At the beginning of this book, I was just mildly annoyed by our protagonist Lia. She is looking out for herself, and only herself. Nothing annoys me mAt the beginning of this book, I was just mildly annoyed by our protagonist Lia. She is looking out for herself, and only herself. Nothing annoys me more than a person who puts themselves ahead of everybody else. (Don't get me wrong, you should look out for yourself, but not at the expense of others).
I also didn't like how our three main characters seemed to come together a little too conveniently. However, it probably would have made the book way to long if that had been un-simplified.
What I did like about this book. It got me. I can't remember the last time I read a book that managed to catch me out. But this one did. Normally, by about 25% of the way through the book, I can predict much of what is going to be happening. But this one, I was TOTALLY wrong, and that thrilled me. About 2/3 of the way through the book I was like, "What? Huh?" and then I had to go back and re-read several parts to try and figure out how I had been tricked. Well done Mary E. Pearson!
Some people when they review books seem to get very nit-picky. (And I'll admit I do too... Lia and Pauline could NOT have travelled hundreds of miles in one week riding horses and donkeys while backtracking and creating false trails). However, I ask one simple question. Did this book entertain me? Yes, it did. The only faults I can find are these little nit-picky things that don't really affect the over enjoyment of the read....more
**spoiler alert** I began this book with great enjoyment. I was hooked after the first chapter. As a Civil War Reenactor (see my profile pic) I have s**spoiler alert** I began this book with great enjoyment. I was hooked after the first chapter. As a Civil War Reenactor (see my profile pic) I have spent a lot of time in Gettysburg, and know a lot about the battle and what followed after. It was immediately clear that Ms. Green had done her homework, and I was very pleased with the rich amount of historical detail, including descriptions of events in the news and so forth.
Unfortunately, as the book went on, I started to feel let down. I believe that there was TOO much packed into this book, and therefore certain things got glossed over, or were too quickly resolved. Liberty Holloway is a young widowed woman living on a farm just outside the town of Gettysburg when the battle occurs. Understandably enough, her farm is quickly turned into a field hospital for wounded confederate soldiers.
Many sub-plots appear, but are never satisfactorily resolved in my view. Liberty meets a potential suitor with whom she has been exchanging letters, but in person, he turns out to be crass and rude. The entire encounter with this man could not have lasted more than a page, and the meeting was so coincidental as to be unrealistic. Also, a nurse that volunteers at the field hospital suffers from some mental disorder, but she disappears from the narrative without a trace. The tale of Liberty's parentage is no great mystery (as it is revealed to the reader very early in the book), however, the details that led to the other characters discovering the truth were again so coincidental as to once again be difficult to believe.
Characters such as Amelia (Liberty's mother-in-law) seem to never be fully developed, and their behavior from one chapter to the next is so variable that I can scarce believe it is the same person. Myrtle as well, the volunteer nurse, goes from sane and intelligent to plotting with a doll to murder Liberty.
While the historical backdrop was extremely well researched, the story let me down. With the battle of Gettysburg as the setting, the author attempted to pack in more conflict than was actually needed. I think the battle and it's aftermath is more than enough conflict for any book to focus on, and all of the side stories only served to distract from this setting rather than enhance it. ...more