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The Atwelle Confession Kindle Edition
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I really liked the concept of this book. The interplay between Tudor England and modern times was well done. Gordonson gives the reader a wealth of historical detail to work with, and I found the balancing act played by both church officials and highly placed citizenry during Henry VIII’s conflict with the Vatican to be truly fascinating. The mystery itself is original and interesting.
That being said, I found the execution of the book to be somewhat wanting. The characters of Margeaux and Don, and others central to the plot, feel a bit unfinished. There is little to the characters beyond the immediate needs of the story, nothing about wants, desires, or dreams beyond the gargoyles in the church. Additionally, the antagonists seem to have little motivation for being such. They are acting to foil or to harm our protagonists, yes, but why?
There are some nicely suspenseful scenes in this book, with a good creep factor to boot. But I did find that several opportunities for suspense were passed by, possibly to increase the pace of the book. The plot does move quickly, but occasionally feels like it’s stampeding along, sacrificing plot and character development in the process.
I guess my overall impression is one of haste. The plot gallops along, leaving us with quick glimpses of something fascinating. Taking the time to give the reader a bit more to work with, to flesh out the characters, the world they live in, and the (really quite interesting) central mystery would have given this book real punch.
In all, this is a fantastic idea, with a great amount of attention paid to historical detail. Gordonson is certainly able to craft a compelling story. But I feel that as written, we are seeing only the bare bones of a great story.
An advance copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Although the book wasn't quite what I was expecting, it was still an exciting and fun read.
The book moves back and forth between the past and the present, giving equal attention to both. I thought it was a very effective way to write the story, but I did find myself drawn much more to the story line of the past. I connected to the characters more and found them more complex, as well as found the plot more compelling. Margeaux Wood and Don, the main characters of the present, were fairly bland, and I didn't care much what happened to them.
However, no matter the past or the present, the chapters ended in the perfect place and I couldn't put the book down, but had to forge ahead into the next chapter.
If you are into historical fiction, you will undoubtedly be sucked in by this murder mystery. The characters weren't developed as well as they could have been, and the book itself isn't the best-written thing out there. But I still had a good time, was sucked into the mystery, and am giving it 4 out of 5 Stars.
The book is written in alternating flashback chapters which are labeled, so the story isn't difficult to follow. It's a good thing, since the dialogue is -very- anachronistic and clunky in places. I found myself wincing occasionally after a particularly wooden bit of narrative. There were 'academic interactions' which bordered on being painful to read.
The 16th century bits of the story are well researched and I found no obvious problems with the historical timeline. It's worth noting that I am not a historian, just an interested amateur, so if there are anachronisms (outside the dialogue, yikes), please don't poke me with pointy sticks, thanks.
The characterizations are not in-depth or well developed. I never found myself connecting on any level with any of the characters. I wasn't engaged beyond wanting to find out why these murders which are separated by 500some years happened. The resolution of the mystery was mostly satisfying and without spoiling anything, I was amused that a lawyer came up with such a convoluted solution.
The book is a solid 3 stars and I enjoyed reading it. It would make a good summer airport/travel read.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher.
Most recent customer reviews
Loved it! What a great book that has a parallel storyline that converges in the climax.Read more
Odd premise aside, this is a pretty good book.
The opening of the book is set in Atwelle, Norfolk in 1532.Read more