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The Hollow Heart: Love will find a way (The Heartfelt Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 438 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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I have to say, however, that I felt the book to be a bit disjointed. While I understand and appreciate that the beginning half of the story gave background and understanding of the many challenges that Marianne faced, it felt like there were two different stories contained in one book. There were many characters introduced in the first half of the book. Unfortunately, we really didn't get enough information about them (except Paul and George) to care about them--even Jack, her boss, with whom it is inferred that she was close. I needed a bit more emotional connection to some, while I felt others were just extraneous.
The Irish villagers were much more "fleshed out" and felt more vivid in my mind. A particular scene on a boat almost had me in tears as I had come to like the character tremendously.
I was a bit ambivalent about Ryan. He started out well, but, at time, seemed rather weak and indecisive. It almost made me wonder if he was good enough for Marianne. Fortunately, she didn't seem to feel that way.
In the end, I considered it a good debut and an enjoyable read. The ending was a bit quick, with a few unresolved questions. But, that's not unusual when a second book is planned. And, being a sucker for those Irish characters, I'll probably be getting the next book.
On the down side: the author was very vague about the ages of her characters and I think, for the main characters at least, it would have helped a little to get a more clear picture of them. It might have helped also to have some of the thoughts and feelings of the other characters and not just the main character. There was character development, but not always very clearly defined. Marianne had some intense, enlightening watershed moments and those helped to define her character and personality a little better. Ryan, the other main character, doesn't appear until about a fourth of the way into he book. He wasn't quite as clearly defined so it was hard for me to really connect with him the way I would have liked.
All that is nit-picking to a certain degree. It was a pleasure to read an e-book that was well edited and didn't have a lot of typos and grammatical errors. I recently read a book in which the author had someone making some paper mache items and referred to them as paper "machete". Really?
I can strongly recommend this book as long as you aren't looking for fast-paced and suspense in your reading. It's a lovely, warm book and I'm looking forward to the sequel due out next year.
The transition in diction from Received English to West Country Irish seems accurate, to my untutored ear at least, since I have not the Gaelic and my only words of it seem to be but one, "Sláinte", and that sometimes unsteadily, so the distinctive Irish culture adds yet another dimension to an already multifaceted novel.
I highly recommend it.
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