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With Each New Dawn: Amidst war's uncertainty what becomes of love? Paperback – February 24, 2017
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About the Author
Gail Kittleson taught college expository writing and English as a Second Language. Now she writes memoir and women's fiction, and facilitates writing workshops and women's retreats. She makes her home in northern Iowa, where she and her husband enjoy their grandchildren and gardening. In winter, the Arizona mountains provide new novel fodder. To learn more about Gail's books, please visit her website at gailkittleson.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book had potential, and I could tell the author has talent, although there’s so much wrong with the book I hardly know where to start. It is one of the slowest reading novels I’ve ever read. With all the descriptions and dry narratives chocked full of nothing but information, remote news, and French words I thought I would never sludge through. It was as if the author had done tons of research and felt she had to include much of it but didn’t weave it into the story, because there was too much of it to fit that way. I am a history major who loves history, but I don’t want my novels to read like a boring textbook that gives mundane, unimportant details that have nothing to do with moving the story. The 294 pages felt more like 942 pages. It did get some better after about 65%, and I read a little faster to get to the ending. There was no ending! The conclusion had hints of a future but everything was left hanging. I was disgusted that I had wasted so much of my time. Why did none of the other four reviewers say anything about this? Apparently, I’m the first reviewer who doesn’t know the author.
(Though reviews are inherently subjective, I prefer to provide some organization to my opinions through the use of a personal rubric. The following notes may contain spoilers.)
Plot and Setting: 3.2 -- Plot is engaging. Has unique elements and no major holes, but a few shaky bits and/or a slight lack of focus. The story is incomplete (a walk off a cliff ending). Setting is fairly clear and believable. Timeline may be a bit hard to follow. This is one of those frustrating books where I got about 90% through and suddenly realized that there didn't seem to be enough of the book left to actually contain the conclusion. So I read the last 10% slightly distracted by the impending end, and then there it was. No more pages, and an unfinished story. Argh. A few things very vaguely wrap up, but it is NOT complete. An extra shame since I was enjoying the way it portrayed WWII from several different angles. I liked the way historical events were worked in, even if it was a bit heavy-handed at times.
Characters: 4 -- Main characters are relatable, realistic, interesting, and dynamic. Some minor characters have depth, while others may be slightly stereotyped or simplified. Definite strong points in the relationships between characters. Some good emotional depth and personal growth for some of the main characters, maybe especially Addie. Domingo and Kate deal with grief and danger, while Addie sorts through her complicated emotions regarding her difficult marriage. Minor characters come and go; those that show up more often are developed more than those who have small parts. It sort of felt like we were expected to know who some people were (Berthea, Jane, Simon, etc) before their relationships to Addie were actually mentioned. Was there a book before this one, as well as after? It's unclear.
Mechanics and Writing: 4.3 -- A handful of typos, punctuation issues, or word errors. (<8/100 pgs) None of the errors seriously hinder understanding. Good use of POV. Generally skillful writing. Errors include: mild typos, mild punctuation or formatting issues, some awkward or confusing phrases, and minor inconsistencies. POV alternates between Kate, Domingo, and later adds in Addie (to represent the British side of things when Kate heads to France). The shifts between POVs also involve shifts between locations and times, which was on occasion confusing.
Redeeming Value: 4 -- Partially focused uplifting themes or lessons. Drugs, alcohol, violence, etc, are not glorified, though there is some shaky ground. No explicit sex scenes. Implied moral guidelines for behavior. Wartime, and especially the Holocaust, makes for a dark backdrop, and the darkness seeps through more than once, as people kill and are killed, see things they wish they could unsee, do things they're not sure they should have done. This book does a good job of implying the horrors, but going vague instead of focusing on the gruesome details, which I appreciated. I liked the repeated mention of Christian people, churches, and leaders rising up to take action to protect the helpless as much as possible.
Personal Enjoyment: 3 -- I liked it. It was enjoyable and entertaining. I wouldn’t mind re-reading it someday, but it’s not a priority. Certainly not without the rest of the story.
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