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The Forbidden Dreams of Betsy Elliott

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  30 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Betsy Elliott is a match for the cold northeast winds that rattle windows and carry Newfoundland sailors away to their deaths. Forced into service after her father’s death, married at eighteen to a much older man, she’s become as hard as the rocks that line the shores of her island home. Talented, brilliant, and hard-working, she will do anything to make things go her way ...more
Paperback, 233 pages
Published February 13th 2019 by Flanker Press
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 ·  30 ratings  ·  12 reviews

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Carolyn R.
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: books-by-me
Is it normal to review your own work? I've seen a few people do this so why not? I gave myself five stars because I worked damned hard on it for six years and I love the story. Betsy came to me after a conversation with my grade four teacher. She told me how my own grandmother fetched water from the well and I knew how long that trek was. It imprinted in my mind an image of a young girl, working so hard, just to survive in a time when that's how you did make it through. So I love Betsy. And yes, ...more
James Fisher
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, newfoundland
A better-than-average historical romance with some suspense and mystery thrown in, Betsy Elliot will entertain you on every page. There are no 'low' moments; the text has been expertly edited resulting in a swiftly read narrative of life in the outports in and around the early 1930s. ...more
Ida Young
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful writing Carolyn, I love the way the words flowed and your descriptions. I found the story a bit slow at first and I was mid way through before I got into it and connected with the characters. The book was not what I expected, yet I'm not even sure what I expected. It certainly gave the reader a taste of the hardness of life, especially for women. It was also a testament to the sense of community and isolation and how people pulled together and how important that was to survival. Again, ...more
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I cannot say enough good things about this book. While reading it, I was completely immersed in the harsh life of small-town Newfoundland and the lives of its hardy, stoic characters. The setting felt so genuine, it was almost as if the author had lived it herself.

And the main character, Betsy! I adore her. She embodies the women of her era - hard-working, resilient to loss and hardship, collaborative with other women, resourceful, but still up for a dance when the opportunity arises. The diffe
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book very much, especially the amazing character, Betsy, who cared for her family with everything she had, surviving a harsh winter in Newfoundland in the 1930s. Her strength and determination were admirable, and the author wove a wonderful story around an unforgettable character.
Harold Walters
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Read my column featuring this novel at the following link:

Lia Mack
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Betsy Elliott, akin to Louisa May Alcott's Jo March, is a force to be reckoned with. Caught in a time where a woman's path is set, Betsy leads a life as expected. Only, that's where her Forbidden Dreams emerge and where we, as the reader and voyeur of her life, enter in.

More like a speeding train than a rollercoaster ride, the events that surround Betsy - and those that she orchestrates on her own - propel the story forward with a graceful flow and ease that I found throughly enjoyable. The aut
Cassandra Aucoin
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Betsy is a force to be reckoned with and her story of survival and success in trying circumstances is both inspiring and intoxicating. If you are a fan of historical fiction, strong characters and an exciting story, you'll love The Frobidden Dreams of Betsy Elliot! ...more
Dec 30, 2019 rated it liked it
I was very bored with this book in the beginning and almost didn't read it. It had a great concept and good writing but the characters weren't as believable as I would have liked. The storyline implied that men always raped women, I couldn't tell if it was Betsy who thought that or if it was how the author felt about those times. There were holes in the storyline that either didn't make sense or were completely missed when tying everything together. The title didn't match the storyline either an ...more
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I wanted to give this book a 5, my wife 4.5 so we rounded up. Both of us enjoyed this book.

My wife(Luce): Emotionally evocative, I cried several times, laughed a few too. I don't often cry. The line with snow angels? Funny as heck. Loved how the author made Betsy so real. Want to see more of this character and much more from this author. Some of the best descriptive writing I've seen in a long time.

Me(Mark): I like a good history and this is rings as accurate from the events of the time to the
Apr 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrew O'Brien
0 stars given to balance out the 5 stars from the author which gives an inaccurate value to the overall rating.
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