Thursday, June 13, 2013

Book Review: "She Rises" by Kate Worsley

She Rises Kate Worsley
Published: June 18, 2013
ISBN-10: 1620400979
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: TLC Book Tours

It is 1740 and Louise Fletcher, a young maid, has been warned of the lure of the sea for as long as she can remember--after all, it stole away her father and brother.  But when she is offered work serving a wealthy captain's daughter in the bustling naval port of Harwich, she leaps at the chance to see more of the world.  There she meets Rebecca, her unexpected and fascinating mistress.

Intertwined with Louise's story is that of fifteen-year-old Luke, who is beaten and press ganged, sent to sea against his will on board the warship Essex in the service of His Majesty's Navy.  He must learn fast and choose his friends well if he is to survive the brutal hardships of a sailor's life and its many dangers, both up high in the rigging and in the dark decks down below.

She Rises brings to vivid life both land and sea in Georgian England, but explores a thoroughly modern and complex love story that burns brightly in the shadows.  Bold, brilliant, and utterly original, She Rises is an accomplished and gripping search for identity and survival.

My Thoughts:
This is a hard review for me to write as I am truly conflicted about this book.  Worsley has a beautiful writing style and is especially skilled at bringing 18th century England--and the sea--to life.  I also found the idea behind this book to be original and fascinating.


All in all, this book just didn't work for me.  As much as I liked the idea of the book, I don't think that idea came to fruition effectively.  Writing parallel stories, as Worsley has done here with Louise and Luke, is not always successful and, in this case, I found it horribly distracting.  The two tales do come together eventually, but it doesn't make up for the majority of the book where the stories seem to operate on their own.

Worsley did a fine job creating the main characters of Louise and Luke, but I can't say much about any of the other characters in the book.  Most problematic was Rebecca.  She was an incredibly unlikable character and Worsley never really made the case for the attraction between Rebecca and Louise plausible--which is at the center of this novel.

This is Worsley's debut novel and, fair or not, I am chalking this up to inexperience.  Worsley's writing is certainly top notch--and I'd be willing to read any future books of hers--but she needs to improve her structuring and finessing the structure of her stories.

Want a second opinion?  Check out some of the other stops on the tour!

Monday, June 3rd:  Bookworm Meets Bookworm
Tuesday, June 4th:  Raging Bibliomania
Wednesday, June 5th:  Literally Jen
Thursday, June 6th:  Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Monday, June 10th:  Peeking Between the Pages
Tuesday, June 11th:  Unabridged Chick
Monday, June 17th:  The Book Barista
Tuesday, June 18th:  Read. Write. Discuss
Wednesday, June 19th:  Confessions of an Avid Reader
Thursday, June 20th:  Lit and Life
Monday, June 24th:  Broken Teepee
Tuesday, June 25th:  Let Them Read Books
Thursday, June 27th:  Historical TapestryAdventures of an Intrepid Reader
Monday, July 1st:  Bookfoolery

This review is part of a book tour by TLC Book Tours.  I received a copy of the book to read and review.  All opinions in this review are mine, and mine alone.  I received no further compensation for this review.


  1. Oh no, it is such a let-down when you read the synopsis of a book and get all excited about the premise, and then it just turns out to be a poor fit (I had one of those recently). Sorry you were disappointed. :(

  2. Darn, I'm sorry to see that this one didn't work for you but thanks for being on the tour.