Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Practice House by Laura McNeal

genre: historical fiction

When two missionaries knock on Adeline's front door in Scotland, she has no idea that this visit will change the course of her life.  When her sister is converted and moves to America, Adeline eventually decides to join her, while soon after choosing to go even farther west on her own just as the Dust Bowl is threatening to shroud and suffocate midwestern civilization.

Wow this was a depressing book.  I'd loved the author's previous work I'd read, Dark Water, and when the blurb talked about Mormon missionaries I thought I'd give it a try.  I should've given up half way through - I kept hoping that somehow SOMETHING would go right for someone, or SOMEONE would make a choice that would bring them actual happiness but nope, not really. I get that the Dust Bowl period was brutal - and what I DID like about this book was the solid historical setting, the gritty life of a Kansas farmer in the thirties, all of that is very real.   But nothing and no one ever felt redeemed in this story and it's hard to work through such a long book never feeling any kind of relief, a time to enjoy what's happening instead of always being uncomfortable because someone's in a strange unrequited relationship and someone else is ready to commit adultery and someone else is always trying to uncut everyone happiness.  The writing is good enough that I wasn't annoyed by it but after a while, I just finished it because I felt compelled to.

1 comment:

Susan said...

Bummer that it felt so dark and depressing. Those kinds of books need to have at least a *little* hope in them! I have this one on my TBR list, so I'll be interested to see what I think of it.

Thanks for the helpful review!

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