Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)
Things aren’t always as they appear.
It’s a wonderfully executed theme that runs through author Kate Breslin’s historical romance novel, Not by Sight. Young suffragette Grace Mabry feels it’s her patriotic duty to hand a white feather of cowardice to able-bodied men in Britain like Jack Benningham, heir to the Earl of Stonebrooke, who won’t enlist to fight in World War I. Yet, Grace has some hard lessons to learn about precisely what she’s doing.
This was one of those very rare occasions when I finished a novel less than twenty-four hours after starting it.
Grace is an admirable heroine, a good balance of determination, compassion, and imperfection, and the bonds of sisterhood she forms with fellow members of the Women’s Forage Corps are believable. The author does a great job of conveying how the propaganda about war may differ from the harsh realities of war, where even individuals who aren’t on the frontlines are forced to make tough life and death decisions.
The story’s message of hope comes through nice and clear. I would have preferred to see the novel’s suspense thread resolved a bit differently, as the narrator eventually just reveals some of the vital, hidden information to the reader instead of the characters themselves discovering or disclosing that information. Also, the story’s wrap-up started to feel a little too perfect for everyone involved, but due to an important and tragic turn of events and the illustration of how the war must yet continue, the story does steer away from tying everything up in one neat bow.
I’d highly recommend this novel of romance, intrigue, betrayal, and faith to other historical Christian Fiction fans.