Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Long Summer Day Book Review

A few weeks ago I received an email from NetGalley about a book called Long Summer Day by RF Delderfield and it is the first in a trilogy called Horseman Riding By. It was a re-release of a best-seller and they asked if I would be interested in reading it because I enjoyed Downton Abbey

Summary Without Spoilers:

The synopsis which was emailed to me said this:

"After serving his country in the Boer War, injured Lieutenant Paul Craddock returns to England to resume civilian life. But things have changed since he joined the Imperial Yeomanry three years ago. His father has died, leaving Paul as heir to a scrap metal business he has no intention of continuing. Instead, he purchases an auctioned-off thirteen-hundred-acre estate in a secluded corner of Devon. Neglected and overgrown, Shallowford becomes the symbol of all that Paul has lost-and a reminder of the gentle place his homeland once was. And here, on this sprawling stretch of land, he will be changed by his love for two women: fiercely independent Grace Lovell, and lovely, demure Claire Derwent."

My Thoughts:

The Characters- There weren't many characters I grew very attached to in this book, unfortunately. At the start of the novel, they seemed interesting and I was excited to follow their lives. Paul was young and enthusiastic, Grace was different and interesting, Claire was naive but sweet, etc. Then as the story went on, I found myself disliking them more and more. I think a large part of this was how the story dealt with feminism and the suffrage movement. The way women were portrayed in this book bothered me. I can't be sure if it was accurate for the time period or not, but I know for a modern audience some of the situations and portrayals were hard to deal with. Simply because a woman is passionate about the right to vote, it doesn't mean they hate all men. This was only one example. Or how they were always described by their sexuality. It was very old fashioned, and the men were allowed to do whatever they wanted but the women weren't. I understand this is how it was in this time period, but you can still create good female characters while staying in the confines of the culture of the time. However, Claire grew on me as the story went on and I also enjoyed Ikey's character who became Paul's ward.

The Premise- I liked the premise a lot. I love historical fiction and learning about how people might have lived in the past. This book is definitely about the day to day lives of Victorian British country life. I love that! I will say though, it doesn't make for quick reading. It's a very large book and it took me longer than I had anticipated. There is definitely drama. (Scandal! Shipwreck! Babies! Deaths! Womens Vote!) However, if you are looking for a fast-paced novel, this isn't the book for you.

Overall- I enjoyed this book. I liked looking into the lives of the people in the Valley and learning more about British history. However, I had a hard time getting over the way women were portrayed and it read slower than other books I tend to enjoy. There are two other books following this one and I am a little curious because they seem to go more into WWI and WWII (which I love!) and might go more into Ikey's story who was a character I enjoyed.

I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.

Long Summer Day
Author: R.F. Delderfield
Publisher: Open Road Integrated Media

The book is available now!

1 comment:

  1. i haven't heard of this book but i've recently started reading again (yay!) and can't stop. i put a crap load of books on hold at the library and just returned 3.


Share with me your thoughts! They make me smile.