Thursday, January 31, 2013
The Widow of Larkspur Inn
Title: The Widow of Larkspur Inn
Author: Lawana Blackwell
While I appreciate that a truly Victorian-time novel would have quite a few links to the church, and God, I did feel that it was a little too heavily laid-on here. Maybe it's just because of my views on religion (I'm an atheist), but it just didn't sit very well with me. It felt a bit like the book itself was preaching, trying to convert me the entire time. Now, despite my religious views, I have nothing against religion, and/or religious people. I don't even mind people trying to convert me. I enjoy getting to know the dogmas of different religions - perhaps there is still a small part of me that wants to find one creed that I can believe in heart & soul, rather than agree with bits and pieces of different religions. I've been to Mormon services (quite a few, too. Long story, and I digress), Baptist services, Catholic services and even some Church of England and Spiritist ... "service" (I forget the name of what the Spiritist do, but I'm pretty sure it's not a service), and I highly enjoyed them all. I talked to priests, pastors, and all that, and am starting to build my own Bible collection, one from each different religion. So, no, it wasn't the fact that it felt like the book was trying to convert me that bothered me. It was just a little too excessive. I can see why a recent widow would turn to God for help, and like I said before, in the Victorian Era, religion was a BIG part of society, but still.
Not only that, but the ending was rushed. After all those chapters creating a rapport for the various characters (and what characters! Oh, so wonderfully three dimensional, all of them! This is character heaven), the last quarter of the book skipped various months and weeks at a time, and frankly, I felt cheated of time with my friends. I know that, for the sake of healing, more time needed to have gone by before wounds healed to the point where a happy ending was possible, but it still bugged me a bit, the jumping.
HOWEVER, as previously mentioned, the characters! Oh, they are so delicious to read! Not one person in the quite extensive cast of characters in 'The Widow of Larkspur Inn' is the dreaded one-dimensional character. They all have rich, wonderful, intriguing back stories. Even the smallest, most insignificant characters has more behind him/her than what first meets the eye, and that is what gives this book a 3.5. If religion puts you off, you HAVE to read this, even if it's just for the characters. Please do. Everyone deserves to read such wonderfully real characters.