As with the first book, the plot is a bit more drawn out than I think necessary. There was definitely a time or four when I felt stalled, and just wisAs with the first book, the plot is a bit more drawn out than I think necessary. There was definitely a time or four when I felt stalled, and just wished the story would progress already. The author may have a habit of inserting a crucial plot twist that doesn't spell the end of the story. I'm wondering if this is a case of American attention span vs. European storytelling.
That said, reading a story about a person's recovery from depression or grief is often difficult to fathom or get through. She still managed to preserve the humorous tilt to Louisa's personality/situations. Her characters are realistically flawed, drawing my appreciation and empathy for them.
This may be my first experience with a happy ever after that is intertwined with a characters need to do independent things. And I was pretty happy with it.
3.5 stars My main deduction from a 5-star rating was the pacing. It had a really interesting and priming start, but midway through (and this is a long3.5 stars My main deduction from a 5-star rating was the pacing. It had a really interesting and priming start, but midway through (and this is a long one), I began losing that driving desire to get stuff done so I could read. But then, it picked back up again as it neared it's climax, and I stayed up too late multiple nights trying to read. But then, the ending seemed slightly rushed. Which seems silly because the unwinding of the ending took multiple chapters (short chapters, but still).
So I deducted a point for inconsistent pacing. Is this the author's fault? Only in the way that editing your heart's work has got to be excruciating but it has to be done kind of way. Overall, this 80+ chapter book (short chapters, but still) could have been edited down a good bit and still been excellent.
This is another book that makes me love history. And this one had an interesting story to tell about Tiffany glass, and the men going on strike, and women being hired to finish projects for the Chicago World's Fair (which Gist has written about before in It Happened At The Fair). The idea of New Women having ambitions beyond homekeeping and childbearing were interesting to read and would make for great book discussion.
This novel was written in third-person omniscient (I think, please take my expertise with a grain of salt, or perhaps a whole shaker), alternating between two characters, which is not always my favorite. This is probably one reason for it's length.
I loved the character arcs of the male and female characters, as they each had a struggle, a mistake, and consequences. They didn't just fall into happy ever after, but had a long separation in between. Unfortunately, the reunion was fun to read, but lacked the awkwardness that a long separation and misunderstanding would have left on the relationship. But mostly, who cares, because LOVE!...more
Definitely an ending to rival my most favored and romantic endings. A good story that creeps into your heart and mind, lingering there after finishingDefinitely an ending to rival my most favored and romantic endings. A good story that creeps into your heart and mind, lingering there after finishing, and the memory of which is better than the telling. Lovely examples of true, unconditional love. Makes me want to read Macpherson's Poems of Ossian, if I could find them. ...more
Overall, a decently written romance with a well-rounded plot.
It is written from the perspective of both protagonists. I was pleased in the beginningOverall, a decently written romance with a well-rounded plot.
It is written from the perspective of both protagonists. I was pleased in the beginning when the author refrained from switching viewpoints for a whole 5 chapters. I was engrossed in the story enough thereafter to not notice the frequency of the switching.
I enjoyed the main characters. Their attitudes and choices were consistent with their struggles and their past. I liked that neither of them were suddenly overwhelmed with their feelings for the other. It built gradually and kind of snuck up on them.
I wasn't as pleased with the character development of the secondary characters. Lord Ragsdale's mother, in particular, showed great promise in the beginning, but then you hardly hear from her again. The same is true for the cousins who visit from America. All three were simply used as tools to bring the protagonists together.
I was pleased with the ending, but if Kelly had dragged it out any further, I really might have thrown the book. And that would've been bad because I was in the tub when I finished it....more
Not as gut-wrenching as I expected. A few tears were shed, but the characters were so inspiring and real and important and funny that the terminal natNot as gut-wrenching as I expected. A few tears were shed, but the characters were so inspiring and real and important and funny that the terminal nature of their disease is secondary to their awesomeness. The narrator was fantastic. I am going to buy this book along with a package of highlighters, sticky notes, and bookmarks, because it is full of wisdom, quotes, and parts I want to remember forever. It will occupy a special place on my shelves. I will then read everything else by this author I can get my hands on....more
Seemed quite a bit darker than Eden's other books I've read, but hey, they're Irish immigrants, they've lived through a famine, an epidemic, and now,Seemed quite a bit darker than Eden's other books I've read, but hey, they're Irish immigrants, they've lived through a famine, an epidemic, and now, prejudice. And that's not to mention Katie's dark past. Of course, charming men are dangerous in and of themselves.
It had a tough love triangle that I wasn't cracking, but maybe I didn't want to. I don't doubt others will read it and think I must be daft for not knowing. I loved the suspense.
It didn't end when I expected it to. It didn't end the way I expected. I got some great goosebumps at the end. Overall, loved it. Will be starting the next one right away (I have special interest and hopes for it, based on something that happens in this book, which I can't mention because it would be spoilery.)
Totally worth reading, sweet even if a little bland. There were several elements that weren't fleshed out, that would have made for a better story. ITotally worth reading, sweet even if a little bland. There were several elements that weren't fleshed out, that would have made for a better story. I was pleased with Layton's secret (that sounds odd, stick with me here). Typically a secret that is presented in a previous novel, then built up even more in the next novel, can often be disappointing upon reveal, like the secrecy isn't justified by the severity of the secret. Looking forward to more in this series. ...more
Consider this a 5-star book if you like 99% torturous emotional tension and 1% happily ever after. But I liked the way it was written with the protagoConsider this a 5-star book if you like 99% torturous emotional tension and 1% happily ever after. But I liked the way it was written with the protagonist having a secret that was truly kept, even from the reader, for most of the book. (It was fairly predictable, but still.) I did like the ending very much....more
Before reading even the first page, I was concerned that I wouldn't enjoy this novel, as I had read two other of Kearsley's novels in recent months. EBefore reading even the first page, I was concerned that I wouldn't enjoy this novel, as I had read two other of Kearsley's novels in recent months. Even though I have thoroughly enjoyed the time travel stories of both The Winter Sea and The Rose Garden, I figured a third would be too much of a good thing. Predictable.
I am mostly amazed by Kearsley's ability to write in a theme she obviously loves (time-travel, reincarnation, genetic memory, etc.), and not repeat herself. The method of experiencing the past, the reason for it, the desire and result, are all different in all the novels, making them each quite unique.
In short, I loved Mariana as much as I loved the other two novels. BUT -- don't you hate that -- BUT I am quite miffed at the ending. I'm moving along, at quite a good clip, becoming alarmed as the number of pages left in the story is diminishing, and agonizing over how it's going to end, then, on the last page (literally), BAM! She slaps you with a twist, no, not a twist, a head-butt. It's been 24 hours and I'm still reeling.
I'm now wishing desperately that there was another novel. Something to take that last page and run with it! A la Suzanne Collins in Mockingjay, the result did not get enough airtime. I need more in order to "close the circle".
That said, I'm reading everything Kearsley has published, in reverse order. What's next? Where is it? Give it to me!...more