The Many Lives of John Stone Hardcover – October 20, 2015
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Favorite character : Spark. I would like to have known more about she handles her life in years to come. I would enjoy a sequel.
He is Monsieur Broody – that’s how exhausting his recollection of his ‘lives’ have been (another way the title is misleading, along with the cover!). He hires Stella as an intern to organize his archives, but actually wants her to be their Friend, a confidant, based on the fact that he suspects she is his dead wife’s daughter. And while he is on a deadline, he takes his own sweet time to letting her know of her heritage, rather than, I don’t know – letting her de-crypt the archives and find out herself. No, she gets that at the end of the book, in the form of the notebooks which we read throughout the book. So while there could have been more interesting stories as to his ‘family’ pasts so that she can understand them better, he regales her with a long saga of his first love and time at the glorious court of Henry XIV.
And what was more frustrating was the slow pace of the book – I was constantly looking at the progress bar to see when it will end. There wasn’t much in way of conflict, and the thing about the assassin was never resolved. Why exactly did the assassin strike? I thought there would be contemporary repercussions to it, but nada. The only conflict was a stubborn man’s pride and unwillingness to depend on those close to him, but miraculously that is all resolved in a matter of sentences at the end of the book. Basically, this was exhausting for me to read.
With a very slow start and a writing style truly unique in voice, it took me a bit to get into it but once there, it wasn't hard to read on and want to know the rest of the story.
Sadly this was not a time travel story but rather you traveled back in time through the entries of a diary, and while somewhat disappointed at that, I did enjoy the diary entries.
It was fascinating to learn about court life in France and the history buff in me couldn't help but gravitate towards those entries more than anything else. Especially as the story unfolded and we really got to know who John Stone is.
While sometimes wordy in description, the story did have a unique take on the overall plot of the story and in the end, I did end up enjoying this more than I initially thought I would.
*An ARC Copy of this was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
REVIEW BY: Arianna, age 12 years, 10 months
MAY CONTAIN SPOILER:
This book was fascinating!
My favorite character is Spark because she is brave, intelligent, and kind. My favorite parts are when I read John Stone's notebook because it is a great and vivid description of the time of the Sun King's ruling.