Seething with old prejudices, wealth, poverty, voodoo, and young hot blood, TRIUMPH, a Novel of the Human Spirit will take you through the Louisiana swamps, New Orleans, the Texas prairies, and into the bustling but racially troubled city of St. Louis in the mid-twentieth century . . . and lead you to a place where people are accepted because of character and heart—nothing more, nothing less.
A Novel of the Human Spirit
by Jodi Lea Stewart
Genre: Historical Fiction
At a time when the world needs more warmth and acceptance, two little girls – Mercy and Annie, take us on a journey where color doesn’t matter, and character and heart are the only things that do!
Deep in the Louisiana swamps, 1903, five-year-old Willy is kidnapped by a Vodou Priestess. One day, he will fight bloody battles in France and come face-to-face with the horrors of Vodou.
In bustling New Orleans, 1903, bachelor Jack—a former Texas Ranger—has an encounter with a young beauty hiding in his hotel room. What she wants and needs will change his life forever.
1958 St. Louis, two girls of different races, Mercy and Annie, meet in the fifth grade. Together, they secretly explore St. Louis via bus and streetcar, encountering cultural prejudices at every turn— including from within one girl’s own family. The turbulent times and the Civil Rights Movement will test the girls’ loyalty and affect their choices on
In a saga spanning from 1903 to 1968, compelling characters navigate the stormy paths of life in New Orleans, St. Louis, and Texas until they all collide in a startling and dramatic way.
*5-star rating by
K.C. Finn, Reviewer with "Reader's Favorite"*
"Author Jodi Lea Stewart has crafted a mighty tale that packs a huge emotional punch, and you can feel its impact on every page of this excellent novel. The central protagonists, Mercy and Annie, could not be more different on the page, and the dialogue and descriptive work put into this distinction are effective and highly imaginative. It is the twisting events of the intriguing and unusual plot line that brings out their similarities and the true human spirit, which is a wonderful thing to become more and more invested in as the story continues. The historical atmosphere of the piece was also vividly portrayed. I really adored St. Louis in a time of such progress, yet so much tension. Overall, I would definitely recommend TRIUMPH, a Novel of the Human Spirit to readers who enjoy historical sagas that deliver on friendship, hope, and heart.
Written for an adult readership, the work does contain graphic scenes and some disturbing imagery that is relevant to the present danger of the plot."
* Five Stars for Jodi Lea Stewart's latest literary treasure*
"In her new book, TRIUMPH, prolific author, Jodi Lea Stewart, brilliantly tackles a lineup of some of the toughest literary challenges a writer can face. Writing in the present tense. Telling a dual time frame story. Dealing with dialect. Writing from a young protagonist's perspective. And, the most challenging of all--shedding a light of hope and encouragement on the most incendiary social concern of our nation--racism. Ordinarily, in the hands of a less skilled writer, any one of these could be the kiss of death of a novel. That's not the case with Stewart. The characters are compelling and believable. The settings are powerful and rendered with a touch of uncanny realism. The literary magic spell Stewart casts over this story is so effective, you do not realize the commanding lesson it teaches until you close the cover and replay all the clever and endearing elements that make it so thought-provoking.
I have read Stewart's other books, and I am always pleasantly surprised at her ability to deliver her deep universally themed messages wrapped in disarmingly simple premises."
~ DB Jackson, Author, Screenwriter, Winner of the WesternHeritage Award
*5-star Review by Cyrus Webb - Media Personality, Author, and Top-Amazon Reviewer*
"In TRIUMPH, author Jodi Lea Stewart shows that time and place have nothing to do with the power of the human spirit. The reader will see themselves in characters that might not look like them but carry their desire to rise and thrive--and therein lies its power and a lesson..."
Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite
Review Rating: 5 Stars - Congratulations on your 5-star review!
A beautiful story that is deftly told, Triumph is set over long years and has the reader drifting through different timelines and across different cities. The author writes about three storylines in the novel and combines different narrative voices, including an irresistible first-person narrative voice that stays with the reader throughout. The lyrical writing, coupled with the apt use of the local accent, enriches the story and augments the realism that permeates it. The reader can picture the characters and know about their background from how they speak. The author handles themes that are as relevant and sensitive to contemporary readers as these were to characters since 1903. This is one of those novels that compel readers to think about one of the pressing problems of America: the color line. And it also asks serious questions about identity. Triumph: A Novel of the Human Spirit is a powerful testimony that we can outgrow the pettiness that defines people by their color and see a human spirit behind the shade of skin.
From the Author
TRIUMPH, a Novel
of the Human Spirit is extra special to me for many reasons,
not the least of which is because it exemplifies my personal feelings
about ethics and the differences in human beings as something to be
celebrated, not feared or hated. The keys are always respect
and acceptance regardless of race or creed or whatever the
world wants to call "imperfect" or "different."
Other sub-reasons for writing this novel were to highlight life in St. Louis and beyond in the 1950s and early 1960s. I wanted to expose some of the dangers (okay, the horrors) lurking in old New Orleans, honor the Texas Rangers, and express my respect for people who learn how to overlook the color barriers that separate and dishonor us as people.
TRIUMPH, a Novel of the Human Spirit is for readers who enjoy high-concept books written with a literary pen, and those who wish to see justice fulfilled and old prejudices shattered.
Jodi Lea Stewart is a fiction author who believes in and writes about the triumph of the human spirit through overcoming adversity via grit, humor, and stubborn tenacity. Her writing reflects her life beginning in Texas, Missouri, and Oklahoma, later moving as a youngster to an Arizona cattle ranch next door to the Navajo Nation, and, as a young adult, resuming in her native Texas. Growing up, she climbed petroglyph-etched boulders, bounced two feet in the air in the backend of pickups wrestling through washed-out terracotta roads, and rode horseback on the winds of her imagination through the arroyos and mountains of the Arizona high country. Her lifetime friendship with all nationalities, cowpunchers, and the southern gentry allows Jodi to write comfortably about anything in the Southwest, the South, and far BEYOND.
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