Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Book Review: "The Loyalist's Wife" by Elaine Cougler
Published: June 20, 2013
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Recommended for readers who are interested in reading about the American Revolution from the Loyalist standpoint
When American colonists resort to war against Britain and her colonial attitudes, a young couple caught in the crossfire must find a way to survive. Pioneers in the wilds of New York State, John and Lucy face a bitter separation and the fear of losing everything, even their lives, when he joins Butler's Rangers to fight for the King and leaves her to care for their isolated farm. As the war in the Americas ramps up, ruffians roam the colonies looking to snap up Loyalist land. Alone, pregnant, and fearing John is dead, Lucy must fight with every weapon she has.
I was intrigued by this book when I first heard about it. I can't recall ever reading a novel set during the Revolution with the main characters as Loyalists. It was on that point alone that I decided to read this book. I did like the fact that I learned a bit about the "the other side" during this conflict. There is also quite a bit about the Native Americans and how they interacted with the Europeans, which I found interesting.
Overall, I enjoyed the story. John and Lucy are both interesting characters and you can't help but root for them. I felt the plot was well-developed and Couglar has a readable style. There is a section with some rather distressing subject matter--I bring this up not as a criticism, but as a heads up to anyone who might read this book.
That being said, I had a couple of problems with the book. The first is structural--I'd have to check and make sure, but Couglar seems to follow a formula of two chapters with Lucy and two with John, breaking only when the two characters are together. Then, when she switches from one character to the other, she tends to do so with what I would consider a "soap opera cliff-hanger." In other words, she stops mid-action and just leaves the reader hanging. If this only happened once in a while it would probably be fine, but Couglar does it so consistently that it becomes annoying rather than effective.
My second problem is that Couglar falls into a trap common to many historical fiction novels. She very quickly resorts to bad guy versus good guy. In this book, the Loyalists are all wonderful, caring human beings and the Revolutionaries are all evil proto-Nazis. Unfortunately, this becomes old very, very quickly and it greatly distracts from the rest of the book.
In the end, the strength of the plot and main characters of this novel outweighed what I felt were its shortcomings. It is the first novel in a trilogy, and I am looking forward to the next installment.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I received no other compensation for this post.
Be sure to check out some of the other stops on this blog tour"
Monday, October 7
Feature & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Wednesday, October 9
Review at Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Thursday, October 10
Review at Unabridged Chick
Review & Giveaway at Flashlight Commentary
Friday, October 11
Review & Giveaway at Kinx’s Book Nook
Monday, October 14
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Tuesday, October 15
Review at A Bookish Affair
Guest Post at Book Lovers Paradise
Thursday, October 17
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Friday, October 18
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Guest Post at A Bookish Affair
Interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Monday, October 21
Review & Giveaway at Confessions of an Avid Reader