Book Review: Bellewether – Susanna Kearsley

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Sorry. Back to the post.


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Name: Bellewether
Author: Susanna Kearsley
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Release Date: August 7, 2018

Synopsis

It’s late summer, war is raging, and families are torn apart by divided loyalties and deadly secrets. In this complex and dangerous time, a young French Canadian lieutenant is captured and billeted with a Long Island family, an unwilling and unwelcome guest. As he begins to pitch in with the never-ending household tasks and farm chores, Jean-Philippe de Sabran finds himself drawn to the daughter of the house. Slowly, Lydia Wilde comes to lean on Jean-Philippe, true soldier and gentleman, until their lives become inextricably intertwined. Legend has it that the forbidden love between Jean-Philippe and Lydia ended tragically, but centuries later, the clues they left behind slowly unveil the true story.


Book Cover Comments

To be honest this book cover was reallyy what attracted me to get this book. It was way too gorgeous to not pick it up, with the starry background and the water reflection.


The Actual Review

It’s gonna be hard to write this review, simply because I couldn’t get into it or enjoy it.

Bellewether is essentially a historical fiction on a forbidden romance between Lydia Wilde, an American from New York, and a French Lieutenant, Jean-Phillippe, who got hired to protect the house or something something but basically he’s a soldier.

Between the POVs of Lydia and Jean-Philippe, you also jump back to modern times with one Mr. Charley as he looks into discovering the past and history of the happenings of the Wilde family and the relationship between Lydia Wilde.

It’s not like this book has no potential; I know it touches on many deep aspects of human nature and the problems of the old societies, and I am conscious of the gender problems that Lydia’s family gives her, i.e. ignoring her a lot etc.etc. I also know that the relationship development between Lydia and Jean-Phillippe is so difficult yet so painstakingly beautiful because of the language barrier between the two.

But.

The romance. For me. Is. Too. Painstakingly. SLOW.

There really was no interaction until the last 100 pages or so. And while it was only logical for the romance to oh so slowly develop, while also taking historical accuracy into account, for old-times’ society was definitely not about love at first sight, it was just too difficult when I’ve heard that Kearsley is a great romance author.

I personally felt no connection to the plot whatsoever, nor the historical context; I couldn’t really relate to old-times’ society of wartimes America or Canada, never really knew what loss felt or what this type of forbidden romance would play out in that type of historical context. So I will admit that this book is 100% not made for me.

However, I know that there are some people out there who thought the book was fantastic, and I do not doubt it. If I could only understand and relate to the context a bit more and the overly mundane writing (this is not an offence. Kearsley stuck to historical setting and characteristic accuracy and I applaud her for that), then I’m sure I would have enjoyed this book a bit more.


Bellewether was an unfortunately not enjoyable read for me, or perhaps many younger audiences for the difficulty of understanding war-times context. However, I think this book will turn out great if you are of an older audience, a mature adult (not in the sense of I’m 18 I’m legal I’m adult) who enjoys these types of mundane-style fictional literature.

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Joanne Lumiere

Joanne is the narcissistic founder of her book blog, Joanne Lumiere. Born and raised in Hong Kong, this 18 year old brat is currently attending college in Los Angeles, and still doesn't know how to read books with sophistication, and yet she runs a blog.

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