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2.9 out of 5 stars
37
2.9 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 26 April 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Set in the West Indies, Henry is an unworldly widower who daydreams about making a fortune with his inventions which never really get off the ground.
Money which is in short supply is wasted in these dreams.
Rachel, who is living with a wealthy local family, is a very solitary and introspective person whose past is shrouded in mystery.
Finding herself pregnant, Rachel moves in with Henry but refuses to marry him until several children later.
Then suddenly she leaves the islands taking four of their children with her and leaving her eldest son, James, with Henry. Without any explanations she moves to New York and James follows her later.
The story is told through letters between Henry and James along with chapters on the thoughts of each of the main characters.
The reader slowly learns the truth behind the mysteries, some of it surprising.
Quite enjoyable but I found it slow going.
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on 14 November 2013
I purchased this book on a whim. I think the advertising puff informed us that this was a historical novel. That part was correct. However, I found the style a little too cold and similar to a well constructed report on a series of linked incidents. Because there was no dialogue, the characters were two dimensional. To my regret I was unable to relate to them; consequently I gave up on the book and consigned it to oblivion.
I regret that I am perhaps a little immature in that I favour "a rattling good yarn," rather than having my withers wrung by somewhat grey, cardboard cut-out people. (If the author ever reads this, I apologise.)
My final summing up is lifted straight from my school reports: "Could do better."
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on 6 November 2013
Because I leap into books sometimes without any planning, I did not realise that this was pieced together from real happenings and family recollections. It took me sometime also to get into the story, but once I did I really cared about the people and I loved the gentle way everything unfolded. I was sorry it ended and wanted more.
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on 25 November 2013
I bought this as it was cheap and I liked the sound of the premise. It is told in segments with various characters telling the story from their viewpoints. A couple of times I got to the point where I was about to abandon it and then something would be revealed that kept me reading. Worth the effort, but the writing could have been tighter.
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on 24 December 2013
I tried and tried with this book but it beat me, I gave up in the end and didn't even finish it.couldn't follow it all all, couldn't grasp the story. Sorry.
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on 2 March 2014
It was enjoyable.
I bought it because i too have an unknown relative who was a bit of a mystery
two in fact...
My relative went to Russia possibly with a German family then ended up on a boat to New York,then changed her mind and let her daughter go to England aged only 15 or 16 and jumped ship to Ohio or somewhere else, perhaps i'll write about it oneday...

It's elusive as a story, keeps you guessing and is cleverly told from each character's viewpoint. I liked the style, it's not quite as successful perhaps without a MAin Voice or Narrator but an interesting way to tell the story of a
man whose wife leaves him on a paradise island and takes off for a life in NY and the big city...
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on 19 October 2013
Did not like this book at all Could not get into the story and gave up in the end. Found it extremely boring.If I had read into it before buying would not have purchased it. Not interesting enough for me.
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on 9 August 2015
A really enjoyable and thought provoking book. The way it is written, in the first person for om various points of view, mans you build up your understanding of character and event gradually like a detective story. The voices could have been better differentiated, but this did not in fact bother me.
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on 5 April 2014
Very complex novel, setting was interesting and characters well developed, if a trifle unlikely, but the plot left a lot to be desired. My thought at the end of it was, "I don't think so!" So saying it was quite well written and passed a dull weekend.
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on 17 February 2014
I could not connect with the characters and live the story with them. The story was also disjointed and hard to keep track with the characters.
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