Friday, August 17, 2018
Monday, July 09, 2018
I did not read the first book in this series, but I believe this book is a standalone story that doesn't depend on the first book. In the beginning I was put off because of the Quaker speech. It grated against my mind to hear 'thee' and then 'is' instead of 'are', like we would say if using the word 'you'. I'm still not sure what the correct grammar is, but that bothered me. And because it is woven throughout the book it was annoying.
I liked the main female character, Daphne, as she was a woman of action, and she was kind and nurturing, but not afraid to stand up for herself. And she was nothing like her horrible mother. So many period books have mothers in them that only care about status and themselves. It has become a little tiring to read, honestly. So many of the daughters rebel against the expectations of the time or their class, and it sometimes just doesn't feel realistic, as there are never any true consequences for their decision.
I felt sorry for captain Ren, as his circumstances upon returning home quickly became very sad. I am not sure how well mail was delivered back then, especially with him having been out to sea, but it seems that he would have received a few of his wife's letters, if she had written him weekly. I cannot imagine the shock of returning home and realising you have two children! I also felt sorry for him in putting his trust in someone he obviously should have kept a tighter reign on.
I liked the interweaving of Patience and Abraham into the story, and was very glad to read in the end notes that Abraham was based on a true story, and that most of the events throughout the book were, indeed, based on true history. So many authors weave fiction into their historical novels, where tiny details are true, but the major events are made up. I love that this author kept true history as a main part of the book.
I did not enjoy Tristram as a character. His name, for one, is clunky. I called him Tristan in my head every time I read it instead. He was obviously sketchy, and the way he carried himself, and the deals he made in Ren's absence angered me. I am hoping he had to pay for what he did, but I don't plan to read the next book, so I may never know.
The buried treasure bit from the diary seemed so far fetched to me. No one else ever saw them dig it up, or realised the dirt had been moved or anything? And no one who used it ever thought to take all of it at once and keep it somewhere safer like a bank? I find that very hard to believe. Especially when their family was struggling so much, it could have really helped them.
Another thing that bothered me that was not addressed biblically, was the Quaker belief that the Light is in everyone. That is not what the Bible teaches. The truth is through Jesus Christ. We don't have the answers in ourselves which is why we need a Saviour. Ren rejected the Quaker faith years ago because of the hypocrisy he found there, but he never found truth. Not that everyone comes to Christ, but that part bothered me.
The ending of the book was a shocking revelation with absolutely no resolution afterward. No recording of Daphne's reaction, no idea of how they changed the way they lived, nothing. Just end of story, jump right into the bit of the next book. That was disappointing. I wish we could have known how Daphne reacted, and at least a little of how it affected their family relationships. At least it SHOULD have affected their relationships.
Overall the story was enjoyable, if not totally realistic. I will read other books by this author, but not in this series.
Sunday, June 17, 2018
I love clean fictions mysteries. I have read a lot of them, and really enjoy the tie-ins of faith and struggle. That doesn't mean that everything in the genre is any good, and this book falls into the "ugh- not-another-one" category.
It felt like the author had an idea for a mystery, and then couldn't figure out how to make it come about, so some really far-fetched things happened to push the plot along. There were a lot of eye rolls from me while reading this book, and a few times I laughed out loud- it's not a comedy. That's how unbelievable the entire plot line was.
I was not aware that this was a second book in a series, but that might explain why there were so many characters in this book. They just kept showing up! People everywhere! Dogs and cats with names to keep track of. So confusing. And a woman whose nickname is Mac, but who is referred to as Mackenzie multiple times, which also made that confusing.
The romance elements in this book seemed very juvenile. I don't mind a bit of romance in a book, but this was poorly developed and written. I honestly have a hard time believing a grown woman wrote any portion of this book. It reads like a teenager wrote their first mystery novel. (I am sorry if that is harsh. It's true.) There are just so many holes in the story, and things that couldn't possibly have happened that are key elements of the book.
What church could go on a missions trip to a communist country? Who goes on a missions trip with their church, and decides to stay longer in said communist country without anyone batting an eye, or her needing special permission to extend her stay? Why is an international terrorist hanging around in a small town in Washington? How did a grown woman think getting involved in trying to solve a crime just to prove to her sister she was 'somebody' believable? How is the husband of a woman whose siblings were given up for adoption allowed to research on her behalf? Why would someone just jump into the life of a sibling they hadn't seen since childhood and expect there not to be repercussions? How can the ex-husband of one of the main characters be described as still being in love with his ex-wife, and then later in the book almost have a hatred for her? Was it to make him seem somehow guilty of something? I have so so many issues with this book...and I haven't listed them all...
The faith element is also not a prominent story line in this book. I don't always need that in the books I read, but if it's labeled as Christian fiction, I think it ought to be included more heavily than it was in this book.
I don't think I'll be looking for any more books by this author in a long while, if ever.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.