Brianne's Reviews > Love and Lament

Love and Lament by John Milliken Thompson
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really liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction, books-2015

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I checked it out from the library when I was just looking through the shelves (actually this last trip, I went to the end of the alphabet and picked my books from there). The time period and Mary Bet's situation sounded interesting.
I'm going to try and be vague so I don't ruin anything while also describing the book (let's see how this goes, shall we?). Very early she experiences loss after loss, but it wasn't as sad as you'd think. The deaths happened so quickly I didn't get a chance to become attached...until a little bit later and then it was sad and it hurt.
After her family's pretty much gone, things start to settle and you get to watch Mary Bet become an interesting and independent woman(yay!). I was afraid something bad was going to happen later on, but finally Thompson seemed to leave Mary Bet alone.

I enjoyed the writing and the setting (the details were so nicely done you were really in the story). I actually post-it noted a quote that seemed to sum up the majority of the book (especially the beginning). In my edition it's page 141: "We go on living because we have no choice, she told herself, because there is nothing else for us to do."

I didn't really care for the additional narrative voice later in the book (it didn't happen much, but it just felt too abrupt and ultimately unnecessary) and the very end felt...off. I don't know how else to describe it. I liked the ending up to the last couple of pages and then it kind of left a weird after taste. Also there was a little mystery about one of the siblings that I never felt was explained. It could be that I just missed it, but I would have liked a little more.

I would recommend this, especially if you like historical fiction!
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Reading Progress

August 11, 2015 – Shelved
August 11, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
August 11, 2015 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
August 18, 2015 – Started Reading
August 18, 2015 – Shelved as: books-2015
August 19, 2015 –
page 25
6.25%
August 20, 2015 –
page 95
23.75% "so much death, but it's very good."
August 21, 2015 –
page 160
40.0% "death cont'd., but now Thompson is making it hurt."
August 23, 2015 –
page 240
60.0%
August 24, 2015 –
page 295
73.75% "Oh no, I'm getting attached to a new character...and the deaths have been very light...this can't end well."
August 24, 2015 – Finished Reading

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