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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Review: Henry and Rachel by Laurel Saville

Title: Henry and Rachel
Author: Laurel Saville
Format: ARC
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Publish Date: October 15, 2013 (Today!!!)
Source: I received a copy from the PR; however, this did not affect my review.

Why You're Reading This Book:
  • You're a historical fiction fan.
  • You like lyrical writing.
What's the Story?:

From "Brought to live with the George family as a child, all anyone knew about enigmatic Rachel was that she worked hard, making herself indispensable to the plantation. And she remained a mystery until the day she disappeared…even to her husband. Especially to her husband.

Henry was Rachel’s opposite—gregarious where she was quiet, fanciful where she was pragmatic. After years of marriage, Rachel left Henry and their oldest son without explanation and set off on a steamer for New York City with their other four children. Was her flight the ultimate act of betrayal or one of extraordinary courage? Eight characters connected by blood and circumstance reconstruct Rachel’s inexplicable vanishing act.

Weaving real family letters into this narrative of her own great-grandparents, Laurel Saville creates a historical novel of incredible depth and beauty."

My Two Cents:

"Henry and Rachel" is the story of the title characters, Henry, a dreamer, and Rachel, a woman who has already seen too much in her short life. They live in the West Indies. Henry seems to really love Rachel but Rachel often seems to look at Henry as a means to convenience and comfort. They are a badly matched pair. Based on family letters from author Laurel Saville's own family, this is the story of a difficult relationship.

The book is told from the perspective of both Henry and Rachel as well as some of the other people that knew them. I really found myself wishing that there were more time markers as to when various things were happening. Some of the chapters didn't seem to be in chronological order so it was sort of hard to follow.

I wanted to connect with the characters but I felt like we the readers, were sort of being held at arms length from the characters. I wanted a little more detail about them and their motivations.

Although the story wasn't my cup of tea, I loved the writing. There were some really lyrical bits of writing that I really enjoyed.



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