November 19, 2008

Gates of Trevalyan by Jacquelyn Cook

I received a free review copy of this book and I thought it was worth a shot. I love history, and the 19th century and I have a bit of a thing. It's set in antebellum South, which isn't a bad place to start. Right away I could tell that the author really did her research.

And that was kinda the problem.

Cook's writing would be going on smoothly and all of a sudden I would feel like I got teleported back in time to my Civil War history class my senior year of college. I sure loved that class, but that doesn't mean that I enjoy getting a history lesson in the middle of a novel.

I'm sure it's difficult to write a book today considering the audience's likely ignorance on any subject other than pop culture, but I think that this book would have been much better without the mini background lessons and intruding details such as specific dates and the nitty-gritty on politics and technologies.

Regardless, I only was able to get 1/3 of the way through the book. It's not that it was bad, it's just that I couldn't get past the mini-lessons to really enjoy the book so I gave it up.


  1. Some authors can pull it off, and some can't. Like one of the last books I read about the colonists in Maryland in the late 1600's, I really enjoyed how the author worked in details on how they used different herbs and plants to make medicine, and how they used everything on the land for food, clothing, and shelter. But she didn't get into nitty-gritty details.

    Too bad it didn't work out for this book.


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