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Avatar for CuriousChristina CuriousChristina said:
Overwritten and overwrought, though this for me does not automatically condemn the work. I do think there is a great story submerged in this novel. The prose, the intricate layers of meaning, the bewitching details of life in this time, and my love of the Age of Sail led me to finish the book despite its desperate need of a clear-eyed editor. I was well rewarded as in the last quarter of the book are about 100 pages that are exquisite, full of grace and passion. I do believe, though, that the character of Una would have benefited from a perusal of the Mary Sue Litmus Test. As the story progressed, each time Una met yet another person who immediately recognized her as extraordinary/intelligent/beautiful/desirable, the urge to toss this hefty tome out the window grew. The insertion of the famed persons of that era (who, of course, instantly thought Una remarkable) was gimmicky. I heartily disliked the repeated occurrence of Una in dire straits followed quickly by the appearance (in the next scene or even the next paragraph) of exactly whoever was needed to comfort/rescue her: Mother dies, Susan enters eager to care for Una; Kit forsakes her, Ahab is discovered proclaiming his passion for Una from a church tower. There are only so many times this can happen in a story without it becoming contrived.
posted Feb 10, 2010 at 10:19AM
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main characters Una Spenser
Adventurer; intellectually curious; Ahab was one of her husbands.

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