Saturday, June 15, 2013

A White Room

By: Stephanie Carroll
Unhinged Books

Emeline Dorr has a problem. A loveless marriage, inability to be accepted in society, and now her home is starting to turn against her. After her father passed away, and her mother squandered whatever money was left on his funeral, Emeline had no choice but to marry into money in order to keep her family from ruin. But actions always bring consequences. A marriage based on circumstance brings unseen challenges that threaten the very fabric of her sanity. Is it possible that a well bred woman at the turn of the 20th century can find her place in society, a lasting love, and a purpose in life - all at the same time?

This is a very different book from ones that I have reviewed before.  A White Room is a historical fiction novel set in 1901 and, though far outside my particular tastes, Carroll pulled it off quite well. There were plenty of times that I found myself connecting with the main character and feeling with her.  If all Historical Fiction novels were like this one, I would read more Historical Fiction.

The writing is far from amateur and, being that this is Carroll's first foray into writing a full fledged novel, that is incredibly refreshing. I have, unfortunately, been witness to established, published writers penning novels that a sixth-grader could improve upon. This offering is vastly different. Carroll's writing style draws the reader into the story. Though a first-person narrative (I don't care for first-person), I found the plot to be well thought out and executed.

As for the story itself, it follows a young woman who has to marry for duty, not love. She finds herself trapped in a marriage of inconvenience, both for herself and (seemingly) those around her. Everything she touches to fall to pieces and she can't quite to figure out how to stop the spiral that is swallowing her whole.

I mentioned earlier that I don't care for historical fiction, but I found the story engaging and there were a few times I simply couldn't put my e-reader down.

I, for one, certainly hope that the challenges Carroll faces in getting recognition are overcome.  A White Room is, by far, a quality read for anyone.  Get. This. Book!

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