- File Size: 724 KB
- Print Length: 272 pages
- Publisher: noorilhuda; 1 edition (August 4, 2014)
- Publication Date: August 4, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00MF8BJQE
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,496,196 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
the governess Kindle Edition
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- "This book is not a short, easy read, but it is well-worth your time. You will find the story to be captivating, in spite of its simplicity. You will cry with the characters, learn about human nature, and speculate on the meaning of life.....This is an excellent book!" - David Burnett, Kindle Book Review
- "A page turner! Transports you instantly to other worlds. Strong characterization and good writing." - Prof. Dr. Abdul Jabbar, Author of 'Reading and Writing with Multicultural Literature'
- "This isn't a romance novel. It's an exploration of some very real, very difficult social situations and weaves several subplots into the main one that follows Jane on her road to redemption and self actualization......It's designed to be thought about, internalized and talked about.....A lot to take on in a single story, but I think it is done very well. A wonderful story." - Patricia Hamill, Author and Blogger
- "In her first novel, Noorilhuda is ambitious and appealing......With Jane Adams, she has created a nineteenth-century character who is a twenty-first century woman." - Helga Stipa Madland, Professor Emerita, University of Oklahoma
- "An emotionally complex, well-written book. Recommended to fans of historical literary fiction with a focus on very deep character development. Those looking for a simple romance novel or any sort of light entertainment would do better looking elsewhere." - Jacob Stanley, Author of 'She Kills'
- "Dark, depressive and angsty. A very creative and exceptionally well-written book." - Robert Grey, Author of 'The Boy Genius Detective Agency'
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From the Author
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In the Victorian style of writing, the thoughts and motivations of every character is explained, even the door mouse.
Noorilhuda does a loving tribute to this style of writing. I am not a fan of this style, but I can see when it is done well. The characters are very well fleshed out, and neither truly good or truly evil, making us see them as human. I do wonder if she could have done this and stayed true to attitude of the time. After all in modern America someone thinking of their wife as a piece of property would be abhorrent, but Victorian England it was the norm.
The problems of Jane are more the problems that a woman in the 1960's than the 1830's. She was treated more as a "second class citizen" than "property". 20th century Americanisms popped up frequently. However, it is an absorbing novel and I could ignore those things and fall into the world Noorilhuda created, just like reading a fantasy or an older science fiction novel.
Some of the paragraphs do go on for pages, but in a superficial look at them they are true paragraphs: a self contained unit of discourse in writing dealing with a particular point or idea. A very minor annoyance in an ebook, having to go to the next page mid-thought, it wasn't enough to make me lose interest. It is also consistent with the Victorian style.
As to the grammar, I found fewer errors in The Governess than in the lengthy review pointing them out.
Fans of the Victorian writing style who can treat it like a fantasy world should love this book. For people who like this style there are worse, much worse, examples from famous writers.
Those who take glee at going through Historical novels nit-picking minor details, will have a fun time, as they are mostly minor but persistent.
The theme is thought-provoking, the characters well-developed, and the story itself—well, IMO it could be a five-star endeavor, if put into the hands of an experienced editor who would eliminate the jarring twenty-first-century words, Americanisms, modern slang, historical inaccuracies and cut about one-third of the volume. The tale itself is emotionally satisfying, but the use of words like “Ms, uptight, gifted me, two-bit, cockney beano, clout,” et al, is disconcerting. The appearance of a photograph years before photography became popular, orange and mango groves in England, women smoking cigarettes in public, and the description of fox hunting as a gun shooting/horsey sport where dozens of foxes are shot and eaten in a single hunt are averse to maintaining historical accuracy--and this is an historical novel. The gemstone is there, but to make this potentially excellent historical story of abuse, guilt, and scandal sparkle, serious editing is required.
That said, I would give the character development, the use of stream-of-consciousness interior dialogue, the story itself, and the theme a solid 4 to 5 stars. Pace and structure, use of language, 2 stars. Historical accuracy, 1 star. As it now stands, I would give it a 2.5 star rating: beyond just “okay,” and likeable in some aspects.
Overall, it has its moments and its potential, but ultimately remains a conundrum that will appeal to certain readers and drive others to distraction. Readers who are able to disregard the production faults will appreciate the book. Those who want good editing and accuracy in their historical novels will not.
Thanks to the author for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Probably the worst written book I have ever read. Which is a shame because the basic main story is very good.
There are very long passages in the novel where we are being told what people are thinking. Even when people are just writing letters, it's less like a letter and more like they are speaking out loud to someone and telling them a long story. The characters are well fleshed out, but the ending did not make sense to me. Like before, all of the letters in this novel spanned over multiple pages on my kindle. The letter at the end was only one sentence and the response was equally brief. It was as if the novel needed an end, so there it was.
Also, I realize this is supposed to be fiction, but my understand of inheritance law at the time and place, there was no need to put Jane through what she was put through and the trial never would have taken place. Women did not own property at the time.
As far as writing and character development go, this is a great novel, but historically speaking, I had to dock it a few stars
Top international reviews
First off, the pros. I really liked the main character. She was complex, a mixture of reserve and temper, which made her interesting. I also liked the slow revelation of what had actually happened to her, versus what everyone believed had happened. I also found the secondary characters believable.
But why only three stars? First off, although the setting is supposed to be the 1830’s, there are many inaccuracies. The title ‘Ms’ is a modern invention, mango trees cannot grow outside in England (it’s too cold--and I should know, I live here), and the description of fox hunting is totally inaccurate. I also found the contemporary language (more American than British English) threw me out of the story, as it was so wrong for the time period in which the novel was set.
We also had very long passages in which we are told what the characters are thinking and feeling, instead of this being shown. For example, time and again we are told how much the main male character misses his dead wife. To show him standing beneath her portrait in tears would have shown us this equally as well.
I was also confused that the writer used single quotation marks to show a character’s inner thoughts, and double for any speech. In British, single quotation marks are used for speech, and time and again I kept thinking that the character was speaking out loud.
Finally, from my understanding of the inheritance law in the 1830s, the entire court case could never have arisen. Everything went to a husband upon marriage, regardless of the circumstances. Nor could a woman even gain a divorce back then, not without great difficulty.
There is a good novel in all this. I think the story needs editing, checking for historical accuracy, and removal of the long passages of internal thoughts.
I received a free copy of this book in return for an unbiased review.
This novel is thought provoking and exceptionally well written. I can't begin to imagine the huge effort it must have taken to write a novel like this and I applaud the author for doing so.
In the end. The end leaves you guessing.
I recommend reformatting and reissuing it.