I was wondering around the new fiction section of my local library when I came across Balm. I picked up the book and without hesitation put in my my basket to check out. It’s a book that takes place immediately following the Civil War and I was intrigued by the promise of supernatural elements in the story. And I was pleased to see that author was a woman of color because I’m trying to have a more diverse reading list. But this book was just a big disappointment. I couldn’t force myself to finish it, though I tried. The book started out well and I was interested in the main characters. By the half-way point, which is where I stopped reading, the characters became flat and I didn’t care what happened to them. The story that had started out interesting took turns that made it feel lifeless and the words used often seemed to just be filler rather than moving the story along.