Title: Separation [Like Kindred Spirits 1]
Author: Cassandra Lane
Genre: Historical, Romance
Rating: 1 Star
Not yet available on Goodreads.
None available! Amazon provides only an excerpt from the beginning of the story.
WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW
Did Not Finish. It’s been awhile since I’ve done a partial review, and wow was this one a doozy. Reportedly, Separation is a story about a young mix-race woman who finds love with a white man in the newly post-emancipation from slavery era of New York. I wouldn’t know, because I didn’t get that far.
This book was dry. The narrative read like a text book written for grade-schoolers. I wish I were kidding. I honestly didn’t even make it past the first chapter. The text was one long exposition of backstory in endless paragraphs of completely irrelevant information.
The 100-acre Georges Planation was established in 1801 by the George family to produce tobacco leaves for the local business in Salisbury, North Carolina. The Farm was worked by thirty helpers under the direction of owner Frederick George, who was now in this thirties and had taken over after his dad passed away about a year ago. (His mother had died before then.)
That’s the first paragraph (available in the excerpt) it doesn’t get better from there.
Her serene personality and working ethics exceeded the George family’s expectations. She even considered herself a part of the family, loving Mr. George’s parents deeply and becoming very affected by their deaths, grieving them as if they had been her own parents.
The dialogue was just as dry, sporadic, and incorrectly punctuated. The characters seemed stiff and lifeless.
“Momma, we are free, don’t you get it,” said Missy for the umpteenth time to her stubborn mother. “Yes momma, I want to go to New York City. There are lots of things there. I can work like I do now, sewing.” But Bess refused to consider the notion.
And here’s some more:
“Darn it, Bess. Get those children to be quiet. I can’t stand all of that yelling at the same time,” said Mr. George..
“Don’t you know that I want to see my wife? You all took a long time in there,” he complained in a cranky voice.
“Yes, Master. Right away, Master. Hush, hush,” Bess kept hugging the newborns, one boy and one girl, in each arm. She put them in their cribs.
Yes, that second period at the end of the first bit of dialogue is a typo taken directly from the text, and no, the dialogue didn’t pick up again after that last bit. The story droned on in an endless prattle of information with very little action, and dialogue tags needlessly followed nearly every sentence of dialogue. It consisted almost entirely of facts, wordy backstory, and questionable world-building. I honestly tried to get past it, but when the story continued on like this past the 14% mark on my Kindle, I threw in the towel. There is only so much I can do.
I’d like to consider myself fairly knowledgeable when it comes to writing. I read books – more than 100 a year. I write. I review books and blog about them… so I feel comfortable saying that in my opinion, this book was terrible. What may have been a wonderful, heart-felt story of romance against the odds (something that should have been very intimate and character-driven) was instead, a dry exposition on an unfortunate era.
I would not recommend this book, and I certainly won’t be reading it again. I’m a firm believer that narrative should be fast-paced and effortless to read. A reader shouldn’t have to slog through a book in order to get to the point. It should be an adventure, not a homework assignment.