3 out of 4 stars
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The Mathews family, written by Trana Mathews, is a historical fiction that borders on the fight for freedom, the travails of war, and how all these can profoundly affect our lives.
The story is related in the first person by Increase Mathews, popularly called Ink. He is the sixth son and the ninth of ten children of Daniel Mathews Jr. It begins when his father, Daniel Mathews, and elder brother, Elisha Mathews, must join the enlistment for the war to gain independence from British rule. The men's absence introduces wholesome changes to Mathew's family, as they must now adjust their respective roles without having both men around.
Not only this, they are continually plagued with worry for the safety and wellbeing of both men, as they are uncertain about their specific date of return. As the plot progresses, the family receives the tragic news of the death of Aaron, Daniel's younger brother. Barely months after this, they discover Elisha slumped next to the general store, looking a shadow of himself. By the fall of 1783, the revolutionary war had ended. Things seem like they will return to normalcy. Little do they realise that conflict is still brewing.
This book had a few positive aspects. Firstly, despite its extensive length, I found no single error on any of its pages. The author must be applauded for this proof of exceptional editing. Also, because the story is told in the first-person narrator, it turns out to be quite interactive. This point is also accentuated by the fact that Ink, the narrator, begins his narration as a small child before evolving into an adult. He narrates the story in a detailed and straightforward way that will aid the understanding of the plot.
However, there are also a few negative points worth pointing out. I found this book to be unnecessarily long and incapable of holding my attention for long spells. I did not find the storyline to be engaging or captivating. At some point, the book felt merely like a series of correspondence, which proliferated the entire book. Not only this, the book failed to build tension in me. This made me struggle to identify its climax point.
Due to all the points stated above, I rate The Mathews family 3 out of 4 stars. I did not give this book a lower rating because it was edited exceptionally. I recommend this book to all who are interested in reading about the travails of war, the fight for independence, and how all these can deeply affect our lives.
The Mathews Family
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