Sunday, March 22, 2009

Book Review ~ A Great and Terrible Beauty

  rating: 4 of 5 stars
Well, I think it's safe to say that I am not a very discerning reader. I like what I like and to heck with the reasons. 

I liked that this book was such a fast read and painted very vivid pictures that danced in my head. I liked the flowery language and the depiction of the characters.

Yes, the characters all seemed rather shallow, but it seemed appropriate to me given the era and social expectations. I found the fluctuating circle of friends to be totally believable and Gemma's personal conflicts similarly believable. 

And, having not read a lot of Victorian era, I wasn't encumbered by any expectations so the book didn't let me down there.

Where it did let me down was in it's lack of depth regarding the tragedies encountered. I don't want to give anything away, but suffice it to say that stuff happens that ought not to and the emotions expressed by those observing, privy to, or involved in the acts go largely unexpressed and entirely without consequence. 

Nevertheless, the story itself was a magnet that drew me in and erased any serious reservations I might have had. I have found myself picturing the story, after having finished it, as I would a great movie I've just seen--only to then realize that it wasn't a movie at all, but a book I've read. That right there tells me that this was, for me, a great read.