Copyright of Night Owl Reviews
I´m calling it quits with this book.
There was something off about the murder mystery, which is based on a real crime. So I went and read Jessica Fellowes´ historical notes in the back of the book:
Florence Nightingale Shore was attacked on the Brighton line on Monday 12 January, 1920, and died a few days later in hospital. There was public outrage at her death and money was raised to fund the Florence Nightingale Shore Memorial Hospital (destroyed by bombing in World War Two), of which her long-term friend, Mabel Rogers, became the superintendent. Mabel Rogers was never suspected or charged with the murder of Florence Shore, and all conversations with her outside of the inquest have been completely invented by me.
A murder, which has never been solved. This doesn´t make a very compelling crime story, does it? So I skimread the solution to the murder mystery and, I am not kidding you, Mabel Rogers is the murderer of Florence Nightingale Shore in the book.
It´s not enough that this author is exploiting the brutal death of an innocent woman. But then she has the audacity and blames the murder on a perfectly innocent woman, a person who once has lived and breathed on this very earth. How many readers don´t read the historical notes in the back of the book and don´t look up the real murder case? How many people believe in the end that poor Mabel Rogers has killed Florence Shore?
I´m speechless. And if you wonder what Jessica Fellowes reasoning is behind her story, here it comes:
First and foremost, this is a novel. It´s my hope, however, that in blending fact with fiction, we come closer to understanding the people of the past, as well as remember and commemorate them.
Yeah, whatever .... NEXT!
I´m not very far into the story and I already have an issue with the plot, especially the setup of the novel and the introduction of the main character, Louisa.
The novel starts off with Louisa living with her mother and uncle. Her uncle is a dangerous man, who wants to force Louisa into prostitution, so he can pay off some of his debts. Louisa devices a plan to escape her uncle: she´s applying for a job at the Mitford household (Louise knows about this job opening through a serendipitous meeting at the very beginning of the novel). Of course, Louisa´s uncle finds out about her plan and forces her into a train to sell her off to another man. Louisa can escape and in the process she snatches a letter from her uncle, in which she is granted an interview at the Mitfords house. Oh, and during her escape she meets a man, who is possibly going to be the love of her life. Sadly, Louisa can´t make it in time to the interview, but she goes to the Manor nonetheless. And the people are so nice there, they actually don´t mind her being too late and she gets the job.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that a woman gets badly beaten up and killed in the same train that Louisa is taking with her uncle. At it´s core this novel is supposed to be a murder mystery after all.
Things like that can happen to people. But am I supposed to believe that all of this is happening to one person in a very short amount of time? The setup of this book is rather ridiculous.
I think I have to read another book alongside East of Eden. I´ve gotten the feeling that this might be a hard hitting read. Cathy freaks me out and I don´t even think I have seen the worst of her. And no, it doesn´t mean I don´t like the book. I really do. I just have to read something a bit more lighthearted every now and then.
I have choosen The Mitford Murders as the book that has to do the deed. I have never read a book by any of the Mitford Sisters and I don´t know much about the family either, so I don´t know much about the Mitfords themselves. Which might be a good thing in regards to this book. Let´s see how I will get along with it.