Wednesday, 9 March 2016


3 out of 5 stars

Historical Fiction

On Amazon UK HERE

When I began reading this book I had the impression that it wasn't very well researched, historically, but then it picked up and I began to enjoy it. There's a lot to the story; a great deal happens over a long time span to Jack and Eliza, who are cruelly separated as they are about to sail to America to start a new life.

My main problem with the book was that it wasn't long enough for the story. It's only an average length novel, though the story itself has so many events and location changes that, in my opinion, it needs to be at least a hundred pages longer, or possibly be spread over two books. Sometimes three years would zip past between paragraphs, with no clear break. Episodes that needed detail, atmosphere and description were skated over; for instance, at one point late in the book one of the characters becomes destititute and remains so for some time. He goes into and comes out of this situation in a matter of page or two. My general impression was that the author thought of a great story (and it certainly is that), but was more concerned about getting it finished than doing it justice, or perhaps found that she'd bitten off more than she could chew, I don't know!

Having said all that, I read the whole thing - I abandon books if I'm not enjoying them, but I did enjoy most of this despite being frustrated by it - the writer knows how to keep the reader turning the pages, for sure. It's basically a very good novel, it just could be so much better.  I'd read something else by her.

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