Top positive review
357 people found this helpful
Engrossing, yes...Entertaining, no!
on August 17, 2012
It was very difficult for me to decide how many stars to give this book. I was vasillating between 3, 4, or 5 stars, and as you can see, five won.
This is a long book (815 pages), and the pages are bigger than the normal size paperbacks you usually see. So this was not my usual 1 or 2 evening book! I alternately enjoyed and suffered through this book for about five days.
The story centers around the lives of two young women who travel to New Zealand to meet their respective future husbands. The circumstances surrounding their marriage arrangements are, a lost poker game on the part of the wealthy young woman's father, and a personals ad answered by the other young woman (a respectable school teacher). The two women meet and become good friends during the boat voyage to New Zealand.
Each woman has hopes and dreams, but of course the happy, comfortable lives they envision do not come to pass. There are animosities between their new families, but the women still manage to see each other often and remain friends. This is one of the few blessings in the story, as there are hardships, tragedies, and one difficulty after another. I didn't know whether to applaud their endurance, or become frustrated at their inability to escape their situations.
The ending was somewhat satisfying, but of course it was also interlaced with tragedy. But by this time you pretty much expect that. So I guess it really wouldn't have been believable any other way.
The reason I was leaning toward fewer stars, is mainly because I felt a little dark cloud around me during the days I was reading this book. Like most everyone, I have lived through my own difficulties and tragedies. So why on earth would I want to relive the fictional hardships of others? I guess I just kept hoping that things would get better. I know, good novels need a variety of elements. But this was just page after page, and chapter after chapter of bad crap going down. There is probably a 20-plus year span, as far as the timing of the story goes. I actually liked it when they jumped ahead a couple of years here and there. I almost felt relief, like at least there was nothing bad to report there!
But there I was, every chance I got, reading about the lives of these two women who had captured my heart. For that reason, I chose five stars. Also, I truly believe that this is a book most will like.
That being said, I would now think twice about enduring another story of this type. Been there, done that!