So it’s January and I’m already 6 reviews behind… but rather than drowning in despair, I’m deleting from my memory the 20+ books from 2021 I never reviewed and focusing on the 6 I’ve read so far this year.
I have to start somewhere, right?
So I’m starting with one of the books I got from the lovely LanierHgts in the Cannonball Book Exchange: Mrs. England by Stacey Halls. Thank you again!! 🙂
I have to say this was never a book I would have picked for myself. Despite the absolutely gorgeous cover, I don’t naturally gravitate towards historical fiction. Alas, I was glad I read it. While still not a favourite, this book was very immersive and got a 3.5 star rating, which is pretty good. 🙂
So let me tell you a little bit about this book. Set in 1904, Nurse Ruby May is a graduate of a fancy institute and very happy in her position caring for a little girl in a fancy London neighbourhood. Unfortunately, the family is moving to America and Ruby is not interested, so she gets a new placement with the England family in North Yorkshire. Mr. and Mrs. England have 4 children, and live very far away by Mr. England’s factory.
With a very involved father and a somewhat strange, distant mother, as soon as Nurse May arrives she can tell that not everything in that house is quite what it seems. So we have a bit of 2 parallel mysteries going on in the book. First of all, what happened in Ruby’s past, and why can’t she leave the country? And maybe more pressing, what is going on with Mrs. England?
This was overall enjoyable, though very slow-paced. The writing is nice, but I wished for more character development, considering the book did not offer much in terms of plot. While Nurse May was somewhat fleshed out, and I came to understand her motivations, the secondary characters were pretty cardboard-like and the broad strokes of the “plot twist” were pretty obvious from the start.
My main complaint comes probably from the fact that the main character seemed to be ascribing romantic motivations to every interaction she had with members of the opposite sex, which did not ring true to me, but I don’t know if other people would notice it. It just took me out of the book because it didn’t seem to quite fit.
Okay! So now that the plaster is ripped off, let’s see if I can push out some more reviews this month 🙂