Morgan's Reviews > Give Me Liberty

Give Me Liberty by L.M. Elliott
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Jun 19, 2017

really liked it
bookshelves: books-i-ve-read-in-2017

A few weeks ago, this book was returned to the book drop at the library where I work. It intrigued me, as I love American history and the cover gave off strong Johnny Tremain vibes. It's difficult to find a historical fiction book that doesn't distort history these days, so I skimmed the author's note, found little known but awesome history facts there (which indicated a perspective I agree with), and decided to try it.

Now the book. Unfortunately, I can't completely rave about how awesome it is because of a few literary flaws. First, I feel like it could have used another editing pass to refine the use of old fashioned language. That aspect was good, but not great. Especially considering the fact that she once referred to Nathaniel's unusually pale blue eyes as "weird-colored" even though according to Webster's 1828 dictionary, "weird" meant "skilled in witchcraft."

My primary complaint is that she shoved in too much historical and cultural information via exposition in the dialogue. Too many characters went on for paragraphs in an "as you know, Bob" manner. Now, as a lover of American history and particularly the American Revolution, I didn't really mind the history, but at the same time, it's a sign to me that she did a lot of research and wanted people to know everything she found out at the cost of the story. I kept comparing it to Johnny Tremain as I read, and Johnny Tremain is just a better written book.

But lest you think I hated this book, I actually really enjoyed it. Yes, there are literary flaws, and no, it doesn't measure up to Johnny Tremain (one of my three favorite historical fictions), but it still managed to be a pretty good book. Not spectacular, but pretty good and I don't regret the read. I liked Nathaniel and obviously I liked the historical period, and the details felt very authentic (minus the use of "weird"). It's very obvious the author spent a lot of time in colonial Williamsburg. Speaking of which, there were some moments of internal squealing at mentions of places in Williamsburg where I've been and lesser known historical figures I learned about on my trip there. (Which was 8 years ago this fall. Wow. I really need to go back.)

So would I recommend it? It depends. If you love the American Revolution, are looking for a book with an accurate perspective, and are willing to overlook some literary flaws, then absolutely. Because seriously, my only complaints are the literary ones already listed. The American Revolution is a fantastic period of history and I love it. And this book reminded me of that fact. Though now I have an urge to go reread Johnny Tremain.
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Reading Progress

May 28, 2017 – Started Reading
May 28, 2017 – Shelved
June 19, 2017 – Shelved as: books-i-ve-read-in-2017
June 19, 2017 – Finished Reading

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