Tuesday, June 5, 2012
CBR IV Review #22 - Words Spoken True by Ann H. Gabhart
It would appear that these free books don't like to lend themselves to easily findable quotes online, which is screwing up my formatting on here. Oh well. That's what I get for not marking the quote on my Kindle. Although, to be honest, I don't remember there being many quotes that jumped out at me.
As I just indicated, Words Spoken True was a free eBook I came across that seemed interesting and had a fair number of positive reviews. It wasn't a terrible read, or I wouldn't have finished it, but I'm not sure I can really recommend it either. This book centers around the newspaper business in Louisville in 1855, when the Know Nothing party was coming to power and creating a lot of turmoil. The protagonists are rival editors (ok, one is the daughter of the editor, but for the purpose of this review, that's semantics). Blake Garrett has recently moved to the area to run The Herald, escaping a nasty personal history in New York. Adriane Darcy helps her father, Wade, run the Tribune, which until Blake's arrival had been dominating the news scene. The novel follows their relationship, the politics of the time, Adriane's engagement to the awful Stanley Jimson, and the attacks of a river slasher in the area. If this all sounds like a lot, it is. There was a distinct lack of focus that could have helped give this better narrative flow. Each story isn't bad on it's own, but you KNOW they have to relate, and that makes figuring out the exact plot from the beginning entirely too easy. I was able to map out everything that would happen from about two chapters in, and in detail, so it wasn't even that fun to see how it got there.
Another bonus that I didn't realize was that this is a Christian Romance Fiction novel. As such, there is a lot of reference to prayer and the Bible. This started out as a charming character trait of both Adriane and Beck - he helped her through her abused childhood by giving her greater faith and that's a great thing. But holy crap do they drop scripture about light ALL THE TIME. Also, if I had to read one more damned analogy comparing virtually ANYTHING in Adriane's life to her being locked in the closet by her step mother I was going to burst. Find a new topic.
On the positive side, I did like the characters in the story. Adriane, Blake, Duff and Beck, and tertiary characters Mrs. Wigginham and Grace Compton, all kept me reading to see what they would do, even though I was pretty sure I knew (I did). Honestly, I would have preferred a novel about those two tertiary women - they had moxie and were really interesting.
Basically, while it was an ok way to spend time, I'd recommend finding something else.