I liked this book so much that after reading a library copy, I went out and bought the hardcover.
If, like me, you're a fan of classic romantic films lI liked this book so much that after reading a library copy, I went out and bought the hardcover.
If, like me, you're a fan of classic romantic films like An Affair to Remember, you'll love this book.
Moyes takes the reader on a suspenseful romantic journey. The book begins with main character Jennifer in her sick bed as she recovers from a car accident that left her with amnesia. Though the reader is prompted to put the pieces of her life together as she does, the third person narration also jumps back through time to give us glimpses of her life before the accident, especially the beginnings of her relationship with "Boot." The details surrounding the accident remain hazy until the end of the book, creating a pleasant tension between what Jennifer concludes happened from the information she gleans, and the suspicions of the reader based on details from memories not available to Jennifer. Though I had my suspicions, I was not able to guess what had really happened, and enjoyed the twists and surprises the story offered.
The characters are multi-faceted, flawed, yet likable. Even the secondary characters are given enough attention that they make significant contribution to the story, revealing the social mores of the 60s and shedding light on the main characters' traits and motivations.
The book does seem to lose focus a bit toward the end, abandoning Jennifer for a contemporary leading lady who is a bit difficult to like. But she is tolerable for her role in revealing the fate of Jennifer and "Boot," which winds up being unexpected and rewarding.
I recommend this book for romantics at heart who hold hope for happy endings and are looking for the book equivalent to a classic romantic film....more
I'm on the verge of giving this four stars. Overall, a very intriguing read with sympathetic main characters. The most compelling character is, of couI'm on the verge of giving this four stars. Overall, a very intriguing read with sympathetic main characters. The most compelling character is, of course, the hangman, who inherits his station and wrestles with his role. He understands the necessity for the town to have a hangman, but he doesn't just torture people, he treats them. It is his wealth of knowledge in medicine that ties him to the accused midwife and the young doctor who helps him solve the mystery. I don't understand why the book is titled after the hangman's daughter, as she plays a small role in this book.
The book grabs you at the beginning, but about half way through, the action and intrigue starts to slow. Some of the language and dialogue seemed to modern and out of place for the setting. I think this may be due to the translation to English, but it's hard to know. I wanted to know more about the story of the hangman, and would probably have enjoyed reading more from his perspective, but that may be best in another book.
Overall, I would recommend this book to those who enjoy mysteries and historical fiction....more
This book completely disappointed me. The concept was intriguing: our souls are regenerated throughout time, though we hold no memory of our past--butThis book completely disappointed me. The concept was intriguing: our souls are regenerated throughout time, though we hold no memory of our past--but what if one man did, and he was determined to unite with his soul mate? The concept reminded me a bit of The Time Traveler's Wife, which I loved. I thought it might be a bit more interesting than The Time Traveler's Wife because it had the potential to take place in a variety of rich, exciting locales and eras. Instead, this book was devoid of any of the rich details that would truly set the scene and transport the reader. It was stuck in the main characters' heads, which were only filled with the predictable ramblings with an obsessed lover.
There wasn't even enough of a foundation for the romance for it to be believable. He looked into her eyes and knew their souls were destined for each other. That's it? Really? I'm not interested in reading a book where that is the only basis of the relationship. Why should I care about their romance? What is it about these souls that draws them together? I want to see how they are unique, how they play off of each other. The characters never fully develop personalities because there is too much focus on the concept of the means of their separation and the need for them to somehow end up together. After a while, I wondered why I should bother to keep reading. And when I finished the book, I wished I hadn't....more