“The book holds so much promise!”
I blinked. “Huh?”
She eyed me with a twinkle I’ve seen all my life. “The title. It fits the title.”
Insert groan here.
Still, jokes aside, I still had no idea how to review a book that didn’t quite meet my hopes and expectations but that I still saw value in.
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3 Awkward Reasons Why I Avoided This Review
Sometimes a book is so good that you tend to overlook flaws in favor of its virtues. Other times, it’s so bad you can’t even see the virtues. But what do you do when you see so much potential and promise… but it doesn’t quite make it? It took a while for me to formulate my thoughts, and I’m not sure I’ve done a good job.
Unwilling Promise. It’s not an unfamiliar story. A woman, near to her death bed, goes on a search for a wife and mother for her husband and children. However, author Emily Yager sets it in Minnesota with Ukranian immigrants and offers quite a bit of insight into Ukranian culture. It had everything I generally enjoy, and yet at the end of the book, I didn’t know how to review it.
The characters have everything I like in characters. Nither Sergy or Klarysa are perfect people. Wounded and grieving for different reasons, both should be sympathetic characters. But something isn’t quite right. I think perhaps in this case, we just needed more time with them.
Much of the plot felt disjointed and choppy. Again, I think it’s because the author didn’t take the time to fully develop it. Some things, like how a villain was handled, left me unsatisfied. Part of this problem is compounded by historical anachronisms that jumped out at me. It is, however, a short book–just 111 pages, so if you’re doing a reading challenge, you might find it a good choice for a “short book” option.
This one tells me that what the book needed most is a good, solid edit–both developmental and grammatical. Those who struggle with typos–both punctuation and word choice/spelling–may find this one difficult to get through.
All in all, Unwilling Promise has a whole lot of potential, but it didn’t quite reach the mark. I hope the author keeps writing and considers a revision of this book, because I really think she has what it takes to craft a good story that would make me keep reading. Recommended for people who enjoy learning about new cultures, Minnesota history, and marriage of convenience stories and who aren’t bothered by weak editing.
About Unwilling Promise:
Klarysa Tutko, a young single mother, moves to Caribou, Minnesota, where her family is now living, to put her life back in order. All she wants is to leave the past in the past; though a family friend has other ideas and persuades her to make a promise that she is unwilling to keep.
Emily Yager writes Inspirational Romance novels set among the lakes, rivers, and north woods of Minnesota. Is the author of the Pursuing Voyageurs series.
When Emily is not writing, she is doodling over her notes, listening to music, searching for a new history book to explore, or dealing with the dramas of a bi-polar prima donna canine and writing puppy sidekick, Xian. She lives on the family farm in northwestern Minnesota.
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