Thursday, August 27, 2020

106. Our Castle By The Sea

Our Castle By The Sea. Lucy Strange. 2019. 336 pages. [Source: Review copy]

  First sentence: I was very small indeed when Pa first told us the legend of the Wyrm and the Stones.

Premise/plot: Petra "Pet" Smith is coming of age during the first year of the second world war. The war brings many, many changes: her mother (who is of German descent) is taken to an internment camp, her sister is acting super-mysterious and stand-offish, her father seems distressed and out of sorts. (There are reasons for all, but, you know spoilers wouldn't be much fun--at least this early in the review.) The family lives on a British island, and her father is the lighthouse keeper.

My thoughts: I am very torn between two stars and three stars. Two stars because it remained an "almost" for me from cover to cover. It has all the elements that you would guess that I would love like crazy, but for whatever reason it just didn't quite work for me. Three stars because it wasn't so dull that I ever considered abandoning it. It didn't work for me--but not because of the setting or the characters.

So what didn't work for me? There was an underlying spy/traitor story throughout. And the way that story comes about was just a little off for me. One reviewer summed it up well mentioning that the ending where the villain explains in great detail the whole villainous plot as he/she is doing it...just takes something away from it. It gives it a very cartoonish feel that just doesn't mesh with what came before.

© 2020 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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