by Sally Gunning
A sequel of sorts to The Widow's War and Bound
For many years, the Winslows and the Clarkes have been feuding, but Jane never paid it much mind. Now, though, the feud has taken a turn for the worse, setting Jane's father on edge. His bad temper only worsens when Jane rejects the suitor her father thought she should marry, so before she can blink Jane is shipped off to Boston to take care of her ailing aunt. On the eve of the American Revolution, this young lady is sent, alone, to the city at the heart of the conflict between the Americans and the British. As she struggles to understand the roots of the turmoil, and her own sympathies, Jane witnesses cruelty and kindness on both sides.
Unbeknownst to me, this book is tied to Sally Gunning's previous novels The Widow's War and Bound. I wonder if I would have been able to enjoy this one more if I had been introduced to her characters in these other stories. As it was, I just couldn't make myself care about Jane. She was so plain and wishy-washy and unexciting that I found myself completely uninterested in her relationships with other people, or what she thought of events around her – and here she was surrounded by some of the most exciting events in American history! Something wasn't right.
The book definitely gets off to a slow start. There's a fair amount of buildup about this feud between the two families, but we don't spend any time with the Winslows and Jane's frustration with her father blinds the reader to his character, so it feels like a lot of fuss and bother that ultimately has nothing to do with the main story.
Even when we're in Boston, I never felt like the reader spends enough time with the lesser characters. Famous men like John Adams are hastily glossed over. Jane is such a non-entity, even in this book written about her, that I found my mind wandering frequently. I finished the book, but felt little satisfaction in doing so.
2 out of 5 stars
To read more about The Rebellion of Jane Clarke, buy it or add it to your wishlist click here.
Peeking into the archives...today in:
2011: Author Event: Philippa Gregory
2010: The Age of Comfort by Joan DeJean
2009: Guardian of the Flame by T. L. Higley
2008: Book Group Expo: Day Two