Monday, August 25, 2014

Sing in the Morning, Cry At Night

My Rating: 3.5

This is Barbara Taylor’s debut novel.  This historical novel revolves around a family in the 1900’s mining town of Scranton.  Owen and his wife Grace and their daughter Violet have suffered many tragedies and when yet another one befalls them, you are pulled into the sorrow of each family member.  Taylor combines this against the setting of the town’s anticipation of the evangelist preacher Billy Sunday coming to town.

I was so torn with how I felt about this novel.  I felt the characters were very well developed and it was wonderful writing. I loved the story of each of the family members as well as the character ‘Grief’.  The excellently written story line had me enthralled in the first portion of the book.  As Taylor involved more and more of the towns people, the book felt trite and that the characters were all one dimensional (almost all gossipy, nasty people with no redeeming traits) so she started to lose me.  When she finished the story with such a nice neat pretty bow, I really felt disenchanted. What had started off so promising seemed to really fizzle.

Taylor is a gifted writer and this is a wonderful debut but, I hope her future novels avoid some of the flaws and she doesn’t feel the need for such a pat ending.  All in all, an enjoyable read as long as you don’t expect too much from it.

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