Monday, January 28, 2019

Plotless Historical Novel a Long, Meandering Slog

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

When the Givens Family immigrates from Ireland to the United States in 1819, it's to escape poverty, not embrace it.  In doing so, however, they've lost everything.  With their mother dead and their father gone for good, the three Givens teenagers are left to fend for themselves.  James vows to make a decent life for himself with his thriving candle-making business.  Flighty Erasmus, who seems destined for a different sort of existence, finally finds his calling as an itinerant preacher.  Olivia, who refuses to embrace social mores, is likely headed straight for spinsterhood.  While the three of them head in their separate directions, they will all become caught up in the crises and chaos of a booming Cincinnati. 

None of the Givens' could have foreseen their involvement in the most divisive and dangerous cause of all—slavery.  While James refuses to risk his position in society by embracing abolition, his siblings become actively engaged in helping slaves escape their cruel masters.  The unforeseen consequences of their perilous work will have an especially heavy impact on Olivia.  None of the Givens', in fact, will escape unscathed as the situation with a certain slave family escalates and finally explodes.

It's tough to describe the plot of The Eulogist, a historical novel by Terry Gamble, because, really, it doesn't have one.  The tale is episodic instead of focused, making for a read that is slow, meandering, and dull.  It's not uninteresting; it's just not very exciting.  The characters are likable, the setting is atmospheric, and Gamble's prose is capable.  Overall, though, The Eulogist feels like a long, anticlimactic slog.  If I hadn't committing to read the novel for this blog tour, I likely wouldn't have gotten beyond its second chapter.

(Readalikes:  Hm, I can't think of anything.  Can you?)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language (no F-bombs), violence, and sexual innuendo/content

To the FTC, with love:  I received an ARC of The Eulogist from the generous folks at HarperCollins via those at TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!

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Want more opinions on The Eulogist?  Follow along on the book's blog tour by clicking the links below:

Tour Stops

Tuesday, January 22nd: Into the Hall of Books
Wednesday, January 23rd: Instagram: @dropandgivemenerdy
Friday, January 25th: Instagram: @giuliland
Monday, January 28th: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books
Tuesday, January 29th: Instagram: @lifebetweenwords
Thursday, January 31st: Peppermint PhD
Friday, February 1st: Broken Teepee
Monday, February 4th: Instagram: @readvoraciously
Tuesday, February 5th: Instagram: @wellreadmama
Wednesday, February 6th: What Is That Book About

5 comments:

  1. Plotless and long. That's the kiss of death for me when it comes to any book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's actually only 291 pages, but it FEELS a lot longer than that :(

      Delete
  2. I can't do slow and meandering. Sorry this one wasn't better for you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think I'll take a pass on this one. I'm fascinated by tales of families immigrating from Ireland because of my own family history (though my family came over much more recently) but the meandering slog of this one doesn't appeal to me.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for being on the tour!
    Sara @ TLC Book Tours

    ReplyDelete

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