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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Book Review: Ellen

As the young wife of a sea captain, Ellen lives cheerfully and faithfully. Then tragedy strikes and all that she has and is–is put through testing fire. Bound up with her story is that of Pierre–an urchin off the streets of a far-distant city shipping out on a great adventure–and also that of his captain–a man seeking to snatch safety for his men whatever the cost to himself.

I finished this book several days ago, and I was going to have a review out, but my family and I have been caught in the Great Canadian Ice Storm of 2013 (still are, actually, although we have our electricity back now) so I haven't been on the internet for a few days (*gasp*).  Don't worry - we're all fine.  I had my iPod, my books, and my writing (I wrote longhand in some notebooks) so it wasn't all that bad.  Still, it was an enormous relief to have the lights come back on last night.  Now where was I...oh.  Yes.  The book review.

I've been reading a lot of new books lately, mostly because I get alerted when certain books are free for Amazon Kindle (I got an amazing one about the significance of food in Jane Austen's novels about a week ago), but Ellen wasn't a free book on Kindle.  I was asked to read and review it by the author after she read my review for Swept To Sea.  Considering the scathing review I gave that book, I was surprised, but agreed right away.  I read it in a couple of days and my overall opinion is that it was a really good read.  I liked it.  It was a bit slow at times, but I forged through and I'm really glad I did, because it had a blissfully happy ending.  I loved the ending.

Let's see...I'll talk about the different aspects of the book like a good reviewer should.  Firstly, the writing style.  I'm thinking that Heidi Peterson had read at least some of the Elsie Dinsmore books, because the writing style is very similar to them.  And I'm not saying that in a mean way - I actually enjoy the ED books, although the character herself gets on my nerves a lot (mostly when she's little; she improves with age).  I mean, if you replaced Ellen with Elsie and Joshua Bryant with Edward Travilla and tweaked a few things, it could pass for an ED book easily.  There was a nice old-fashioned quality to the writing which I really enjoyed.  And the dialog was, I thought, extremely realistic and well done.  That was one of the best parts, in my opinion.

The characters...well, I wasn't all that enthralled with the characters.  They weren't bad, per se, but they weren't all that memorable either.  I did like Pierre.  He was probably my favorite character (he reminded me of Gavroche, even though he isn't French, no matter what his name might make you think).  I did think the characters played off each other well, and Ellen and Joshua's conversations were adorable.  Now, at first I was thinking that the authoress shouldn't have put in a prologue at all, since I thought it gave away a part of the book, but then when the Unexpected Twist came along, I thought it was a good idea.

Overall, Ellen is an enjoyable read for anyone who enjoys light romance, old-fashioned writing, and a splash of adventure.  I highly recommend it.


1 comment:

Miss Jane Bennet said...

Hmmm...I'll have to look into this. It sounds pretty good! (Although what is it with romance and sea captains...? ;)) Oh, and I'm about halfway through the JA and food book, and it's AMAZING. I'm learning a lot about Regency food and JA's life! :)
I'm glad your power's back! :)

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