This book was terrible in an awful, cartoonish, hideous, comical, life-affirming way. I have said it before, I'll say it again, there is some good insThis book was terrible in an awful, cartoonish, hideous, comical, life-affirming way. I have said it before, I'll say it again, there is some good inspirational/Christian fiction out there and there is an ABSURD amount of bad inspirational/Christian fiction out there. This is one of the bad ones. And even though I relish giving books like this low ratings here on Goodreads and writing reviews about how bad I think the book was (especially in the face of the overwhelmingly positive reviews this book received), I truly wanted this book to be better than it was. The premise was so promising and it just went so, so wrong. The characters were all super silly, with the exception perhaps of Jorgen's mother and the margreave. Odette was a complete Mary Sue, her uncle turned into a cartoon, Jorgen was a male Mary Sue (Harry Sue? Mary Stu? I don't know the proper terminology), the prose was so purple, Prince would have been turned off. I just...I can't even.
What totally irks me is that so many readers eat this crap up. Why? I understand that people want to read books that are "clean" (as in non-smutty) or that have a Christian-based message. But honestly, as a reader who appreciates the genre, I can't take books that are so poorly written as to be comical. I was seriously laughing as I read the last half of the book, things got so ridiculous.
I'd really rate this book 2.5 stars, but I rounded up. I had to read this book for the book discussion group I'm a member of at my local library and II'd really rate this book 2.5 stars, but I rounded up. I had to read this book for the book discussion group I'm a member of at my local library and I was extremely apprehensive about having to do so. I know how horrible some Christian fiction is, either the message is wack or the writing is terrible, and I've already had a bad experience with one of Rachel Hauck's other books, Love Starts with Elle--such an awful book (I rated it one star). So, I was pleasantly surprised with The Wedding Dress. There were a few preachy parts I could have done without, but overall, a decent read....more
Ugh, another piece of poorly written Christian fiction. The characters were lacking of any personality or character. The plot was ridiculous. The scriUgh, another piece of poorly written Christian fiction. The characters were lacking of any personality or character. The plot was ridiculous. The scripture references were superficial. If you're thinking of reading this book, don't....more
I am stunned by the number of four and five star reviews for Sixty Acres and a Bride. I've said it before and I'll say it again: there are quite a fewI am stunned by the number of four and five star reviews for Sixty Acres and a Bride. I've said it before and I'll say it again: there are quite a few shoddily written inspirational fiction books that somehow receive disproportionate amounts of praise from readers in the genre. I don't understand how this happens; we are reading the same book, right?
Sixty Acres and a Bride certainly isn't the worst inspirational fiction book I've ever read, but it's definitely a two-star book. The two main characters, Weston and Rosa, are pretty blah. The conflict over their feelings for one another and their reluctance to enter into a relationship grew especially irritating, even after (view spoiler)[they were married (hide spoiler)]. ["br"]>["br"]>...more
In order to enjoy this book, you have to suspend a lot of disbelief. A lot, a lot. I enjoyed it because I didn't take the book too seriously, like howIn order to enjoy this book, you have to suspend a lot of disbelief. A lot, a lot. I enjoyed it because I didn't take the book too seriously, like how Gabi is suddenly fluent in a medieval Italian dialect....more
1. My local library has an adult summer reading program and I can fill out an entry form for prize drawThere are two reasons why I finished this book:
1. My local library has an adult summer reading program and I can fill out an entry form for prize drawings for each book I read. While I understand that some library patrons may be less than honest when it comes to filling out entry forms for books they may or may not have finished reading, I am adamant that if I'm going to fill out an entry form for a book, I've actually finished reading the entire book.
2. I wanted to write a one-star review for this piece of rubbish. So, just to warn you, this lengthy review of The Vigilante's Bride is highly uncomplimentary.
This book was so hilariously stupid and ridiculous. I almost love how much I hated it because I secretly relish writing reviews for bad books (not so secret now that I've just typed that sentence for you all to read). When I was reading this book, there were actually points at which I started laughing because I couldn't take the melodrama anymore.
First off, let me quickly run through some of the plot points:
--A mail-order bride! --Orphans! --Vigilante hangings! --A stagecoach robbery with an abduction! --Grizzly bears! --Cattle rustling! --Land border disputes! --Saloon shoot-outs! --Ladies of the night! --Barn fires! --Scuffles with randy ranch hands! --Dinosaur egg hunts! --Noble savages!
Yes, this book really does include just about every Western cliche for which one could hope. Every time another stereotypical Western plot device was introduced, this book descended a little farther into the absurd. The best part (and by best I really mean worst in regards to standards of human dignity, let alone literary standards) was at the end when we get to spend the last forty pages of the book with some members of the local Crow Indian tribe. I was highly offended by Ms. Harris's physical and behavioral descriptions of the Crow. They were presented as very cartoonish and one-dimensional. Although, to be fair, all of the characters, white or native, were depicted in such a fashion. But, to give some examples of Ms. Harris's writing, here's an excerpt from page 260: "Crows were handsome people, tall and fine-featured, with narrow non-Indian noses." What am I to assume from this description? That other Native Americans have "Indian" noses (a la Chief Wahoo)? That other Native Americans aren't handsome people? That there are no ugly Crow people? That there are no short Crow people? That the Crow tribe was the only Native American tribe of any worth? What a statement! Ms. Harris also used such colorful adjectives as "copper-faced" (p. 259), "cinnamon-skinned" (p. 263), "red-skinned" (p. 268), and "redmen" (throughout) needlessly when writing about the members of the tribe.
