Wednesday, June 19, 2013

G119 Book Review of The Mail-Order Bride by Daris Howard

Name of Book: The Mail-Order Bride

Author: Daris Howard

ISBN: 9781480200388

Publisher: Publishing Inspiration

Type of book: christian, Canada, mail order bride, friendship, romance, marriage, love, christian messages and themes

Year it was published: 2013

Summary:

It was to be the big day for Eli. His fiancée, Molly, was coming in on a ship. Two years earlier, unable to find work in England, he had headed for America. His ship was caught in a storm, and he ended up, not in Pennsylvania as he planned, but in Newfoundland.
But that was all behind him now. He had written to Molly every day for the two years, and now she was coming so they could be married.
But Eli was in for a surprise. Unknown to him, Molly had married. She had bought him a mail-order bride, and Eli's life was going to suddenly take an unexpected twist.
This is a fun story about differences of culture, love, and life. The play based on this book is winner of many awards and has been produced internationally. This is a story you won’t want to miss.

Characters:

I felt that Eli and Anya weren't well developed, and I have to admit that the fact I had no idea where Anya was from really bothered me a great deal. The secondary characters of Jim, the mayor and his wife and few other women was well done and well-written. I think the book should have been a lot longer and should have been more in-depth instead of being, well, cursory or something one won't think of after they are done reading.

Theme:

Unexpected surprises turn out to be fate

Plot:

Its written in third person narrative and is written from Anya's, Jim's and Eli's point of view. Its odd that the most developed characters were that of secondary characters of Jim and various women and men who lived in and around the town instead of Eli and Anya, at least the secondary characters commanded my interest far more than the main characters. While the story was interesting, I felt it should have been longer or perhaps it should have been done in a believable way for me instead of the way it was. Its really not a bad story, but it struck me as something fluffy and sweet instead of something in-depth.

Author Information:
(from goodreads.com)

Daris Howard, an award winning author and playwright, grew up on an Idaho farm. He was a state champion athlete, competed in college athletics, and lived for a time in New York.
He has worked as a cowboy, a mechanic, in farming, and in the timber industry. He is now a college professor. He has also been a scoutmaster, having up to 18 boys in his scout troop at a time. In his wide range of experience, he has associated with many colorful characters who form a basis for his writing.
Daris has had plays translated into German and French, and his plays have been performed in many countries around the world.
For many years Daris has written a popular column called Life’s Outtakes that consists of weekly short stories, and is published in various newspapers and magazines in the U.S. and Canada.
You can see more about him at http://www.darishoward.com

Opinion:

This is christian/inspirational novel. I was warned of that by the author, and its not what bothered me, I promise. While I found the story sweet and cute, and enjoyed reading about the community in Newfoundland and how they help one another, the main aspect of the book, that of romance between Anya and Eli, wasn't enjoyable, I'm afraid to say. First of all it really bugged me that the author never mentioned what country Anya is from, and also I didn't appreciate that he painted Eastern Europe so negatively, and he didn't seem to explain or give sympathy as to why things were done the way they were. Yesterday I have talked with my mom about this book, and have asked her some questions regarding Anya's life. She reminded of the famine and problems that were going on because of Communism (written in 1920s) as well as power struggles between various people. The gratitude dowry was done in countries like Kazakhstan or Kirghistan by the way, and it was mainly animals. I have a difficult time believing that people in Anya's country wouldn't be familiar with sugar, or at least sugar from beets or whatnot. Also, Eastern Europeans help neighbors and themselves when it comes to food, or else one has to be very creative to cook and make delicious foods. Although the author also tried hard to get me to believe in romance between Anya and Eli, for some odd reason the romance didn't ring true for me.

Quick notes: I would like to thank the author for the opportunity to read and review the book.

3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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