Once I dug into it, though, I was very disappointed. The plot dropped away pretty quickly after the first third of the novel, slipping into a melodramatic mess that revolved around abuse, cliched relationships between masters and slaves, and many predictable elements that brought little uniqueness to the story line. Even when the plot of saving the plantation was revived sometime in the final third, the predictability remained a large issue for me, as did the redundancy of Keturah\’s denial of feelings for Gray. There were a couple of dropped or forgotten threads, several typos, one profane word, two expletive phrases, one vulgar term, and plenty of sexual innuendo. There were a couple of things that seemed highly unlikely for the time period (such as proper English ladies bathing in an outdoor pool when they knew unsavory men were coming onto their property without permission).
Something that really bothers me about historical fiction is when too-modern terms are used. It dilutes the quality of the work and, by extension, the genre. At least three such terms were used in this book, one multiple times. This is typically a sign of either a mark of poor research on the writer’s part or poor attention to detail on the copyeditor’s part. This story took place in 1772, yet these terms were used:
* sissy – first used to mean “sister” in 1846
* rapist – first used in 1883
* double-dip – first used in either the 1950s or 1960s (contradictory sources, but none I found showed usage prior to that)
Another thing I didn’t appreciate was the insinuation that God gambles, or bets, on people (page 60). This, to me, was highly disrespectful of the Almighty God.
Other content issues:
* illegitimate child
* marital sexual and physical abuse
I will not be continuing this series, and it’s doubtful that I’ll read more of Ms. Bergren’s books, as this is the third one to disappoint me.
There is a giveaway to celebrate the release of this book.
Lisa T. Bergren has published more than 40 books with more than 3 million books sold combined. She’s the author of the Christy Award-winning “Waterfall,” RITA®-finalist “Firestorm,” bestselling “God Gave Us You,” and popular historical series like Homeward, Grand Tour, and more. She’s also a recipient of the RT Lifetime Achievement Award. She lives in Colorado Springs with her husband and three teen-and-older children.
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