Kiersten's Reviews > The Rebellion of Jane Clarke

The Rebellion of Jane Clarke by Sally Cabot Gunning
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Apr 10, 2011

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Read in April, 2011

Eh. This book was pretty good, not great. I become irritated with the never-ending parade of historical novels with feminist agendas. I don't have a problem with the feminist agenda, I simply don't like reading books in which 18th century characters spew forth the philosophies of the 20th century. Also, I felt that some of the "historical" vernacular felt awkward. The voice of Jane felt fairly modern, not like Sarah in "These is My Words" or Janie in "Their Eyes Were Watching God," where you feel like you really are reading the dialog of someone from a different time period (there are other great examples, I just can't think of them right now. It's late.). Anyway, when Jane was speaking or thinking I felt like she was from now-a-days, and then all of a sudden there would be some phrase meant to place her in the 18th century, like referring to someone's "man parts" or "night soil" or something like that. I just didn't feel very smooth. I never felt like she was from the pre-Revolutionary era. I felt like she was from modern days and trying to sound like she was from the pre-Revolutionary era. I did, however, like the somewhat conflicted view that the main character took toward the events in Boston leading up to the American Revolution. As an American Studies graduate, I tend to root for the Patriot cause, but I still understand that not everything that was done by the Sons of Liberty and those fighting to free themselves from British rule was 100% above board. I expected a "rah rah! Go us!" type book, and this wasn't that. I thought that the motives and actions of both sides were shown in an honest light. Although I believe firmly in what the Patriot's were fighting for, the means which they pursued to achieve that end were not always commendable, and I loved that this book portrayed that.

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Abra I believe there are contemporary accounts by women -- Mercy Warren and Abigail Adams, for instance, in the American colonies, and Mary Wollstonecraft, in England -- who raise the issue of rights for women. And I didn't mind the lack of dialect, though if you like that, there is a similar trilogy that begins in the lead-up to the American Revolution and goes on to England and then the French Revolution, and it pays more attention to historically accurate language -- the author is Diana Norman and the first book is A Catch of Consequence.

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