Maia B.'s Reviews > The Exile of Sara Stevenson

The Exile of Sara Stevenson by Darci Hannah
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's review
Dec 28, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: boring, historical, mediocre-writing, nothing-special, beach-reads
Read on December 28, 2011

Note: Spoilers included.

Sara Stevenson: I'm a beautiful self-centered girl. Ooh, he's hot.

Thomas Crichton: By the way, even though I've only seen you twice and had a conversation with you once, I love you. (disappears)

SS: Oops, I'm pregnant.

Her Family: Off to Cape Wrath with you.

SS: I'm miserable, but strangely attracted to this weirdo lighthouse keeper.

William Campbell: I am a total jerk, but strangely attracted to that obnoxious girl living by my lighthouse.

SS: I want Thomas.

[Reader: Spare me.]

Alexander Seawell: I knew a man named Jamie Crichton! Here's his watch.

SS: His watch?! My God, he's deserted me! Oh look, it's Thomas! But he'll never see me again because he jumped time or something.

WC: I love you.

SS: Me too.

AS: Rats.

Let's start with the cover. It's a lovely cover, very pretty, but maybe the designer could have done a bit more research - because, despite the book's pretensions to being set in 1814, the woman standing on the strip of land is definitely not dressed in the style of 1814. More like Elizabethan, or Victorian. Emphatically not Regency.

Then there's the plot. Not much happens till the end, when we're asked to believe a whole lot of utterly bizarre and very badly explained gibberish about time and love and "the power of love overcoming the boundaries of time" or some such garbage. And there's the premise. How many young women were fooling around with young men in barns in 1814? Narrow it down. How many well-bred young women? Not the smart ones. So Sara Stevenson is already obviously kind of dumb, or she would have some sort of idea about the consequences. (More on her later.)

And the writing. Yuck. Here is a standard sentence: " 'By God, whatever is happening?' I uttered." Yes, that's uttered, not said, asked, gasped, hissed, or whatever; no, it's uttered, possibly the clumsiest way of ending a sentence ever to have been invented. Once there was even "asseverated", as in " 'By God, no!' he asseverated." Incredibly clumsy and very obnoxious. (By the way, in 1814, no one said "by God" every other sentence, because it was a pretty hefty curse. Not to mention "hell" and "damnation", which weren't used in polite conversation.) The rest of the writing pretty much followed the "uttered" example, and was competent enough but barely rated a C-. Plus there was the typical trashy romantic tripe; my favorite example of this is "smoldering wonder."

The characters made me ill.

Sara Stevenson: self-centered, spoiled brat with no depth at all. Supposed to be "spirited" but really just spoiled.

Thomas Crichton: absolutely zero in character development, personality or anything else. Moves the plot along and that's it.

William Campbell: weirdzo lighthouse keeper; typical tortured soul with secrets in his past. Boooring.

Kate and Robbie MacKibbon: or was it MacKinnon? Or MacGibbon? Not very memorable. Kate is a witch and Robbie is nearly as interesting as Thomas Crichton.

Everyone else: Even more boring than Campbell.

I think I'm being generous with my two stars, especially since I was expecting something notably better than what I got, but what the heck. The cover, no matter how tragically inaccurate, is still pretty and I did finish the thing, so whatever.
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message 1: by Susan (new)

Susan Now I almost want to read it just so I can make fun of it! Ha ha!

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