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February 14, 2014

HENRY AND RACHEL by Laurel Saville

Laurel Saville
Henry and Rachel

Paperback, 284 pages
Published October 15th 2013 
Amazon Publishing
ISBN 1611099668 
ISBN13: (9781611099669)


(from Goodreads)

Brought to live with the George family as a child, all anyone knew about enigmatic Rachel was that she worked hard, making herself indispensable to the plantation. And she remained a mystery until the day she disappeared…even to her husband. Especially to her husband.

Henry was Rachel’s opposite—gregarious where she was quiet, fanciful where she was pragmatic. After years of marriage, Rachel left Henry and their oldest son without explanation and set off on a steamer for New York City with their other four children. Was her flight the ultimate act of betrayal or one of extraordinary courage? Eight characters connected by blood and circumstance reconstruct Rachel’s inexplicable vanishing act.

Weaving real family letters into this narrative of her own great-grandparents, Laurel Saville creates a historical novel of incredible depth and beauty.



Laurel Saville
Laurel Saville is the author of the novel "Henry and Rachel," the memoir "Unraveling Anne" and several other books, as well as numerous articles, essays, and short stories, which have appeared in The Bark, The Bennington Review, House Beautiful, the LA Times Magazine,, Room and many other publications. Laurel has an MFA from the Writing Seminars at Bennington College.


“EVERY MORNING, I wake up feeling older
 by so much more than a mere twenty-four hours.
 I open my eyes and everything seems blurry,
 as if I am encased”


Setting:  Jamaica  prior to and after WWI.
This Historic novel is written about from stories The author heard about her maternal great grandparents and letters from other family members. I started having problems with the book keeping my interest.  I was looking for the excitement. I didn't even know if I wanted to finish it or not, but I did. It was a good book being based on reality, it just didn't connect with it.  The book was written with one chapter from Rachel and then one from Henry. Henry was a continual dreamer and Rachel, well Rachel had seen thing well beyond her years. I felt sad for Rachel, an unhappy women who made unwise decisions that were not in her children's best interest. Henry really loves Rachel but Rachel finds Harry a source of convenience and comfort.I thought it might have been better if their lives were somehow combined., instead of alternating chapters. A match made in heaven they aren't.   About half way through the author started writing of additional viewpoints from different characters.  The characters were hard for me to relate to. The book was well written.  From the title I thought perhaps this would be a lovely romance.  Romance it wasn't.  Everyone has different tastes so another reader may find this book a very good read.  It just didn't do it for me.

Question Marks Icon Clip ArtI would give this book 3 QUESTION MARKS.

I was given a complimentary copy of HENRY and RACHEL by Laurel Saville from NightOwlReviews for my honest opinion.  No other compensation was received.

1 comment:

Laurel Saville said...

Thanks for taking the time to read and review my book. I'm sorry you thought it was a romance and your expectations were thwarted -- it's a literary novel, not at all a romance novel! But again, I appreciate your interest.

Laurel Saville