steph 's Reviews > The River Rose

The River Rose by Gilbert Morris
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May 30, 12

bookshelves: netgalley, books-read-in-2012, never-reading-again, fiction-christian, fiction-historical, e-book
Read from May 25 to 30, 2012 — I own a copy

I feel awful for giving a book such a low grade (I don't think I've done that before) but to be honest, that is how I felt when I finished this story. I really, really tried to read and enjoy this book, I truly did, but at the end of the day, I just did not like it.

Let's start off with the good parts:

-The premise. I initially liked twenty five year old Jeanne. I liked that she worked as a chamber maid and she supported her six year old daughter by herself. And yes, they lived in a shanty town and they didn't have much in the way of money or food or clothes but she loved her daughter and was, as everyone could clearly see, a respectable widow and good mother and I liked her for that. I liked that both she and Clint jointly inherited the riverboat from a cousin four times removed, I liked that Jeanne was the Captain and was able to pilot it from her childhood on her parents riverboat. It was a interesting and unusual premise.
-The little girl, Marvel. Sometimes authors have a hard time writing children. They write them too old sounding or too young or they stick them in the background and only bring them out when they remember. Not the case on this one. If fact, Marvel was the only character I constantly enjoyed throughout this whole novel and part of the reason I continued reading into the end. Even though I ended up regretting it.
-The background characters: Vince, Ezra, Roberty. They all breathed life into their characters and as a result, breathed life into the main characters which, was dearly needed. .

Now the bad:
-Clint Hardin, the main male lead. I did not get this man. At all. And I read through his scenes quite a few times. Apparently, he had "lots" of female friends (that we never saw) and was a real ladies man (again, that we never saw) yet never bragged about his conquests (though apparently everyone in the book minus the heroine knew) and yet, somehow, was redeemed by Christ during this book (again, that we never really saw) and was determined to turn his life around and be a better person for Jeanne and her daughter. I have to admit though, I struggled to picture this character, he was too all over the place and it was hard to pin down his motives and reasons and by halfway through, I had given up on him. Which brings me to my next point...
-Jeanne. I swear, this woman was the definition of hot and cold. One minute she's yelling at people for no reason, the next she's apologizing to them. She was constantly changing her mind, changing her thoughts, changing her wants and desires to the point that it was hard for me, the reader, to identify with her. She spends 70% of this book being courted by a wealthy man and then suddenly changed her mind one night and decides she loves Clint and goes and tells him so (Not even exaggerating on that one. She literally changes her mind in one evening and then goes and tells Clint). It's just really hard to like a character, to root for a couple, when you can't even understand their motives, when you can't understand what makes them tick. The main characters were too flat for me. I tried, I really tried but I could not figure them out. Which severely hampered my enjoyment of this novel.
-There's a plot twist about 75% of the way through that I thought was unnecessary and just added drama where there didn't need to be (view spoiler). It just didn't fit the earlier part of the story. At all. In my opinion, it should have ended 150 pages sooner. The last bit was hard(er) then usually to get through then the first half.

In conclusion I suppose if you are a fan of Christian fiction or a fan of this particular author or if you want a story about a woman piloting a river boat, feel free to pick it up. Other then that, don't bother. It's not worth your time.

*ARC PROVIDED BY NETGALLEY


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