Monday, March 5, 2018

Keturah by Lisa T. Bergren

FTC disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.



The first third of this book was entertaining, intriguing, and mostly well written. My enjoyment of this portion of the book is what saved it from being a one-star read for me. The back-cover copy and beautiful cover art drew me to this story, and I had been excited to receive an early copy (a positive review not required). The aspect I was most looking forward to was a woman in the late 1770s fighting to save her family's plantation. That was a unique approach.

Once I dug into it, though, I was very disappointed. The plot dropped away pretty quickly after the first third of the novel, slipping into a melodramatic mess that revolved around abuse, cliched relationships between masters and slaves, and many predictable elements that brought little uniqueness to the story line. Even when the plot of saving the plantation was revived sometime in the final third, the predictability remained a large issue for me, as did the redundancy of Keturah's denial of feelings for Gray. There were a couple of dropped or forgotten threads, several typos, one profane word, two expletive phrases, one vulgar term, and plenty of sexual innuendo. There were a couple of things that seemed highly unlikely for the time period (such as proper English ladies bathing in an outdoor pool when they knew unsavory men were coming onto their property without permission).

Something that really bothers me about historical fiction is when too-modern terms are used. It dilutes the quality of the work and, by extension, the genre. At least three such terms were used in this book, one multiple times. This is typically a sign of either a mark of poor research on the writer's part or poor attention to detail on the copyeditor's part. This story took place in 1772, yet these terms were used:
* sissy - first used to mean "sister" in 1846
* rapist - first used in 1883
* double-dip - first used in either the 1950s or 1960s (contradictory sources, but none I found showed usage prior to that)

Another thing I didn't appreciate was the insinuation that God gambles, or bets, on people (page 60). This, to me, was highly disrespectful of the Almighty God.

Other content issues:
* alcohol
* gambling
* mistress
* illegitimate child
* marital sexual and physical abuse
* nudity

I will not be continuing this series, and it's doubtful that I'll read more of Ms. Bergren's books, as this is the third one to disappoint me.

There is a giveaway to celebrate the release of this book.

About Keturah:

In 1772 England, Lady Keturah Banning Tomlinson and her sisters find themselves the heiresses of their father's estates and know they have one option: Go to the West Indies to save what is left of their heritage.
Although it flies against all the conventions, they're determined to make their own way in the world. But once they arrive in the Caribbean, conventions are the least of their concerns. On the infamous island of Nevis, the sisters discover the legacy of the legendary sugar barons has vastly declined-and that's just the start of what their eyes are opened to in this harsh and unfamiliar world.
Keturah never intends to put herself at the mercy of a man again, but every man on the island seems to be trying to win her hand and, with it, the ownership of her plantation. She could desperately use an ally, but even an unexpected reunion with a childhood friend leaves her questioning his motives.
To keep her family together and save the plantation that is her last chance at providing for them, can Keturah ever surrender her stubbornness and guarded heart to God and find the healing and love awaiting her?

About Lisa T. Bergren:

Lisa T. Bergren has published more than 40 books with more than 3 million books sold combined. She's the author of the Christy Award-winning "Waterfall," RITA®-finalist "Firestorm," bestselling "God Gave Us You," and popular historical series like Homeward, Grand Tour, and more. She's also a recipient of the RT Lifetime Achievement Award. She lives in Colorado Springs with her husband and three teen-and-older children.
Find out more about Lisa at http://lisatawnbergren.com.





Since this book was a miss for me, I'm looking for some recommendations for the next book I should add to my to-be-read pile.


What book or series have you found enjoyment in lately?
Which recent read for you contained a memorable character?
What made the character stand out to you?

Join the conversation!
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