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Home for Erring and Outcast Girls
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Archive: Other Books > Home for Erring and Outcast Girls by Julie Kibler 1.4 stars

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Karin | 6888 comments 1.4 stars rounded down

Such a promising premise, and yet what a disappointment this book was. I began it with fairly high hopes given that it is based on real people from the first charitable institution to help "fallen" women that not only tried to help women land on their feet but didn't take away their children if they had them.

From the first chapter it was disappointing, and it isn't all me--I went through a number of 2 star reviews and so know I am not alone in some of this. In addition, I waited two days since posting my review in case in hindsight, I wanted to raise this to 2 stars, but I don't. In fact, it still leaves me with that bitter aftertaste of a poorly executed novel.

First off, there was no emotional connection with the main characters. The plot was there, but let's be clear--there is nothing in this book that I haven't been reading about since my youth with the sole exception of it being based on this groundbreaking home. Our society is inundated with tragedy and, at times, hope, so the writing has to do something for me, but this didn't. It plodded, was pedestrian, and, quite frankly, did little to motivate me. True, but the end of the book I was reading into the writing to see the characters, but they should have been speaking to me through the writing.

Secondly, the voicing was weak. There was so little difference in the three voices and yet these three women should have had more differences than just a change in tense to the present day story.

But, and here I get to the most disappointing part. The present day story not only did nothing to add to this novel, it detracted. I am not opposed to back and forth stories--I have enjoyed more than one of Sarah Jio's novels and also I gave 4 stars to Before We Were Yours. This one could have made a standalone novel if well written and expanded, but it really had nothing to do with the other story, even if the author did make her a librarian who was researching this subject. Also, the modern day story was very predictable overall.

So, why did I finish it? Because it was my first ever Goodreads Draw win. I hope that if and when I win another book here I like it considerably better.


message 2: by Susan (new)

Susan Lewallen (susanlewallen) | 418 comments Thanks for an honest and thoughtful review. I like to read sometimes to learn about author's mistakes. I believe that many, many factors go in to how we feel about a book, so a thoughtful negative review is interesting.


Karin | 6888 comments Susan wrote: "Thanks for an honest and thoughtful review. I like to read sometimes to learn about author's mistakes. I believe that many, many factors go in to how we feel about a book, so a thoughtful negative ..."

Sure, and so far average rating is much higher. How much of it is due to the fact that many of them are reading net galley copies, I don't know, but you might like it. But there are a number of 2 stars in there, so it's a mixed bag :).


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