Official Review: Gold Rush Girl, Book One of The Californ...

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miztree46
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Official Review: Gold Rush Girl, Book One of The Californ...

Post by miztree46 » 04 Jun 2014, 15:56

[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Gold Rush Girl, Book One of The California Argonauts" by Suzanne Lilly.]
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Gold Rush Girl: Book One of the California Argonauts by Suzanne Lilly is a work of historical fiction that follows 16 year old Lucinda Martin York. Inspired by Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman who was recognized as a graduate of a medical school and as a woman physician in the United States, Lucinda decided to follow in Blackwell’s footstep. The odds are stacked against Lucinda, but she is determined to achieve her goal. After suffering a tragic loss and parting ways with a wagon train, Lucinda found herself in the small mining town of Diggers Flat. The moment she entered the small town she immediately faced difficulties that threatened her dream. First, she could not find a job and second Lucinda was vulnerable because she was alone.

Unfortunately Lucinda’s worst fear came true. During her first night in town, an intimidating stranger approached her. Fortunately another stranger stepped in and chased off the ruffian. Lucinda decided to befriend the stranger who came to her rescue. When she asked the man about himself, he introduced himself as George Arnold, a miner. Lucinda developed a slight fondness for him and it was also apparent that George was a little taken with Lucinda. Concerned for her safety, George encouraged Lucinda to join him while he searched for gold so she would not be alone. Lucinda agreed to join George in his quest, and the two experienced the highs and lows of living in a mining culture as they work to achieve their hopes and dreams.

This historical romance is interesting and informative. It is well written although there were a few noticeable errors in the story. The authors writing style is logical and straightforward, but the simplicity of the writing did not take away from the story. This book was not a page turner but it was not boring either. It was evident that Lily aimed to educate and inspire with her work. A lot of cultural terminology was used to give readers a realistic view of the gold prospecting culture of the mid 1840’s. There are detailed descriptions of the equipment, culture, foods and day to day living conditions of a gold prospecting community. Many of the terms may be new to an average reader, and some bookworms may find that they have to do a little research to learn about the historical facts and figures that were mentioned in the book.

Lilly introduced a number of topics in the Gold Rush Girl. These themes included lessons about business, friendship, the value of being open to learn new things, the importance of being oneself and what it takes to persevere. The subjects were presented mainly through the characters’ experience and how they interacted with each other. Many readers will appreciate the main theme of the story, which is that people should believe in themselves and their abilities so they can achieve their dreams.

Lucinda and George are likable characters. Lucinda’s capable and open personality is continuously displayed and Georges showed that he is smart and a good man even though readers are encouraged to wonder about his past. Lucinda’s and George’s experiences were contrasted as they experienced adversity and coped with the struggle to survive. Their actions and motivations were clearly stated as they thought of a number of ways to accomplish their goals. The author was successful at showing this by actually having Lucinda and George follow through with some of their plans. The actions of the main characters also revealed subtle hints about their future as they worked to achieve their aspirations.

The dialogue in the Gold Rush Girl was realistic, and the conversations between the characters flowed smoothly. The author only used “he said” and “she said” a few times during the story to indicate where one character’s words ended and another character’s dialogue began. The use of this writing style made the story very pleasant to read. Lilly also showed that she has a gift to turn a phrase as she told her story from the third person perspective. One example of this writing talent is evident when she described one miner’s teeth as “brown tobacco-stained eruptions.”

I give Gold Rush Girl a rating of 3 out of 4 stars. The story would have been a little bit more gripping if Lily had included more information about Lucinda’s back-story. It would have also been more intriguing if more detailed descriptions of the characters’ emotions and environment were given when they were in perilous situations. A few parts of the story were actually funny; however certain readers might be disturbed by one incident in the book: Lucinda made another character sick to get him to leave her campsite. Savvy readers will immediately recognize that an attempt to follow Lucinda’s example would be detrimental.

If you are looking for a romance where the woman is swept off of her feet, then Gold Rush Girl is not for you. The interaction between Lucinda and her love interest George is not overly passionate. Their romance is presented in a realistic way. It is apparent that this book was written to encourage young girls to be resilient and resourceful. This book is also for readers who enjoy reading historical fiction and want to do some light reading.

Although the Lucinda and George faced several challenges during this story, an average reader would not have to work too hard to figure out what was going to happen at the end of this tale. Lucinda and George’s story seemed to have just begun by the end of Gold Rush Girl and it is obvious that they will have many adventures ahead of them. More than likely, fans of this genre won’t mind following Lucinda and George as they fight to “survive and thrive” in book two of the Gold Rush Girl series.

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ALRyder
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Post by ALRyder » 14 Jun 2014, 17:30

While I like historical fiction, I'm not the biggest fan of romance. This was a great, thorough review though.
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Timea
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Post by Timea » 16 Jun 2014, 16:41

This seems like a well documented book, and this should be the case for every genre, not just the historical fiction one... I liked your review, it was very detailed and informative :)
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