Monday 6 May 2013

Book Review - In Calamity's Wake

This book caught my eye as it is a western, which I enjoy, was written by a Canadian, Natalee Caple from Calgary and is a fiction with a factual historical base. Goodreads had 15 readers give it a 3.79 out of 5. I was quite excited when I downloaded In Calamity's Wake to my Kobo.

Set in the badlands of the North American west in the late 1800s, In Calamity’s Wake tells the story of orphaned Miette’s quest to find her mother, the notorious Calamity Jane. 

Miette is reluctant to meet the woman who abandoned her—whom she knows only as an infamous soldier, drinker and exhibition shooter—but she sets out nonetheless across a landscape peopled with madwomen, thieves, minstrels and ghosts, many of whom add a thread to the story of her famous mother. 

Interspersed with Miette’s story are the stories of Jane as told in legend, history books, dime store novels and by the woman herself. As Miette makes her way to Deadwood, South Dakota, history and myth collide to create a picture of a remarkable woman who shattered the expectations of her time, and a daughter who must confront the truth of her past. 

This definitely is a first for me. I don't think I have ever written a review on a book that I have not finished. Usually I will read two or three chapters and if the book is not grabbing me, move onto another. I know in this book that I made more than half way through before giving up. That's one thing about a Kobo that I enjoy. You know exactly how much you have read. In my case I read 52.1% of the book. More than half way!

I did not enjoy the style of writing and the author does not use quotations which drives me crazy. The story wanders between Miette's journey, flashes back to the her growing up with her father and then to Martha's story, Martha being Calamity Jane. I found that I stopped caring about Miette, enjoyed the odd story about Martha, and didn't like the flashbacks. The last 10 or so pages I read was a chore so I gave up on it.

In Calamity's Wake does get some very good reviews elsewhere. It just is not a book for me.

1 comment:

Natalee Caple said...

Hey, Thanks for reading my book and posting on it. I'm sorry it wasn't your kind of thing but glad to hear from reaser's anyway.
All Best,
Natalee Caple