4 out of 4 stars
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Ironbark Hill is a great book to read when you want to enlarge your vocabulary, increase your understanding of the use of elocution in everyday language, and generally be enthralled in a romantic yet suspenseful story of a young girl growing into womanhood. The author, was an astute artist in the character development as Natalie came to life in the first person narration.
The author arranged at the midway point of the set of 25 chapters, an artistic contest that played a pivotal part in the main character’s life. As if we, the readers, needed a contest that was rigged to give Natalie some sense of triumph in the midst of her despair. Other persons important to the plot development and central to her daily work were placed there to make everything feel cohesive in the celebration of this moment in Natalie’s life.
But Natalie is an atypical teenager as she recalls the transition from childhood to womanhood and that is what keeps the reader wanting to traverse this path with her. It’s interesting that the descriptions dwell on the colors and tints of a painter’s tray, just as the main character exhibited many shades and hues of varying emotions. Her experiences shone brightness in the startling conflicts, determination, and persistence of a young lady as she seems driven to connive, deceive, and get even with her adversaries.
The written word is definitely alive with Old English such as when she goes to the cabinet to set the table for dinner, she calls the dishes crockery, and her love of her heifer, Libby, leads us into the world of farm life and agricultural terminology. I would define this book as suitable for Young Adults or even high schoolers, as it is filled with literal situations and plots that thicken that are fast moving and produce an ending that answers all questions and eases all concerns.
I wouldn’t describe Natalie as heroic but plainly a human, I do think that in this age of #METOO, she is a likeable character that gets her man in more ways than one.
Though I was a little perturbed by the style of writing, and I had to search for context clues to understand what the author meant at times, Ironbark Hill is worth the searching in Google dictionary for a few moments because the plot development is that enjoyable.
I gave Ironbark Hill by Jennie Linnane a 4 out of 4.
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