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3.7 out of 5 stars83
3.7 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 19 July 2009
I read this book on a caravan holiday and it was just right as it didn't need lots of concentration but yet had a good story to make me want to read it while sunbathing. I liked the historical setting and the point of view being from nurses. She could have ramped up the romance a bit more, I kept waiting for something passionate to happen but was left swinging in the wind. I would recommend it for light reading. I have read the reviews that people were disappointed in the ending so I wasn't holding out for much but I liked the ending, it was strong. As the journey ended so did the story. Would be interested in a sequel to follow the development of Mariella as the novel was indicating how she was accidentally making a difference in the world and after this adventure how could she go back to her cosy little country life with her parents. I think that would make for a very interesting read.
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on 12 April 2008
I picked up The Rose Of Sebastopol by Katharine McMahon, I had not expected it to be much more than a semi-interesting read. However, with every page turn, I became more and more attached to the novel's heroine, and actually found it very difficult to put the book down. Since reading this book, I have highly recommended it to all my girlfriends. It's a beautiful story about life, love and friendship filled with excitement, heartbreak and hope. I'd also recommend reading Tino Georgiou's bestselling novel--The Fates--if you haven't yet!!
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VINE VOICEon 15 April 2008
I found that this book started in a slow and over-convoluted way. The edition I read had several glaring editorial errors which also put me off. I was expecting a great deal more from the hype surrounding this book. I would not buy another book by this author.
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on 9 August 2009
I'm sorry but, whilst I'm sure this book is historically accurate & perhaps even has a good storyline, its initial flaws have driven me to do something I don't often do - give up!
Firstly, Ms McMahon needs to be introduced to some punctuation! The odd comma would not go amiss! Her sentences are ridiculously long - I find it hard to believe this novel got through the proof-reading stage without major alterations.
As a writing student & published writer, I have had one rule drummed into me - SHOW, DON'T TELL! Ms McMahon seems completely unaware of this rule as her novel is all 'tell, don't show'. Her characters are barely even two-dimensional & seem to be taken straight from a Mills & Boon novel.
I was looking for a well-written historical novel to help influence my own work - unfortunately, this is not it!
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on 1 June 2009
I go along with many of the 3 star reviewers. This book is a bit of a curate's egg and is perhaps very correctly rated as a 'summer read'.

It is well written, the setting is interesting and revealing historically though might be challenged in part by history buffs. The pointless slaughter, appalling conditions and shocking management of the Crimean war through the viewpoint of the people is well done and doesn't spare you.

The plot is very 'victorian novel' and not badly done at all in that style, but the characters are therefore a little cliched and the story line becomes predictable long before it should do. Indeed the title was shockingly badly thought out. Talk about giving the game away totally.

I totally disagree with those who say it leaves you high and dry with an unsatisfactory ending. If all was tied up neatly, it would definitely sink into the trite airport novel, happy ever after category. It resists that as is appropriate to both the plot and the shocking circumstances. Furthermore the question of whether Rosa loves or is 'in love' with her cousin is also well left unanswered as it is frankly immaterial and is part of the strength of not having everything spelled out and explained. Real ife isn't spelled out and explained and a good novelist doesn't forget this fact for a convenient elegant package. This is better than Mills and Boon!

The novel is undeniably compelling, well written and consistent in its style. I wouldn't discourage anyone from reading it unless they were very literary and highbrow. I would recommend it to keen but not heavy readers. A very good read but it won't get studied for A level!
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on 25 March 2008
If I'd had realised when I bought this book it was by the writer of 'The Alchemist's Daughter' I wouldn't have purchased it as I was unimpressed by that book too! None of the characters in the book grabbed my attention and the pace was far too slow. I only read half of it because I didn't really care what happened next.
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on 3 March 2010
Received in excellent order, and am enjoying it
immensely.
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on 5 June 2010
Fabulously written book - so refreshing to read a modern author who doesnt write in the style of Take A Break magazine. Intriguing plot, masterful suspense but disappointing ending. Still recommended for its depiction of the horrors of the Crimean War, with a cameo part for the great Mary Seacole. Well done Katherine McMahon!
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on 14 August 2014
A book of the moment -
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on 1 October 2014
Not for me
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