A more accurate rating would have probably been two and a half stars. I thought that the main character (Gemma) was really annoying and I cannot underA more accurate rating would have probably been two and a half stars. I thought that the main character (Gemma) was really annoying and I cannot understand how she could become friends with the girls that she did. I did enjoy the commentary made about women in that time period. I also found the fantasy part of the story interesting; it was not one that I had come across before. Even though the book annoyed me, I did feel compelled to keep reading. I have yet to decide if I will read the next in the series....more
I was just thinking about this book and I think that 3 and a half stars might be a better rating.
I liked it, but not enough and certain parts annoyedI was just thinking about this book and I think that 3 and a half stars might be a better rating.
I liked it, but not enough and certain parts annoyed me. I felt like it was a second rate version of The Thirteenth Tale. When I was first introduced to "the garden," I was like "really, we are going to do The Secret Garden now." So it was great when they referenced Frances Hodgson Burnett. It was good to see that it had been done on purpose.
(view spoiler)[I don't know about everybody else, but I figured out the twist way early. I figured out that Eliza was going to be a surrogate mother by actually having sex with her brother-in-law, about a page before Rose's mother decided that would be the plan of action -- way before it explicitly was said in the book. Now one of my biggest complaints about this book is that I can't tell if that is the moment when we are supposed to figure the twist out. If it isn't and I just figured it out early, then fine, the rest of the story works out well and Mary is a convenient red herring. But if it is where we are supposed to figure out the twist, then the rest of the story is just way too long. The Mary thing makes you think that it is plausible, but it doesn't all fit. And the rest feels like its just filler...in Eliza's story anway. They could have just skipped to the rest of the story. But if I hadn't figured it out, I wouldn't probably have felt this way. But I do wonder if everybody feels this way.
And Eliza's uncle? Is he actually as creepy as I read him to be? I kind of got the impression that he may have been with his sister in an inappropriate way. Before we met the real "bad man," I thought that the uncle was the real one and the other was a red herring, but clearly I was wrong. But the uncle was so creepy. (hide spoiler)]
I did like how the story was told with three different narrators and Eliza's story was definitely my favorite. I kept wanting to go back to her story.
"Yes," said Julia, swallowing an excited smile. "Yes, it was. Tied up with a ribbon was a collection of scrapbooks. One for each year from 1900 up until 1913." "Scrapbooks?" "Plenty of young ladies used to keep them back then. It was a hobby wholeheartedly approved of by the powers that were-one of the few! A form of self-expression in which a young lady might be permitted indulgence without fears that she'd lost her soul to the Devil."
I would actually give this book 3 and a half stars. It took me way to long to finish this book which may have caused me to appreciate the story less.I would actually give this book 3 and a half stars. It took me way to long to finish this book which may have caused me to appreciate the story less. I started the book right before I moved, so it was really hard to sit and read for a decent amount of time. And then I started to knit everyone Christmas presents. That also presents a problem - I have yet to develop the skill of being able to knit and read at the same time. So by the time I finished the book, I had forgotten important portions of the story so the end had less of an impact.
I found that with Flavia's character...I would have loved to have been her as a girl, but I don't think I would have liked her if I had known her. What does that say about me, I don't rightly know, but she was a fun character to read....more
I'm so glad that I'm finally finished this book. The longer it was taking me to finish it, the more I was disliking it. And that really was unfair toI'm so glad that I'm finally finished this book. The longer it was taking me to finish it, the more I was disliking it. And that really was unfair to the novel.
I may have to do some research about what Stoker was trying to do with this novel. There were parts of it that made me wonder it was satire. I also feel like some of the male characters are stupid....more