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Glory by Heather Graham - A disappointment!
on February 3, 2000
Disappointing is a very gracious word! Heather Graham usually pens a more vibrant heroine and hero. Yet for some reason I could not come to terms with Rhiannon. She was 'bland', depicted as etheral, mysterious, yet, nothing about her character exemplified those traits in the novel. She constantly wore mourning black even while married to a very live and viral man. The way Graham describes her, I always seem to picture 'Morticia' of the 'Adams Family', particualy when Angelica Huston portrayed the character 'Morticia' in the movie. It was very difficult for me to 'like' Rhiannon. There were several other heroines of Graham writing 'Shannon Drake' that I didn't particularly enjoy, however, Graham's 'McKenzies' normally married sensuous Rebel or Yankee 'spitfires', and Rhiannon failed to fit into this catergory. The novel itself was a combination of several novels. There were too many stories combined to make up 'Glory'. The story of Jesse and Sydney, which was introduced in 'Surrender', was fiery enough to create a novel of their own tumultuous affair. And Jesse's character changed in 'Glory'. In 'Surrender', Jesse was a 'a typical' hero, strong, possessive, reckless with his own life, but protective of those he cared for. In 'Glory', Jesse seemed 'too young', too soft in my opinion. I kept expecting him to say to someone that he assisted putting Sydney in 'Old Capitol' prison to keep her safe during the war and that is where she should have remained. Yet he claimed he had an undying love for her, but where did it develop? If I was the author of 'Glory', Sydney and Jesse's affair would have began the moment he kidnapped her in 'Surrender' and of course, a spin off of their own novel, commencing with Jesse forcing Sydney to leave Jerome and her later awaking on his couch after being kidnapped. I failed to see how sending Brent McKenzie to a veneral disease research center could be considered interesting enough to the readers. It failed to interest me. Yes, I'm aware that veneral disease killed many soldiers during the Civil War and it is still running rampant today, however, a valuable talented physician wasted his talent being sarcastic to a woman whom was just as sarcastic to him, while caring for very ill patients, one of whom was her father! If Brent and Mary are going to be the next major characters in the McKenzie saga, I can't see where his experience in an 1860s CDC will spin off a romantic sequel. And where is Jennifer? Has she recovered from grieving for her spouse, or was she on the verge of becoming slightly mentally unstable - or will she ever experience love and friendship with a male again. On the positive side, Heather Graham gave graphic details of the medical units responsibilities and the conditions that existed during the Civil War. The military strategic maneuvers of both Generals Lee and Meade were outstanding. And Julien was a likeable hero, even though he was portrayed harder and colder than either Ian or Jerome. All and all, 'Glory' lacked the excitement and sensuality of both 'Rebel' and 'Surrender', but again, gave valuable historical insight into the daily lives of medical units under fire. My favorite line from the book is where Ian questioned Julian's position as a physician under fire and Julian responded, "they shoot at me, I shoot back"!