She is represented by Julie Gwinn of Seymour Literary Agency.

Her debut novel, The Thorn Bearer, arrives on May 7th 2015 in paperback, but can be purchased in digital form on amazon now. Her first contemporary romance, A Twist of Faith, is slated to release later the same year. You can find her at or follow her writing antics on her Facebook page or Twitter.


Pepper visited my blog recently for an interview. You can still catch it here