Genre: Historical Fiction/Coming-of-Age
Publication Date: June 16, 2016
Story Perspective: Alternating First-Person
Themes: Friendship, War, Religion/Religious Intolerance, Family, Violence, Death, Domestic Abuse
This book was given for free, courtesy by NetGalley.
Grace Fowler is the daughter of a parish priest while Abigail Booth is the daughter of farmers. Their friendship begin to blossom at a young age, and their favorite place to meet is at the Hill of the Angels.
However, when the English Civil War breaks out, their friendship is tested. This is due to their families being on opposing sides of the civil war. Will their friendship survive through these harsh times?
This was another one of my outstanding NetGalley review books that I decided to go ahead and read. I started reading this some time last year, but became bored of the content and stopped. However, looking back I had already read a third of the book, so I thought finishing this somewhat short read wouldn’t take too much of my time. I’m glad to say it was pretty quick to finish!
As I read, I realized that one of the reasons I had some issue with this book was the two different perspectives that this story was told. Both Abigail’s and Grace’s voices were very similar and it was hard to distinguish one from the other. It could be because they were girls of similar age and were best friends. However, their similar tones made some of the reading unenjoyable since I had to keep reminding myself which name belonged to which storyline.
The plot was fine, but the lull I felt leads me to believe that it was a fairly slow beginning. Once the civil war began, the storyline picked up and many scenes were exciting and quick to read. I was able to feel some emotions, which is always a plus. However, I didn’t care for the amount of death that happened here. Of course, during warring times, death rises exponentially, but it seemed several of the deaths were fairly “convenient” in a way for the story. This means that I felt the author killed off some characters to get rid of some adversity that kept the friendship apart.
Along with the uneven plot, I found the ending to be extremely rushed. For one, years end up passing with minimal acknowledgement. Secondly, so much happens at once, I had to re-read a couple of the ending short chapters to make sure I actually read what I just read.
As a warning, there are some deaths, destruction of sacred sites and items, and hitting young girls. Nothing is too gory or over-explained, except for the destruction of a church might be a bit much for those who hold churches in high regards (I felt very disgusted reading this part).
Overall, this was another “okay” read where it has its positives, but does have some areas of concern.
I might recommend this to young adults who enjoy historical fiction that focuses on some of the struggles during a civil war.
Was this a book of my choosing or one for review?
12 out of 50 books for review for 2018