I got this book off of Netgalley as an eARC.
I have mixed feelings about this book.
It has a strong female protagonist as does Seraphina, however it has the whole rape backstory, which sucks.
So the whole premise is that Tess needs to get away from her mother as she's pretty much abusive and hates Tess for being raped and getting pregnant as the religion of her mom is St. Vitt which is an analog of Christianity.
Tess then gets the opportunity to run away from home and meets up with Pathka, her childhood quigtl friend.
We then find out that quigtl can change their sex so Pathka is now male instead of the female quigtl that Tess knew. This is important as quigtl have the gender neutral pronoun 'ko' which never gets used when talking about Pathka. This really bothered me because there is a correct pronoun and it's not being used.
There's also a homeless man that Tess is horribly cruel to, just so she can have a moment of redemption getting help for him.
After she meets Pathka then the whole book is about her going after ko goal of Anathuthia. After thus it's pretty much set in arcs of what happens. She gets to a place then thing happens, gets to another place and another thing happens. That may or may not be your thing, but to me it felt like it was padding.
Overall it felt as if there was a hatred of women as it was women that seemed to be the ones hurting Tess, even inadvertently, to where she'd run to the arms of a man to seek consoling. This is kind of painful to see for a book that wants strong women. They just don't seem to support each other as much as I'd like to see.
Overall it's not a bad book, but I really wish it wouldn't have done a lot of things it did.
A Historical Fiction, the Story takes place in the Appalachians of North Carolina in the 1940s. This book is beautifully written with a plot that grabbed me from the first word and well developed characters that I fell in love with. When you look at the cover of this book don't let it fool you! The cover does not do the book justice!
*** copy provided by publisher through NetGalley ***
I'm quite a fan of suspense/thriller novels (even without the romance aspect) if they're written well. Unfortunately this one wasn't.
The premise was good and at first it did look promising, but the overly descriptive narrative style ruined it. It was all about what the characters wore, what they ate, what roads they took...On and on and on it went until it got so bothersome it overshadowed the story.
I always say that it's hard to write a very good short story or a memoir that draws you in. Unfortunately I was not engaged at all while reading this. Instead I found myself getting bored and just rushing through chapters. Harpham's memoir doesn't cause me to feel a thing which is weird considering the subject matter (her newborn daughter is born with a fatal disease) but maybe that is due to her obsessing over the relationship with her ex, then boyfriend, and eventual husband.
I think the writing was trying too hard. In the right hands I think this memoir could have been really good. Instead I shook my head over Harpham talking about how she wrote Fiona Apple lyrics down when professing her love to the man she's dating. Maybe that's why I didn't like this book, I felt like I was reading a diary of someone who is in their teens throughout this.
The flow is off as well. We go back and forth between destinations and treatments for her daughter. Eventually we find out what happened to everyone (all is well) and I just ended feeling dissatisfied when I got to the end.