Nina, of part American-Indian heritage, and her husband, Ben Truesdale, are raising their son, Noble, and two daughters, Emma and Holly, on a farm outside of town in Holly Virginia, by Renna Olsen. The family members share and hold close, Holly’s secret. Born blind, and with a twisted spine, Holly possesses an unusual ability: she can heal others. The Truesdales, a loving family, care for and protect her. But evil raises its ugly head in the form of Ezekiel Waterford and his creepy cohort Sam “Ratty” Blakely. After seeing to Ben’s demise, Ezekiel encourages Nina to become addicted to the alcohol-based cure-all that he hopes will make him rich, then marries her. Once done, he employs the most evil means to get from each of the family members what he most desires when he threatens the safety of the other members if his wishes are not carried out. When Ezekiel kidnaps little Holly to add her healing powers to his roadshow and to help create a religion centered on himself, Emma accompanies them so as to care for little Holly. Now Nina, Noble, and the new friends they find along the way must defeat the evil Ezekiel.
Classified as “paranormal,” Holly Virginia by Renna Olsen, provides readers with one of those unique experiences whereby the author touches on a variety of areas that seem to cross genre lines. Is this a western? A story of Native American mysticism? Some sort of frontier fantasy? Is Ezekiel, in light of his eventually becoming neither dead, nor alive, some sort of zombie? In fact, this story it is a bit of all of those things, yet not any one of those things. I am always encouraged when I find an author willing to defy the conventional in this manner. New genres and sub-genres are not borne when people follow the norm. They come about when courageous souls push the boundaries, or at least refuse to follow the same course as did those who came before them. Readers looking for a unique reading experience will most certainly find it in Holly Virginia.