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Now Face to Face: A Novel Paperback – January 8, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
For one thing, there were huge gaps in the story line. Something dramatic would happen, and then there would be a gap afterwards and we would never learn what the conclusion of the incident was. For example, Hyacinthe goes missing, and we learn hardly anything of what happens of him between the time he is captured and the time he returns home.
I felt that the characters in this book were not as well drawn as they were in Through a Glass Darkly. Although a woman in the sequel, Barbara's character is flat. Sure, she has this adventure in Virginia, only to return home in the middle of a mini-civil war, but she seems completely unaffected by what's happening around her. I found her story to be very unbelieveable. There's no romance; the adventures in love that Barbara had as a younger women are written off by the author as youthful indiscretions and completely out of character for Barbara. Please!
I wanted to hear more about the Duke of Tamworth and his grandmother, the Duchess; but I was sadly disappointed. Tony seems selfish, mean-spirited and almost a different person in this book.
The historical background of this book (ie, the fight between the House of Orange and James Stuart the Pretender for control of the English throne) was dumbed-down almost to the point of absurdity. Although this book was well-written, the major flaws show through. Koen has set the stage in this book for a sequel but I don't think that it will get written. There's just not enough material for it.
That said, Barbara Devane continues to mature as a woman. During her time in the colony of Virginia, she oversees the running of her grandmother's tobacco plantation, making bold decisions which gain her both admiration and criticism from her peers.
A stronger Barbara returns to London, ready to face the legacy of debt left to her by her late husband Roger. She also returns to a home where much has changed. Her mother, Diana Alderly, is pregnant, her best friend Jane and her family are heavily involved in the Jacobite plotting, as well as her great aunt Shrew. One of the few things that hasn't changed is her cousin Tony, Duke of Tamworth's, love for her. But, alas, it goes unrequited due (in part) to the appearance of a handsome actor, Laurance Slane. Of course, Slane is not what he appears at first, and Barbara find herself in yet another unfolding drama as she discovers his true identity as a key Jacobite plotter.
I thought the ending was a bit rushed, with many loose ends tied up in the wool gatherings of Barbara's grandmother, the Duchess. Still well done, the ending leaves me longing to know more about the outcome of the main characters.Read more ›
"Now Face to Face" is missing some parts of what made "Through a Glass Darkly" successful. The first is sorely missed-the character of Roger Montgeoffrey who was as beguiling on paper as he was supposed to be in life. The second, graphic and gratuitous sex scenes I did not miss at all, although the milieu for them (the French Court) was wonderfully written. Some of the new characters simply aren't fleshed out enough; Col. Perry is described as "a saint" yet we never clearly find out why he's become Barbara's protector at the risk of losing his daughter's love. The scenes with Viscount Duncannon, Barbara's love interest, are simply not convincing; her overwhelming attraction to him is not explained in a believable manner.
Yet overall, "Now Face to Face" is a worthy successor to "Through a Glass Darkly" in dealing with themes of honor, devotion, and duty. As long as a bodice ripper is not expected, you will not be disappointed!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fascinating story, based on actual facts during the early 1700's. Couldn't put it down.Published 2 months ago by Patricia M. Larson
I would have rated this 5 stars, but when I came to the end there was little resolution for many of the characters I had invested so much time in. Read morePublished 6 months ago by lisa Huffaker
Through a Glass Darkly was one of my favorite novels of all time, and I was really excited to read its sequel. It was a huge disappointment. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Connie Underwood
The first book of Karleen Koen that I read was "Through a Glass Darkly." I had purchased it at a used book store over 20 years ago. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Strega