V - 4 years ago
On the back cover the publisher describes this as "A stunning debut novel of historical fiction set in the forgotten world of New York City's Jewish orphanages". And while this novel does deliver a degree of "historical fiction" on that subject, I felt like there was a hidden agenda being presented that the publisher chose not to mention. Perhaps the author felt that making the Rachel, the main character a lesbian, would garner more sympathy to her plight as an abused orphan. It actually detracted from the events that seemed more crucial to the story. Silly, contrived scenes had me rolling my eyes. By the end of chapter 6, I wasn't sure I wanted to continue reading. However, I was interested in what drew me to the book to begin with, so I forced myself to continue. But by the last chapter, when the writing turned needlessly explicit, I was just done with it and gave up. The author does have talent but, I feel like she allowed a personal agenda get in the way of what could have been a more meaningful novel. I would have liked to have read more about her relationships with her brother and those who helped her along the way. Rachel's dilemma of whether to exact revenge or to forgive could have been fleshed out further. I appreciate that Target does ask for and allow us to give our honest opinion freely and hope that you'll keep that in mind. I realize not everyone will feel the same way about this novel and that's okay. Some will rave and think this a brave piece of fiction, but I do wish I had found a review that had revealed the direction the story goes in before buying this book. I cant help but feel this book belongs in another genre than historical fiction. A better written cover synopsis on the part of the publisher would be appreciated too. As for this being a Target Club pick, well, I think Target needs to realize, not all of your reading customers would happy with this genre for a recommended read, especially considering its explicit ending.