Two very important areas for consideration in any book are grammar and research - no matter how good the story is, the reader will switch off if theseTwo very important areas for consideration in any book are grammar and research - no matter how good the story is, the reader will switch off if these two elements are not en pointe. A reader will always visualise themselves in the scene, so it is important to get details correct and from the very first chapter, if you know St Pancras and have ever used Eurostar, you'll stumble with this book. Unfortunately, it wasn't something that could be ignored (such as a lack of continuity), and thousands upon thousands of people use Eurostar and St Pancras each week, so that's a lot of people who'll wince. That initial lack of reality set the tone for the rest of the book for me. Unfortunately, the layout of St Pancras wasn't the only sticking point as there were other anomalies (a single day of research would have offered some clarity) that made me feel very let down by author and editor. The premise was better than the book, which was a light-hearted, long-distance romance. NB I read an arc of the book and it is quite possible the final edit sorted out the issues....more
A lot of topics are covered in this book. It begins with abuse and covers drugs, self-harm and eating disorders (bulimia). Told from varying points ofA lot of topics are covered in this book. It begins with abuse and covers drugs, self-harm and eating disorders (bulimia). Told from varying points of view, no characters in this book that have it all figured out, although on the surface, as all teens do, they may give that impression. That is what struck me as the most realistic aspect of this book - every character has an issue. The varying abuses were merely the transport used to delve into society's rules (conditions) and the different maxims we all strive to live by; it was about anxiety and the problems faced by teens to fit in and conform, whilst plying their own brush of do's and dont's. The book dissolved the question of morals and settled more firmly on self-empowerment, or lack thereof. I'm re-reading it as I think I missed a lot of the subliminal connections along the way....more
I love it when a book not only entertains, but enlightens. I learnt with this book, not only about Kentucky and the lives of people in that region inI love it when a book not only entertains, but enlightens. I learnt with this book, not only about Kentucky and the lives of people in that region in the 1930's, but Eleanor Roosevelt's 'cavalry' of horseback librarians, an original mobile library. Books have always been seen as a form of escapism, and this is literally the case for our heroine who struggles with the constraints of a society she is new to. She's tried to escape by marrying, but it is only when Alice comes across her Marjery that she finds her path opened up. This book is based on a true story and is embellished faithfully with the lives and struggles of the time and place (chauvinism, racism, poverty, etc.), but the true story is one of friendship and hope. A valuable story about the advent of libraries, resonating eerily with today's library-poor times.