Tuesday, October 28, 2014

G443 Book Review of Certainty by Victor Bevine

Name of Book: Certainty

Author: Victor Bevine

ISBN: 9781477825457

Publisher: Lake Union

Type of book: 1918-1919, sailors, sailing life, sodomy, fairies, homosexuality, charges, priest, Newport Rhode Island, religion and reality, friendships, questionable motives, tricks

Year it was published: 2014


As the First World War draws to a close, the population of Newport, Rhode Island, seems to double overnight when twenty-five thousand rowdy seamen descend on the Naval Training Station. Drinking, prostitution, and other depravities follow the sailors, transforming the upscale town into what many residents ---including young lawyer William Bartlett, whose genteel family has lived in Newport for generations --- consider to be a moral cesspool.

When sailors accuse a beloved local clergyman of sexual impropriety, William feels compelled to fight back. He agrees to defend the minister against the shocking allegations, despite facing dire personal and professional consequences. But when the trial grows increasingly sensational, and when outrageous revelations echo all the way from Newport to the federal government, William must confront more than just the truth: he must confront the very nature of good and evil.

Based on real-life events, Certainty recalls a war-torn era when the line between right and wrong became dangerously blurred.


I've had some difficulty in recalling who's who with the characters, or at least their roles in the story. William is a lawyer who's willing to risk whatever he can for truth and justice and also has a young family. Kent is a beloved priest as well as pillar of the community, some of the sailors I recall are Charley McKinney who is together with Dottie and he wants to protect her, if I'm not mistaken, as well as Barker, Charley's friend, and a naive farm boy who learns a fascinating truth about himself.


Truth comes out eventually


The story is written in third person narrative from a lot of characters' points of view, that of William the attorney, then Charles one of the sailors and so forth. The story does tend to be linear, but I think I would have liked a little more back and forth movement through time. From what I know of 1900s, the research is spot on and well done. I'm also a bit uncertain how the story eventually ties up to the beginning?

Author Information:
(From TLC)

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Victor Bevine _(c) Amy Thompson Avishai_300dpiAbout Victor Bevine

For over thirty years, Victor Bevine has worked as an actor, screenwriter, audio book narrator, director, and more. A graduate of Yale University, his acting credits include many prestigious roles onstage as well as roles in the film version of A Separate Peace and countless television shows. He has read over one hundred and eighty titles as an audiobook narrator; in 2010, he received an Audiophone Award for his narration of the Pulitzer Prize–winning book The Beak of the Finch. He has written several screenplays, including Certainty, which was chosen for two prestigious writers’ conferences and which served as the basis for his first novel. His thirty-minute short film Desert Cross, which he wrote and directed, won accolades at the Athens International Film Festival. Currently, he serves as CEO of the World Freerunning Parkour Federation (WFPF), of which he is co-founder. He resides in New York City.

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Its kind of hard for me to pinpoint why I felt neutral about this story. It has the markings of a good novel such as dialogue, an interesting historical event, fleshed out characters, and what might be important in this day and age is homosexuality and how far humanity is trying to move away from the views it has towards it. I liked the second half of the story, but not the first half, and its still a bit difficult in recalling on why the sailors did what they did. Despite the fact its written very well, I would guess that a few things did bother me throughout the story: I liked the background stories but my personal preference would have been sort of a scavenger hunt for them instead of completely devoting entire chapters to them. Also, I don't think I sensed much tension throughout the story. What else I liked is the setting and learning more of history after the Great War.

This is for TLC Book Tour

Victor Bevine’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, October 20th: Time 2 Read
Tuesday, October 21st: Patricia’s Wisdom
Wednesday, October 22nd:  Booksie’s Blog
Thursday, October 23rd: Jorie Loves a Story
Friday, October 24th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Monday, October 27th: Sarah’s Book Shelves
Tuesday, October 28th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Tuesday, October 28th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Wednesday, October 29th: Bell, Book & Candle
Thursday, October 30th:  Joyfully Retired
Monday, November 3rd: Books a la Mode - guest post
Tuesday, November 4th: The Book Binder’s Daughter
Wednesday, November 5th: Readers’ Oasis
Thursday, November 6th: Back Porchervations
Monday, November 10th: ebookclassics
Tuesday, November 11th: Nightly Reading
Wednesday, November 12th: BookNAround
Thursday, November 13th: Books on the Table
Monday, November 17th: Life is Story
Friday, November 21st:: FictionZeal
4 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.)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.


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