Monday, June 07, 2010

Review: The Exile of Sara Stevenson (novel)

I won a copy of "The Exile of Sara Stevenson" on goodreads. I finished it a couple of days ago, and I've been mulling over what I should say about it. I was very intrigued by the blurb that suggested a supernatural element.

I began reading the book during my day at jury duty, and it was a great way to pass the time. The characters are all well-drawn and intriguing. It's written in first-person, and we can tell that the other people populating the story have secrets of their own, but we must discover them along with Sara.

I found the dialogue to be very well written. Almost everyone who appears in the book is Scottish, but they speak in a variety of dialects, and author Darci Hannah does a great job of writing so that I could really hear the characters' voices.

The farther along I got into the book, I found myself wondering when the mysterious time travel element would come into play. It's well over halfway into the book when we get our first inkling of what's going to happen (or what's happening, rather).

When we reach the denouement, I found it a little odd and not entirely satisfying. On the surface, it's the kind of lighthouse story that might be passed along from generation to generation. Maybe there's just a little too much to it. I don't want to say too much and ruin it for anyone.

I enjoy historical romances, some historical non-fiction, and science fiction. I'm not someone who usually enjoys "good literature." Please don't take that the wrong way, Darci! Aside from that little bit of oddness at the end, I really enjoyed the book. I would say that I might have enjoyed it more had the supernatural element not been revealed in the cover blurb; then the events would have been more mysterious and let me "play along" with Sara trying to figure out what's happening. However, that element is part of what interested me in reading the book, and not giving a hint could also disappoint readers who don't like that kind of thing in their fiction.