From the bestselling, acclaimed author of Tully and The Bronze Horseman comes the unforgettable love story between a college-bound young woman and a traveling troubadour on his way to war—a moving, compelling novel of love lost and found set against the stunning backdrop of Eastern Europe.
Chloe is just weeks away from heading off to college and starting a new life far from her home in Maine when she embarks on a great European adventure with her boyfriend and two best friends. Their destination is Barcelona, but first they must detour through the historic cities of Eastern Europe to keep an old family promise.
Here, in this fledgling post-Communist world, Chloe meets a charming American vagabond named Johnny, who carries a guitar, an easy smile—and a lifetime of secrets. From Treblinka to Trieste, from Karnikava to Krakow, from Vilnius to Venice, the unlikely band of friends and lovers traverse the old world on a train trip that becomes a treacherous journey into Europe’s and Johnny’s darkest past—a journey that jeopardizes Chloe’s plans for the future and all she ever thought she wanted.
But the lifelong bonds Chloe and her friends share are about to be put to the ultimate test—and whether or not they reach Barcelona, they can only be certain that their lives will never be the same again.
A sweeping, beautiful tale that mesmerizes and enchants, Lone Star will linger long in the memory once the final page is turned.
Kindle Edition, 576 pagesExpected publication: November 24th 2015 by William Morrow Paperbacks
** I received an advanced readers copy from William Morrow Paperbacks via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**
I was so excited to get my hands on this book. The Bronze Horseman is one of my all time favourite books and my favourite love story so I couldn't wait to see what Paullina Simons had come up with in Lone Star. I have to admit that I had very high expectations.
It just about kills me to say, but this book fell short of my expectations. Perhaps they were too high or maybe I was expecting something as epic as The Bronze Horseman, I don't know. I just wasn't able to get as absorbed or lost in this book like I did with her previous work.
The characters were very immature and annoying at times. I think that they may appeal more to younger readers. The appeal is definitely geared towards that audience instead of a broader one. I had issues with most of the characters but I have to say that I really disliked Johnny and hated the attraction between him and Chloe. I felt that it lacked substance and honestly felt like he was the wrong guy for her from the moment they met. Because of that, the sweeping love story between the two of them fell flat for me. She should have been with someone else as far as I was concerned. I really wanted her with someone else.
I have just recently returned from a trip to Europe where I spent three days in Barcelona so I was interested in the setting and adventures that Chloe and her friends were going to take. My next big adventure will be a Baltic Cruise so I was extremely excited to read about their time in that area. If there is one thing that Simons does well it is her descriptions of historically significant places and events. In fact, she pens them so well that I can say that my interest in the Baltic area comes partly from reading her books. They have left me wanting to know more and I have actually thoroughly researched the areas and events that she has written about. Lone Star was no exception. The way she described the area made me feel like I was there. I was captivated by her description of Treblinka.
The book took some time to get going. Johnny didn't even come on the scene until after 30% at which time it did pick up and become more interesting. This was also the time they were starting their adventures so there was more of what I like best in Simons writing. Although I didn't love the story I did adore the setting and descriptions which almost made up for it. Also, I was really happy with how the book ended but I will say no more about that.
This book is not a bad book but it does not compare at all to The Bronze Horseman and I think that readers need to get rid of the expectations. Mine were too high and probably impacted my opinion slightly.
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