Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Constant Heart by Siri Mitchell: a thoughtful review

A Constant Heart A Constant Heart by Siri L. Mitchell

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
I give this book three out of five stars, but in a split manner. If I were to rate the book solely upon my enjoyment and escape into it's historical aspects, it would be two stars; yet if I were to rate this book on the detail and descriptions of this historical journey at hand it would four stars. Thus, I settle at three. Starting out reading this book, I was quite distraught and not at all drawn in. The cover is gorgeous and the summary sounds interesting, but in the reading I was just not there. I searched the internet for some reviews to find what others might have thought and was shocked to find all but poor reviews, minus one that only praised the author and said nothing about the book.

It is my understanding that this is the first historical from this author and although I hear her chick-lit is to die for her historical is lacking. That is not all together necessarily a full fact. The entire novel is full to the brim of historical details and facts that are painted in an array of images that could show any reader what the years of the mid-sixteenth century would appear to be. The descriptions of the clothes, the places, the people all are fascinating and plenty enough true to fact. I would highly suggest this book as a supplemental reading to be added to someone studying the Elizabethan age and wanting to find a further glance in the era.

Where I do not find my joy is in the personalities and partially the writing. The story is two from two different characters' POV and switches back and forth quite drastically without any warning and sometimes it is difficult to interpret who speaks. Other than that it is the personalities of the characters that are quite drab. I kept thinking to myself of the grey skies of London, and that is quite how I felt about this story. The idea is good and could be a fabulous book if made longer with more depth to the persons involved. But reading this story was quite painful. There was no joy only sadness and I felt it with every turn of the page. I could not interpret or assume how things would turn out and in that way they were quite a mystery. Yet in the context of day by day happens I felt quite like screaming at the insolence and blindness by how these characters lived.

Some have said that this was a very thinly veiled attempt at criticizing and lecturing people of today's society with beauty attempts, and although I can see that opinion in a manner, I would not call this a poor attempt. The story can relate and does bring to light some great value on the harsh truths that are known of women living in such a stage devoted to such a cause that is beyond their owns well-being. Yet it does it in an elegant and educational manner.

With all that said. I would not suggest this book as a light heart-ed Christian Historical Fiction to escape into the lives of those in a courtier of Elizabeth I. It is just not quite in that category. By most standards it is not a Christian Fiction as God is not mentioned in much reverence or detail nor is his role at all hinted to more than any secular novel. However, as a book for historical and educational value, I could easily suggest and see this being read and used for vast discussions and open minds and curiosity to know more about British history. So as confusing as this must sound, it solely depends upon why you wish to read this story as to whether or not you would enjoy it. That is up to you.

View all my reviews.

3 comments and creative thoughts:

Angie said...

I've been thinking about getting this book but after having read your review I don't think I'll rush out and get it. It doesn't sound like it's something I would like. So thanks for the review. :)

Amy said...

I loved it! Ha! I loved Marget and didn't feel sermonized to at all. Oh well, different strokes for different folks, I think Siri is a wonderfully gifted writer.

CherryBlossomMJ said...

Now wait a minute! I did not say "sermonized" but I do know that I have read other reviews that said that. I enjoyed the book, did not love it. I think that it is a wonderful historical addition to make the facts a little more interesting while learning about that time, but I do not find it up there with other historical fictions that I can read to escape into their world. I do not want to be in her world, it is harder than my own. Does that make sense??

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