2 out of 4 stars
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Voyage of Pearl of the Seas is a 134-page fairytale by Ruth Finnegan. The author uses a peculiar method of writing, and couples that with a unique conglomeration of lyrical prose and poetry. The allegorical story is presented in third-person omniscient, allowing the reader a better understanding of the relationship between the book's primary characters.
The reader embarks on a journey alongside Kate and Chris, young adolescents that spend the bulk of their time in each other’s company. While at the beach one lazy afternoon, Chris discovers a log perfect for building a boat, and the friends-along with Kate’s dog, Holly-set out on the aptly named Pearl of the Seas. The ship becomes a vessel for voyages filled with danger as well as magical encounters. Time is brought to a standstill while the children are adventuring, illuminating the enchanting symbolism prevailing the story. Kate and Chris’s friendship is tested more than once as they learn many of life’s important lessons.
The storyline is whimsical and seeped in artistic liberties. Endearing sketch-style black and white illustrations make a charming addition, reiterating the nature of the book; it is intended for a pre-teen audience. I like that the story itself is simple, using very few characters and sequences, focusing instead on the interactions of the characters as well as the lessons they learn along the way. I also like that everything is open to interpretation, although it is fair to say that God is a recurring theme in the story.
This book is guaranteed to delight you or irritate you. While the style is original, it is also confusing and choppy. Sentences are fragmented more often than they are whole, and punctuation seems to be of no consequence to the author. It is very difficult to follow the story, as entire sequences are exceedingly vague, leaving the reader to connect the dots as best they can. The author relies heavily on parentheses as a means of exploring the characters' internal monologues, which are also highly fragmented. There are times when, regardless of quirky writing style, the editing clearly falls through.
I had a difficult time rating this book. If there is beauty in the author’s writing, it is almost entirely lost on me. Objectively, I would like to acknowledge the ways in which the author crafted an organic and potentially classic piece of literature. I can only offer this book 2 out of 4 stars, based on the difficulty I had following the story.
Voyage of Pearl of the Seas
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