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Official Review: The Cedar Chest by Sue J Elam

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Official Review: The Cedar Chest by Sue J Elam

Post Number:#1 by Rachaelamb1
» 12 Aug 2016, 01:54

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Cedar Chest" by Sue J Elam.]

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2 out of 4 stars
Review by Rachaelamb1
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The Cedar Chest by Sue J. Elam is a mixture of nonfiction and fiction in this historical murder mystery memoir.

When Donna's father, Truman, dies in a sudden and unlikely manner, her mother's suspicions are instantly aroused. She longs for justice, but the police seem to do little investigating. Truman's death is not only heartbreaking, but shocking because it thrusts them into poverty. Their lives go from being well off to living with relatives and trying to make ends meet. Meanwhile, Donna's mother has a feeling someone is watching them.

As mentioned before, this book is partially based on a true story. Truman is the author’s grandfather and Donna is her mother. The book is told mainly from Donna's perspective and it is easy to imagine how she grew up living under the shadow of her father's sudden and mysterious death. I like the unique concept and think it works well for this story.

This book takes place in the late 1920's. I enjoy the historical aspect of this book the most. I think it is both fascinating and tragic that women had such a difficult time surviving without a husband to take care of them. It is great to see that there were kindhearted people that helped them and infuriating that there were people (even family members) taking advantage of them. The author did a good job conveying the situation they found themselves in and making you feel for the characters.

The book is classified as a C/T/M/H, but it does not quite fit into that category. It is not a suspenseful book at all. Because it reads much like a memoir, I think it would fit in better among historical fiction. The pacing is on the slow side. I think some parts could have been taken out as they were repetitious. For instance, we are told numerous times about how Donna's mother felt about her husband's death and the events that transpired directly after it. That sort of information only needed to be relayed once because it is easy to imagine how awful she felt.

Unfortunately, the book contains numerous grammatical errors. There are many missing commas, which makes some sentences hard to understand. The tenses also switch back and forth which is confusing at times.

Overall, this book has an interesting storyline and it is very clever how the author weaves together fact and fiction. I really have no clue what is real and what is made up because the whole story is so believable. I want to give this book 3 stars, but because of the grammatical errors, I have to go with 2 out of 4 stars.

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The Cedar Chest
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Re: Official Review: The Cedar Chest by Sue J Elam

Post Number:#2 by Amagine
» 23 Apr 2017, 15:27

I was fascinated when you said that the book is a mixture of non fiction and fiction. When I read the part you said there are lot of grammatical issues, I lost interest. It sounded like it had some potential though.

Great Review! 😊
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Re: Official Review: The Cedar Chest by Sue J Elam

Post Number:#3 by kandscreeley
» 23 Apr 2017, 15:46

It sounds like a good premise. It's too bad it wasn't executed well. Thanks for the review though.
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Re: Official Review: The Cedar Chest by Sue J Elam

Post Number:#4 by Chrys Brobbey
» 24 Apr 2017, 14:39

Even in the present days, women losing their husbands do suffer a lot. Such an historical book on the same topic will give more focus to a social malaise that has persisted for so long, and that needs to be resolved. Thanks for a good review.
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Re: Official Review: The Cedar Chest by Sue J Elam

Post Number:#5 by DAVE IRVING
» 24 Apr 2017, 15:26

this book is very nice

-- 24 Apr 2017, 15:27 --

but i think it could be more interseted
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Re: Official Review: The Cedar Chest by Sue J Elam

Post Number:#6 by donna grace caro
» 25 Apr 2017, 23:09

I love this book . . Sooo interesting. . 5 star for the author. . !!!👏👏
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Re: Official Review: The Cedar Chest by Sue J Elam

Post Number:#7 by christinac_2585
» 26 Apr 2017, 16:54

This book sounds intriguing, but as other members have said above grammatical errors and execution made me lose interest. Great review!
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