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3 out of 4 stars
Review by sdeerfield82
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It is a simple story that is at equal turns heartbreaking and hopeful. Aine will appeal to audiences of historical fiction, love stories, and those who enjoy reading about family and home. Ms. Murphy somehow manages to paint a colorful story of a bleak time in a gray landscape. For fans of historical fiction especially, Ms. Murphy’s writing will really strike a chord. She expertly places the reader into the scene that she has envisioned and makes them feel at home there.
While I enjoyed the writing for the writing’s sake, the plot did not have me flipping the pages as quickly as I would have hoped. Ms. Murphy turns a beautiful phrase and has created characters that are easy to like (and in some cases, hate) but I often felt that her subplots were undeveloped and even a little rushed. It almost seemed as though situations in the book were resolved as soon as they were introduced and it rarely left me in anticipation of what was going to happen next. From a reader’s perspective, it is that anticipation that makes me want to keep reading long after bedtime has come and gone.
I was also a bit perplexed, throughout most of the book, about why the author chose Aine for the title. It does become quite obvious in the end as she links the finale back to the beginning of the book and unequivocally confirms a suspicion I had about one character’s motives. At the same time, this seemed more of a side story than the overarching theme and I was surprised that she chose to highlight it in such a way.
I give Aine 3 out of 4 stars. There are a few typographical errors but not enough to cause a distraction. The author even addresses, in her acknowledgments, that there are some unintended line breaks due to the conversion of the text. Overall, I found the book to be thoroughly enjoyable even if it didn’t blow me away. In fact, it kind of reminds me of one of the books central characters, Jeremiah – strong and steady but with very few frills. I can imagine giving Aine 4 stars if some of the subplots had been fleshed out a bit more.
Update: After this book was submitted for review, the book was updated. The author stated that most of the reviewer's comments have been addressed in the revised version of Aine.
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