Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/
Terry chose to read and review The Widow’s Tale by Paula C Moss
The Widow’s Tale by Paula C Moss
3 out of 5 stars
The Widow’s Tale tells the story of wild, spirited Charlotte Hart, a seventeen year old widow living in the time of the English Civil War. Land she sees as rightfully hers has fallen into the hands of her late husband’s family. Charlotte and her own family become embroiled in the crossfire between Royalists and Parliamentarians, especially officer Nate Wetherall.
The three stars I’ve given this book represent the fact that the author has clearly has much love for and knows her subject; I am not very knowledgeable about this period but most of the historical and domestic detail seems accurate, with details woven in subtly – all good. There is enough description about the landscape, etc, to set the scene, but not too much, and most of it is well done – another big tick. Many of the characters speak in a rural Yorkshire accent and this is convincing, too.
It’s never easy to review negatively, but, alas, I did struggle a bit with this book. Rather than a piece of historical drama about the clash between the two sides and the effects on the family, which is what I was expecting, much of it has the atmosphere of a jaunty, light romance. If this is what the author intends it to be, that’s fine, but the blurb does not reflect this. Aside from it needing a bit of tightening up generally, there are editing problems: repeated use of the adjective ‘snarky’, for instance, which did not make its appearance in the English language until the early 20th century, and the term ‘spooning’, in its modern sense (ie, a physical position involving two people), which originated in the 1850s. The other main downside is the punctuation. There are errors all the way through: numerous missing and ill-placed commas, random semicolons and capital letters inserted here and there, missing question marks. If the author has paid for a proofreading service she should ask for her money back.
I regret not being able to be more encouraging, but I hope that the author will take these comments as constructive, and bear them in mind for future works so that she may use her descriptive and dialogue capabilities and knowledge of her subject to greater effect.