Saffire by Sigmund Brouwer

Historical Books 14

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. Blogging for Books provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.

saffireSaffire by Sigmund Brouwer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

It’s the beginning of the 20th Century in the American Zone of the Panama Canal. James Holt is compelled to help a mixed race girl, Saffire, in her search for her mother, even as Holt is anxious to return to the States and home to his own young daughter. But the more Holt tries to track down the missing woman, the more his life is put in jeopardy in Saffire, a novel by author Sigmund Brouwer.

Before reading this history-rich novel, I probably hadn’t read so much about President Theodore Roosevelt and the Panama Canal since I was in high school. But what I enjoyed most about this novel? Saffire. She’s not been afforded the luxury of innocence in her childhood, but her savvy is matched with compassion for other children in her community, and her scenes of interaction with Holt are smart and engaging, infused with heart.

However, compared to the length of the novel, Saffire only appears in it a relatively short amount of time, and overall, the read was slow-going for me. I could tell that the mystery involving the canal was leading up to something, but I didn’t find the unfolding of it to be very compelling, as the story mostly seemed to be lagging and beating around the bush. Hence, I had trouble making it through the novel and didn’t really get into the story until the last quarter of it. However, that last quarter is rather heartwrenching, and I did have a few tears over it.

I was first introduced to this author when I read Thief of Glory, which I found to be absolutely superb. That, coupled with this story’s final fourth, is enough for me to look forward to reading this author again in the future.

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