1. The love story between Ella and Jonathon...it had its moments of sweetness 2. Jonathon's family 3. Seeing the sinking of...moreMaybe a 2.5
Things I liked...
1. The love story between Ella and Jonathon...it had its moments of sweetness 2. Jonathon's family 3. Seeing the sinking of the Titanic not only through a survivor's eyes, but through the eyes of a rescuer
Things I didn't like...
1. The writing is just okay at best. This is the first Stansfield novel I have read. I know she has a devoted following, but I am guessing it is the sweet, clean romance lines more than the writing. 2. (view spoiler)[ Ella's background is not developed nearly enough. Considering the "horror" that she supposedly goes through, which follows her throughout the book, I would have like to have felt it a little more. In just a few short paragraphs/pages, we are supposed to feel how awful it was for her to lose her home, possessions, family, be homeless, have no skills and no money, be tricked into prostitution (once), get pregnant, then have the child die right after birth...I know this author tries to keep things "clean" but this was almost so sterile, you weren't really sure exactly what happened to her. There was also a disconnect from the character because we don't "see" any of the horrific events that occurred. 3. THE BIG ISSUE...this is supposed to be a book about Irene, an LDS woman who dies on the Titanic. I think the author was extremely careful with Irene's story because that part is true, and I totally respect that, but she came across as this wispy, angelic woman that almost seemed like a religious fanatic...which made it hard to connect to her, and even harder to appreciate her sacrifice... 4. THE OTHER BIG ISSUE...the first few chapters come across as religious almost to the point of fanatasism, and I got really tired of "this is God's plan for me" "this is what the Spirit says I have to do" etc etc etc...If I was not LDS, I would have tossed this book aside by page 20. Also, Irene talks about our agency to choose, but then makes it seem like God has made all the choices for her...like fate. 5. THE OTHER OTHER BIG ISSUE...As preachy as the first few chapters seem, religion sort of gets dropped for the majority of the story, then just sort of creeps in at the end...almost like it was an "oh yeah...I better get back to that." It just didn't blend well... 6. When Ella writes the family in England she lived with for a while to tell them she survived, WHY didn't she write to Irene's family too? That was just weird...you would think she would immediately want them to know how wonderful Irene was to her...It is historical fiction so who cares if it didn't really happen? 7. Irene's husband, Walter, comes across as ornery and chauvenistic. He doesn't want her to go. I am sure he was a good man...since Irene loved him so much, but we never get a sense of his love for her or his "goodness".
Overall, I would have liked to have seen just a fictional account of Ella's life as historical fiction...the "real" parts just didn't seem to fit all that well and were my least favorite part of the book. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I had mixed feelings about this book, which is, I think, what the author intended. I loved the clever banter between Becky and Felix, but felt quite u...moreI had mixed feelings about this book, which is, I think, what the author intended. I loved the clever banter between Becky and Felix, but felt quite uncomfortable at their relationship. I got a little bored at times, but then was very interested and moved during the "emotional" upheaval part of the book. Then the last third of the book had me hopeful, and at the end, a little disappointed, but satisfied.
There were times when I laughed out loud. Felix and Becky are hilarious. The author has a very clever wit.
Shannon Hale is a skilled writer, grasping different emotions, developing characters...
I absolutely loved the page where Becky and her children assign animals to represent their emotions at the time...Sorrow is a raven, grief is a crow, anger is a rhinoceros, a toad is sadness, scorpion is worry (page 264 if you are curious)...it is so well written. I loved the description here.
Overall, I liked the book...loved some places and didn't really care for some others...but worth the read just for the chuckles...and page 264...(less)
YES! I am finished! And it only took me 2 years! I really loved a lot of the stories. Some of the books were really interesting and some were very har...moreYES! I am finished! And it only took me 2 years! I really loved a lot of the stories. Some of the books were really interesting and some were very hard to get through. There was so much about the Israelites and the people of Judah, how the had strayed from God and would be punished, etc... It made me think of how often we choose to ignore what we KNOW we should be doing for whatever reason. The Lord just wants us to listen to Him and to be obedient (what all parents want from their children, right?) and if we do what He expects of us, we will be blessed. Reading the Bible was really an awesome experience for me!(less)