Official Review: Book of Matthew by Catalina DuBois

Please use this forum to discuss historical fiction books. Common definitions define historical fiction as novels written at least 25-50 years after the book's setting.
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Rosemary Wright
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Official Review: Book of Matthew by Catalina DuBois

Post by Rosemary Wright » 21 Aug 2018, 05:34

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Book of Matthew" by Catalina DuBois.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Book of Matthew, by Catalina DuBois, is about Matthew Colburn, a white boy. Matthew is an heir to his father's vast plantation, and he falls in love with Sarah, a black servant girl working for his parents, as an apprentice nurse. Matthew's parents strongly believe in tradition and class stratification, and they'll never allow their son to marry a servant girl. Being fully cognizant of that, Matthew works out a plan to make Sarah his wife.

Meanwhile, someone working on the plantation is attacking every girl who gets close to Matthew, and their primary target is Sarah. Will Matthew's parents accept his marriage? What's the assailant's motive? Will he or she be apprehended? Exploring the themes of love, true friendship, jealousy, and betrayal, this book gives insight into slavery in the United States in the nineteenth century. It shows how young people in love with each other suffered due to racialized slavery.

This fast-paced narrative is intriguing and exciting. I was hooked from the first paragraph. Consisting of 210 pages, it's a quick read, and its plot is simple and suspenseful. Written in the third-person point of view, the tale is comprehensible and entertaining. The dialogues are engaging. Being the first part of a serial story, it can stand alone, and since it's a mix of historical, crime, and romance fiction, it contains some sex scenes. However, the sex scenes are not explicit. They are okay for a romance tale.

In addition, this well-written novel is filled with fun and fascinating twists. When I thought the assailant had been apprehended already, another suspect would show up. As the story progresses, a lot of shocking secrets are unveiled. I think this is a good read for everyone except persons who don't like books about slavery.

The author described all the characters very well. She provided enough background, personality, and physical details about them. They are intriguing and realistic, and I enjoyed reading about them. Most of the characters are teenagers. Hence, they are full of life and energy. The only flaw I noticed in the character development is that some of the teenagers acted older than their ages, even Matthew, the protagonist.

In conclusion, the narrative is appealing and gripping. It's a worthwhile read. It was professionally edited; I didn't find any grammatical and typographical errors. Thus, with delight, I rate it 4 out of 4 stars and recommend it to persons who enjoy reading historical mystery and romance novels.

******
Book of Matthew
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Ruba Abu Ali
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Post by Ruba Abu Ali » 21 Aug 2018, 12:21

I already added the book to my reading list. Every now and then you utter that astonished AHA, the moment you're faced with an exceptional read. This book sounds truly gripping, and your review is no less! Thanks for the engaging and detailed insight. :tiphat:

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Rosemary Wright
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Post by Rosemary Wright » 21 Aug 2018, 12:34

Ruba Abu Ali wrote:
21 Aug 2018, 12:21
I already added the book to my reading list. Every now and then you utter that astonished AHA, the moment you're faced with an exceptional read. This book sounds truly gripping, and your review is no less! Thanks for the engaging and detailed insight. :tiphat:
Thanks Ruba Abu Ali. It's a great read. No doubts, you'll enjoy it.

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Post by joshfee77 » 21 Aug 2018, 18:03

Sounds like a powerful romantic story with some crime and history thrown in. It would have been incredibly difficult for those of mixed races to form relationships in the US during the era of slavery. Thanks for your review.

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Post by TGreg02 » 22 Aug 2018, 00:55

Thanks for the review, I love reading historical fiction and this book sounds great. I will add it to my bookshelf to remind me about it.

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Post by Kibetious » 22 Aug 2018, 05:45

The review is awesome. I like this book. The story sounds interesting. I am curious to know the fate of the protagonist, Matthew, and Sarah. The theme of slavery in the 19th century would for sure make an interesting read.
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Post by kandscreeley » 22 Aug 2018, 07:49

Sounds like a pretty classic story. Most in that era would not be able to tolerate a marriage to a servant of any color - much less a black servant. It sounds like the tale is well written and edited. Since it's so gripping, it's one I will have to look into. Thanks so much.
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Post by AmySmiles » 23 Aug 2018, 09:55

Sounds interesting, but the story line sounds a little typical to me. I appreciate your review.
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Post by Sicily Joy » 26 Aug 2018, 08:58

Stories about slavery can be overwhelmingly depressing. I think I would appreciate having a romance to keep the mood from becoming too morose. With that said, I am curious if the romance elements downplayed the seriousness of slavery. I also want to know if Matthew is interested in the freedom and safety of the other slaves besides Sarah. So, I guess I have enough curiosity about this book that I should read it. Thanks for a great and detailed review.

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