Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Review: The Exile of Sara Stevenson by Darci Hannah

Summary: In 1814, Sara Stevenson, the well-bred but high-spirited daughter of celebrated Scottish lighthouse designer Robert Stevenson, falls in love with a common sailor, Thomas Crichton. On the day of their clandestine elopement, Thomas mysteriously disappears, leaving Sara heartbroken, secretly pregnant, and at the mercy of her overbearing family. Refusing to relinquish her hopes that Thomas will someday return to her, Sara is banished to an eerie lighthouse on lonely and remote Cape Wrath. There she meets William Campbell, the reclusive yet dashing light-keeper who incites her ire—and interest. Soon Sara begins to accept her life on the cape and her growing attraction to William—until a mystifying package from an Oxford antiquarian arrives, giving intriguing clues to Thomas’s whereabouts. Through her correspondence with the antiquarian, Sara slowly uncovers the story of her beloved’s fate. But what she doesn’t immediately grasp is that these letters travel an even greater distance than she could have imagined—as the boundaries between time and space unravel to forge an incredible connection between a woman and a man many years apart. (from goodreads.com)

Review: This was a really great book- I loved the main charecter Sara and how she stood up to her family and friends in a time when women weren't supposed to have a mind of their own. I thought the supernatural aspects of the book were well played too. Without giving too much away, the first line of the book is "Someone once told me that every tower had a ghost, and every ghost had a story", so going in I was prepared for some ghosts. However, Hannah used the idea of ghosts reaching out to those still alive in a supporting way, leaving the very realistic plight of Sara Stevenson to stand on it's own.

There were a few small things that gave me pause and kind of distracted from the main story. One thing being that some of the plot points were easy to figure out long before they are "revealed" in the book. Especially where the lighthouse keeper William Campbell is involved. Again, I won't give anything away, but I figured out early on that he wasn't exactly the horrid person Sara feared he was. The other thing about William was that I couldn't figure out how old he was supposed to be. Sara is 19 during the bulk of the story and William is a good deal older (I think) and while his exact age doesn't much matter, it was something that I found myself thinking about through most of the book.

The supporting cast in this book are great. Kate is perfectly written as a bitter woman who thinks more about duty then friendship. Mary, a neighbor at Cape Wrath provides a nice mother figure for Sara and her son Hughie is a wonderful little rascal.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and am willing to overlook some of the things that weren't perfect in favor for the many things that Hannah got right.

About Darci Hannah: This is the first I've heard of Darci Hannah and I'm glad I happened to win this book! As a History buff and YA lover, this was the best of both worlds for me. It also promted me to find out a bit more about Darci- you can do the same by checking the following spots!

Twitter: @darcihannah


Disclaimer: I recieved this book through Goodreads First Reads Giveaway

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