There's also this incomprehensible sentence when Luke enters the Crow village: "Luke's mouth went dry, remembering what he'd heard Indian women did to white male captives." (p. 263). What do Indian women do to white male captives? I don't get it. For real, what do they do? Was anyone else stumped by this?
Something else that comes across as racist is when Ms. Harris wrote that the characters were speaking to each other in the Crow language, but she wrote them as speaking in broken Crow. I understand writing a Crow character's English speech in imperfect English, since English would not be that character's native language. But if two Crow people were speaking their own native Crow language, I wouldn't expect it to be laughably ungrammatical.
One last comment on race in this book: when Emily is traveling by train out to Montana, Ms. Harris includes the phrase "A white-jacketed Negro" (p. 13). She's talking about a man serving refreshments to the passengers but the use of the word "Negro" was pretty jarring. I understand that the story is set in 1884, but this isn't "Huck Finn." This is the one and only time the word "Negro" appears in the book, and again, like the unnecessary adjectives to descibe the color of the Crow people's skin, using the word "Negro" just seems so inappropriate.
Setting issues of race aside, let me know turn my attention to the issues I had with the main characters, Luke and Emily. They were just so annoying. They hate each other, then they love each other, then they're back to hating each other, no wait, they love each other, etc. Some of their interactions were so akwardly bizarre. Like, how about those back rubs Emily gives to a half-naked Luke? And I almost vomited when Emily was studying the cleft in Luke's chin, imagining "her fingernail tracing the tiny trench, probing it, even kissing it." (p. 147). Gag!!
Really, I could say more about how horrible this book was, but I've already said plenty....more
I agree with many of the other reviewers who felt that the plot of Here Burns My Candle moved too slowly. The book does develop at a slower pace, butI agree with many of the other reviewers who felt that the plot of Here Burns My Candle moved too slowly. The book does develop at a slower pace, but Liz Curtis Higgs writes with a pleasant style. She knows what details are nice additions to the story, but she doesn't bog the story down with too many details. It seems that lately I've read a lot of mediocre inspirational fiction, but Ms. Higgs is not one of those authors. There is polish and finesse to her writing, which I appreciate. I also like the amount of Christian thought in her books; some books are over-the-top preachy and others that are labelled as Christian/inspirational fiction have little to no Christian message. Ms. Higgs's books have a good balance....more
**spoiler alert** I'm so on the fence when it comes to Deeanne Gist's books. I've read five of them now and there are so many good things about each o**spoiler alert** I'm so on the fence when it comes to Deeanne Gist's books. I've read five of them now and there are so many good things about each one but then there are so many stupid and unnecessary plot twists in many of them, too. I find myself unable to give any of those five books more than three stars when I really want to give a couple of them four stars because of those stupid plot twists. Take, for example, Maid to Match. This book was running at a solid four star rating until the whole orphanage story line ran off the tracks. I was okay with that subplot (it was stupid and sappy and stereotypical, but I grudingly accepted it as part of the story) until it became the focus of Mack and Tillie's world. Then, once the abuse and misappropriation of funds turned into a broken arm and a staged suicide to cover-up the accidental killing of one of the girls who was to be sold to a brothel (?!), I couldn't take it anymore. Ugh! It's only because I enjoyed the first part of the book that I was able to bestow a three star rating.
The best parts of the book were Gist's descriptions of the inner workings of Biltmore and the barn-gatherings/parlor games that the servants enjoyed. I wish she had focused more on that and less on the orphanage. The interactions between the upstairs and downstairs characters was much more interesting than the melodramatic orphanage storyline.
On a side note, after reading this book I was compelled to watch Gosford Park again strictly because Maid to Match's depiction of the servants' lives reminded me of some of the belowstairs scenes in that movie....more
**spoiler alert** This review contains spoilers for Deep in the Heart of Trouble as well as A Bride in the Bargain and Maid to Match, all three by Dee**spoiler alert** This review contains spoilers for Deep in the Heart of Trouble as well as A Bride in the Bargain and Maid to Match, all three by Deeanne Gist.
I really liked this book until the end where Gist throws in a completely unecessary murder and subsequent "investigation." I've read five of Gist's books now and I've noticed that she really tries to put too much into each of them, especially at the end. In A Bride in the Bargain it was a tuberculosis scare that added nothing to the reading experience except to make the story seem overly maudlin. In Maid to Match it was the subplot involving the abuse at the orphanage (which also included a murder). Instead of adding drama to the stories, I've felt that these twists really detract from the plot and serve no purpose. It's annoying to read a book and enjoy it up until the end....more
**spoiler alert** I didn't care for the continual back and forth between present-day Maddie in her hospital bed and the flashbacks to when she first s**spoiler alert** I didn't care for the continual back and forth between present-day Maddie in her hospital bed and the flashbacks to when she first started losing her sight. The hospital storyline was way overdone and too repetitive. I also picked up fairly early on what the "surprise twist" at the end was going to be....more
A so-so book in the Christian fiction genre, Waiting for Summer's Return was an easy, quick read. The speech patterns of some of the Mennonite charactA so-so book in the Christian fiction genre, Waiting for Summer's Return was an easy, quick read. The speech patterns of some of the Mennonite characters quickly grew annoying. I don't hang with Low German-speaking Mennonites very often (or ever, really, since I don't know any), but is it common for them to produce English utterances in the style of Yoda?...more