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The May Queen Paperback – November 11, 2016
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Top customer reviews
I voluntarily reviewed a Net Galley copy of this book.
The May Queen by author Helen Irene Young is a thoughtful story about a young woman in the days of WWII. May is an innocent girl but already with some secrets when she decides it will be best for her to leave all she knows and join the war as a dispatcher with the WRENS. The story is emotional and gives you a view of the dangers, loneliness, and bravery during a troubled time in the past. The mood of the story is a bit melancholia, but it does hold your interest. I like to think the pace of the story is a bit like the times of the era. I enjoyed the book and think you need to be in a mood for this type of story. to fully appreciate it's essence. Enjoy!
May is a unique, spirited and adventurous heroine. She comes across as not being afraid of anything. This is a story of a young May discovering herself amidst the death and destruction happening in the world around her. I personally found the writing style very hard to engage in for at least the first half of the book. By the time the War was raging around her, May seemed to become more real and the story became easier to translate. Through her War efforts, May is able to develop relationships, discover her individuality and begin to form her own opinions of the world. "The May Queen" is not an easy read but I will definitely remember the story and its quirkiness. From my critical opinion, I think the ambiguity and abstract writing found in the first half of the book might lead people to give up on the story before its completion.
There seemed to be lots of things implied throughout this book to the point it felt like the literary version of an abstract painting; multiple people would all come to their own conclusions by examining the same piece of work. I had to reread paragraphs and whole chapters at times to see what I had missed or to gain a better understanding of the author’s intent.
From that aspect this is a good work because it requires you to think and doesn’t just hand feed you everything which so much of our society today has become accustomed to getting in their forms of media.
A big problem though is there is very well done character development but I still didn’t feel invested in the characters. They could have been killed off in the next chapter or even in the next sentence and I would have kept reading on just the same as if the author stated what the character put on to go to a dance.
Overall this book very much read like those long literary works of fiction I had to read in my college English class. They’re great during winter when you need something to pass the time in front of the fire with a good drink. However in this fast paced society of Netflix and social media where people have been raised on getting entertained quickly and in big ways I don’t see this garnering much support.