(I received this book for free as part of Goodreads First Reads giveaways).
(This review may contain spoilers).
I’d like to say, first of all, that I absolutely love the front cover of this book. It’s really pretty and definitely caught my eye when I first looked at this book on the giveaway list.
I did feel like a lot of this book came across as almost dreamy and mysterious. The edges around the reality were blurred, so it didn’t feel quite real. I didn’t find Helen a very likable character, unfortunately, and although she did grow up somewhat by the end of part two, I found her quite lacking in compassion, something I think should have been an integral part of her faith.
It was interesting to see how the other characters viewed the people they kept as slaves. That was probably the biggest problem I had with Helen and her father. Even though it was valid for that time, I felt the characters would have been more likable if there’d been empathy towards their fellow humans.
I liked the first part of the book, with Tabitha and her father. I would have liked to hear the stories of Tabitha’s mother along with her and then see how Helen was different or similar to John’s memories. I could relate to John’s desperation to try anything when Tabitha falls ill.
I felt that the author did a good job of showing the time period, even if I did feel like I was viewing the events through a blurred reflection. Some parts of the writing were quite moving, but others, I found myself confused about what the author was trying to impart.
I found Moll a difficult character to relate to. I suspect that, if it had only been Davy in the picture, she would have come across as much better, rather than a mother who was ambivalent and almost hostile towards her other children.
The ending of the book was poignant and sad and I can’t really say that I enjoyed this. There was a lot of sadness in the book and some pretty bad things that happened. I did find myself smiling at Davy’s letters he sent back to his mother, though.