Friday, September 26, 2008

another Blog Stop Book Tour!

today the book on the Blog Stop is Midwife of The Blue Ridge by Christine Blevins. i looked forward to reading this book, for several reasons, mostly because ALL the books on the Blog Stop Book Tour that i have reviewed so far have been thoroughly enjoyable and well-written.

this book.. well... not so much.

the subject matter - midwifery, historical fiction, the native american tribes of the eastern united states - are all subjects dear to my heart. i thought i would love this book.

alas, well...not so much.

the midwife of the title, an orphaned scottish girl named maggie duncan, only delivers two babies in the entire length of the book, and there's little drama about it, nor do the births seem to tie into the story in any meaningful way. it's as if the author said to herself, oh yes, she's a midwife, i better have her deliver a couple of kids. that may sound mean, but i know i've certainly thought that way more than once, so while i understand where the author is coming from, i see now that it's better to show us a character busy birthing babies if you're going to call her a midwife.

and because this book is really a romance dressed up as historical fiction, i lost interest in the plot once i identified the hero.

but the great Thou Shalt Not this author committed, in my very humble opinion, and the reason i could barely force myself to read the book, is that she had the characters speak in DIALECT - heavy dialect at that - the whole freaking way through the story.

and yes, gentle readers, i understand the characters are scottish. yes, i understand they speak with an accent, and i understand the writer wanted to give us a flavor of what she, no doubt, heard in her head as she was writing the story.

however, this writer's editor should have pointed out to her that characters - like real people - only appear to have an accent to people who don't share it. there is no reason to have EVERY line of dialogue reflect that accent, any more than it is necessary to continually hit me over the head with any other kind of information about them. a few "dinna fash yersel, maggie's" or a couple "we better bide a wee's" and i would've happily accepted that these people are from SCOTLAND and would've probably found the dialogue far less intrusive than it was.

so... do i recommend the book? if you like romance, if you like romances set in the early colonies AND if you can tolerate the dialogue - absolutely.

and furthermore, the war must end. blessed be.


Farrah said...

I read this book with Blog Stop Tours as well and though I personally enjoyed the book I did struggle with the Scottish accent throughout the book. I had found it a bit distracting while I was reading the book. It was almost like I had to mentally translate the moedern english term to it to better understand some parts of the book.

A Shade Of Scorpio said...

You're funny Annie! I have done the Irish brogue reading and that'll teach me a phrase or two that I wonder why is not in fashion. The rest of them I can't understand. And my last name is one of those O' deals.

P.A. GIbbons said...

I think I may have to pass on this one. I did read the book Midwives and thought it very good. Did you read that?

I am still trying to get through a New Earth and 8 Minute Meditations. Methinks I need some good fiction.

Thanks for being such a steady and supportive reader of my blog by the way. It always makes me smile when I get your comments. xxp