What to say... This book was powerful, raw, intense, and highly emotional. And yet, I felt something was missing too... The beginning was great - the...more
What to say... This book was powerful, raw, intense, and highly emotional. And yet, I felt something was missing too... The beginning was great - the intersection of Sarah's (1942) and Julia's (2002) lives, alternating between the two. Sarah's story was especially heart-wrenching to read, and yet depicts a fictional account of what so true and real for many families during WWW2.
But then there was a switch - Sarah's narration ended, and it became more focused on Julia, though she was still searching and unveiling the rest of Sarah's story. But I felt the narrative became less powerful, more - too - detached. And though redemption is certainly hard, and likely not always possible - I still feel like I would have liked some sort of redemption, or finality to the narrative. But I felt it ended incomplete, left us hanging in what would now become of Julia and William (I won't say who he is exactly, but he is important ;) ).
Overall, a good enough read - I read it in only a few days, it did captivate my attention. But some aspects of it could have been pushed further, or kept more in line with the raw and powerful narrative of Sarah.(less)
Love it! A great young adult read, that is neither too teenagy-girly nor too adult - perfect for a wide audience of readers.
I was glad when Lisa Bergr...moreLove it! A great young adult read, that is neither too teenagy-girly nor too adult - perfect for a wide audience of readers.
I was glad when Lisa Bergren announced she would publish a novella e-book depicting what happens right after the end of "Torrent". Although "Torrent" didn't end suddenly or anything, I felt like I couldn't quite leave Gabi and Lia's world just yet! I know that she is working on the next installment, which will be Lia's story, but it feels like it won't be quite the same, being told from Lia's point of view and all. I suppose I wasn't ready to leave Gabi and Marcello just yet ;)
Not only was this novella a good read - just like all the other River of Time books - but it was cleverly written from both Gabi and Lia's point of views, making it a nice transition from Gabi's story to Lia's story. I was able to grow more attached to Lia and Luca, hearing Lia speak, while still getting a bit of Gabi. Now I feel ready to switch to Lia in "Tributary" ;)
Looking forward for it to come out! And I'm not convinced enough to seek some of Lisa's other novels.(less)
On the cover of the copy of Sarum that I own, The Toronto Star states that "Rutherfurd reminds us that we are all part of a long line of human experie...moreOn the cover of the copy of Sarum that I own, The Toronto Star states that "Rutherfurd reminds us that we are all part of a long line of human experience." I couldn't agree more.
This is truly a jewel of a book, the first book by Rutherfurd in his line of epic history-oriented novels that span the centuries of a whole country or a single city. For me, it's the second I read by the author (the first one being The Princes of Ireland). It is truly amazing; though, just like the scope of the storyline, I can barely start to explain why.
Let me simply start then by outlining the book. As the title suggests, the main theme revolves around the city of Salisbury, or Sarum, where Rutherfurd himself was born and raised. Through an amazing 4,000 years span, we follow the days and lives of five families - the Wilsons/Forests, the Porters (Porteus), the Masons, the Shockleys, and the Godfreys - as they intersect, sometimes for the best and other times for the worst, and very often times ironically without their even knowing it, while the quiet city of Salisbury runs its course through time. I am always delighted, while reading, to find a connection between Patricia (British) and Adam (American) Shockley who, ignoring that Adam's family where half-brothers with Patricia's family before moving to America, dine out at an old fulling which neither of them knows belonged to their family back in the Middle Ages, or between Adam Shockley (a different one) and Mary Mason who marry without realizing that perhaps 100 years ago they had the same great-grand-parents. It is an extremely empowering feeling - and part of the book's charm - to watch the families grow, succeed, and fail, knowing exactly where they came from, where they are at now, and their connections, sometimes better than they do. Throughout the book, we witness the first prehistoric settlements where the five rivers meet, the building of Stonehenge, the founding of New Sarum, the building of its magnificent cathedral, and the journeys to the New World, all the way to the attempts to restore the Cathedral's Spire in 1985. Phew!
The characters are, of course, fictional, but the events are, for the most part, facts. And that is perhaps what draws me to Rutherfurd's books - the subtle combination of masterful writing and history, which I love. At the end of the book, though no one could claim having become an expert in the history of the locale, one cannot help but feel that they know it a little more or a little better than they had. Not to mention the attachment to the characters, who even in their worst flaws are extremely compelling. We root for them, dream with them, hope with them, and ache with them when life decides to simply be life. For Rutherfurd always seems to give life's life-ness priority - no mushy romance and "arranged" conclusion, just plain simple everyday life and events as they may likely happen in mine, yours, and their lives. Happy ending there is, but sadder ones too. But in the end, that hardly matters, for the bigger reality of centuries creeping by and humanity in general living along is greater than one individual success or failure.(less)
I would say though that perhaps the pace was a little too quick – lots of periods covered, and so each...moreAs usual – EXCELLENT. I love Rutherfurd’s books!
I would say though that perhaps the pace was a little too quick – lots of periods covered, and so each section was rather short and quick, except for one or two that lingered longer. I think I prefer it when there’s a huge chunk of story over a couple of years wit...h the same characters, and then a jump of a few generations to another chunk of story with their descendents. You can linger on the characters longer, get to know them, and really get into the story. When it jumps around every dozen pages to a few years later and you only spend a chapter or two with each generation… you don’t get to know them as well.
But that would be my only critic – and it’s very much a personal preference thing anyway. :) Other than that – if you enjoy historical novel, then pick this one up, and if you enjoyed Rutherfurd before, you won’t be disappointed!(less)
What an excellent book, and series! Perfect finale to the series. The characters are so vivid and true to life, I found it super easy to immerse mysel...moreWhat an excellent book, and series! Perfect finale to the series. The characters are so vivid and true to life, I found it super easy to immerse myself in the world of Gabi, Lia, Marcello, Luca, and their peers. I had borrowed the 1st two books from the library, but I think they warrant a purchase - I've often re-read books, but I usually wait a few months to a year or two before I do so. I feel like jumping right back into this one.
I've heard the other is working on a 4th book for the series - would really love that!
Highly recommended to teens and adult alike :)(less)
I discovered this series by winning "Torrent" from my local Christian radio, which I found out was book 3 of the series. So I pr...moreWow! What a GOOD book.
I discovered this series by winning "Torrent" from my local Christian radio, which I found out was book 3 of the series. So I promptly went on the library's website to see if they had book 1 and 2 - yep.
I read this book in a matter of days. It's THAT good. A great historical fiction, with a compelling setting that just draws you in. A love story with just the right amount of romance, not too sappy or "oh please". Strong family bonds, values, valor. And a little bit of 'weird' to give it an interesting twist ;) (i.e. 2 girls going back in time to 1342!)