Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Terrible Beauty: A Review


"No one has ever escaped from the notorious penal colony in Fremantle, Western Australia...but that is about to change.
Mary Claire O'Dwyer, transported to Australia with the rebels she supports will find that nothing is as it seems when she sets her mind to springing the captives. Even a Royal Marine's scarlet coat can be nothing more than another deception...
From the failed Fenian Uprising in 1867 to the Easter Rising of 1916, author Katie Hanrahan presents the single-minded effort of one family to bring freedom to Ireland."
 That quote was taken from the back of the book, it is the best way that I know how to summarize the book without giving too much away. So, now that I don't have to write a summary myself (haha, I'm lazy tonight.) on to the review...

I liked this book...for the most part. I have a few negative and a few positive things that I can say about it, and I will try my best to do so without spoilers.

Negative:
1 - HUGE gaps of time are missing from the storyline. I was baffled when, in one chapter Eireann is 18 (or close to 18, if memory serves me correctly) and the next chapter she's in her 40s. I would like to know more about her and how she was molded into the woman that she became.
2 - The second half of the book read more like a textbook for a government or history class. And far to policital for my taste. That's great if you're a history buff who enjoys reading a book for the intellect, but it's not for me. I found it difficult to continue reading at times because I would lose interest. (This negativity, however, is completely dependent on my personal interests and views and if someone were interested in reading about the Fenians or the Irish Republican Brotherhood or even the Irish Revolution I would recommend this book. I do realize, though, that this book is a work of fiction but the author is dead-on a lot of the facts found within it).

Positive:
1 - I devoured the first half of this book. I loved reading about Mary Claire and her trip on the Hellebore and later her life in Fremantle. I would have loved to read more about Eireann and her childhood, though.
2 - The ending was superb. It wrapped up some of the details I was anxious to know about.
3 - It was well written; excellent grammar, spelling, etc. The author definitely did her research.

Would I recommend this book? Yes. I would definitely recommend this book to those who read for intellect more than for entertainment. But for those who read more for entertainment purposes, I would say that this book is definitely worth the experience at least once, so my answer is still yes.

I give this book 3/5 stars.

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