Official Review: The Women in White by Silvie Vargas

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RebeccasReading
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Official Review: The Women in White by Silvie Vargas

Post by RebeccasReading » 31 Jan 2018, 08:34

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Women in White" by Silvie Vargas.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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This is a book I really wanted to love, but just couldn’t. After seeing the description, I was excited to read this book. However, the more I read The Women in White, the less I wanted to finish it.

The Women in White by Silvie Vargas follows the daily lives of four generations of women from one family: Luisa, Josi, Carmen, and Samantha. It begins in the early 1900s in Puerto Rico, and ends in modern day New Jersey. The book details both their struggles and their triumphs. Even though all the women take unique paths in life, they all share certain core qualities. Most importantly, all these women have an intense love for their families. They are completely devoted to their family members and would do anything to help them. The book describes how family kept them going in times of despair, and how family created joy in times of success.

The premise of this book is really interesting and sweet, but unfortunately the execution was very poor. There doesn’t seem to have been any professional editing at all. There are too many typos and grammatical errors to list. In addition, the book is not separated into chapters. Instead, it all runs together and turns into one long jumbled mess. The story jumps back and forth, mentioning people and events that haven’t been introduced yet. It also constantly switches between the future and the present. This make the book incredibly confusing to read.

One of the biggest issues I have with this book is that the description doesn’t accurately reflect its content. Its official blurb says it is about Samantha going on a “quest to discover her roots...one lonely night in New Jersey”. I still have no idea which night that quest took place. The book’s ending suggests it was written from the perspective of Josi, not Samantha. I ended this book with more questions than answers.

This was one of the most exhausting books I’ve ever read. I almost gave up without finishing multiple times. Right from the beginning, it was very difficult to understand the plot because the book never established the location or time period of the events it was describing. I was eventually able to determine, based on context clues, that the location was Puerto Rico. The year (1901) was never stated until at least 50 pages in. It was impossible to be able to appreciate the characters and themes because I was too busy trying to understand the basics of the setting. I think if I read this book a second time, I would probably enjoy it much more because I would have a better understanding its context. The women of the story are all written to be kind, loving, and strong. I liked all their personalities but was too distracted by the scattered plotline to be able to enjoy it.

The one thing I did really like about this book is that it incorporated a lot of historical facts about Puerto Rico, such as how the education system changed once America took over the island. I found that information very interesting. I just wish it had been presented in a more organized manner. Throughout the entire novel, the author’s profound love for Puerto Rico really shone through. The commentary on how both Spanish and American invaders tried to stamp out the culture and economy of Puerto Rico was very eye-opening. As an American with many Puerto Rican friends, I was surprised to learn of the many negative effects American authority had on life in Puerto Rico.

Due to the poor editing, I have to give this book a 2 out of 4 star review. The story has a lot of potential, but the author needs to commit to adding structure and professional editing to the book. Also, a lot of the dialogue is in Spanish and only some of it is followed by the English translation, so I would not recommend this book for anyone who doesn’t have a passable understanding of Spanish.

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Maggie G
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Post by Maggie G » 09 Feb 2018, 20:34

I’m glad you finished the book so you could write the review for the rest of us, but sorry it was so frustrating! It sounds like the concept is good, but the execution was lacking.

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Post by Sahani Nimandra » 10 Feb 2018, 00:19

I am glad you expressed your honest feelings. This gave me a clear picture if I wanted to proceed with reading this book or not. Thanks for the honesty!
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Post by Mercy Bolo » 10 Feb 2018, 02:55

I feel your pain. Looks like there are a lot of issues to iron out. For this reason, I will pass.
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Post by RebeccasReading » 10 Feb 2018, 09:39

Maggie G wrote:
09 Feb 2018, 20:34
I’m glad you finished the book so you could write the review for the rest of us, but sorry it was so frustrating! It sounds like the concept is good, but the execution was lacking.
Yes exactly. Such a heartwarming idea, but definitely needs a professional editor!

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Post by RebeccasReading » 10 Feb 2018, 09:40

Sahani Nimandra wrote:
10 Feb 2018, 00:19
I am glad you expressed your honest feelings. This gave me a clear picture if I wanted to proceed with reading this book or not. Thanks for the honesty!
Thanks for reading the review!

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Post by RebeccasReading » 10 Feb 2018, 09:41

Mercy Bolo wrote:
10 Feb 2018, 02:55
I feel your pain. Looks like there are a lot of issues to iron out. For this reason, I will pass.
Yes, the book has a lot of potential but the author needs to take some time to reorganize and edit it!

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Post by Emiko07 » 12 Feb 2018, 09:27

it must be hard reading trough it all. i appreciate your review.

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Post by RebeccasReading » 12 Feb 2018, 11:31

Emiko07 wrote:
12 Feb 2018, 09:27
it must be hard reading trough it all. i appreciate your review.
Yes, it took a lot more focus to get through it than usual. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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Post by bookowlie » 12 Feb 2018, 12:37

I enjoyed reading your insightful review. Sorry to hear the book was a jumbled mess due to plot issues and technical errors. The premise sounds interesting, but a good idea doesn't ensure that a book will be good. I am glad that you were able to appreciate the historical information, despite the other issues you mentioned.
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Post by kandscreeley » 12 Feb 2018, 13:10

I'm sorry this was such a bear to read. The cover looks wonderful and I like the premise. It's too bad that the story didn't quite deliver. Thanks for the great review.
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Post by AGNES OGBUKA » 12 Feb 2018, 15:11

The book is quite interesting though not much captivating

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Post by RebeccasReading » 13 Feb 2018, 13:51

kandscreeley wrote:
12 Feb 2018, 13:10
I'm sorry this was such a bear to read. The cover looks wonderful and I like the premise. It's too bad that the story didn't quite deliver. Thanks for the great review.
Thanks for reading! Yes this book has a lot of potential but unfortunately it is more of a rough draft than a finished product.

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Post by RebeccasReading » 13 Feb 2018, 13:52

bookowlie wrote:
12 Feb 2018, 12:37
I enjoyed reading your insightful review. Sorry to hear the book was a jumbled mess due to plot issues and technical errors. The premise sounds interesting, but a good idea doesn't ensure that a book will be good. I am glad that you were able to appreciate the historical information, despite the other issues you mentioned.
Yes exactly---a good idea is only the first step! Execution is just as important. Hopefully the author can do some editing to give this great idea the book it deserves.

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Post by Miriam Molina » 14 Feb 2018, 17:25

No habla Espanol. But apparently, this is not my only reason for avoiding this book.

Nice title, nice cover, nice concept. Too bad the writing was not so nice. I was expecting a story about doctors or nurses; I wonder why "these women are in white."

I read a book by Stephen King (Dolores Claiborne) that had no chapters, but it was cleverly done. King loves to experiment with format and plot. But King is king.

Senora Vargas took a lot of risk writing without the benefit of chapter breaks.

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