The book, Beneath the Pines by Sandra Gowan, immediately pulls you into the story of a young woman, Amanda Jane Horseman, orphaned at an early age and raised by her elderly grandparents. Set in 1916, Ontario, young Amanda Jane grew up overly indulged in a home also occupied by her much older Uncle Frankie. Unfortunately the two never bonded, with Amanda Jane seeking to corner the market on her grandmother's love, often at her uncle's expense. As the story begins, Amanda Jane is leaving the only home she has ever known, the entire estate being left to Uncle Frankie when her grandparents died. Forced to leave her home and somehow provide for herself, she embarks on a journey to Ministers Island in Southern New Brunswick to become a personal secretary to retired General Spencer. Having answered a want ad and only communicating with her new employer by mail, Amanda Jane isn't sure what is waiting for her at the end of her journey. And the book is written in such a way that the reader wants to know, too.
To me, the book was a bit frustrating to read because of the poor editing, with errors in word choice, and general grammar. Marketed as a mystery, I found it difficult to recognize a plot. Then over half way through the book, the story line takes a huge turn and the reader has no choice but to search for a new plot. It isn't until the end of the book, that the plot is actually revealed. I'm used to a killer being revealed at the end of a book, but I have never read a book that waits until the end to tell you why you were reading. For me, Beneath the Pines, was a quick, often difficult, and very disappointing read.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerni
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