Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Kristine's Review: A Life Apart by L.Y. Marlow

When Morris Sullivan joins the navy in 1940, his hopes are high. Though he leaves behind his new wife and their baby daughter, he is thrilled to be pursuing his lifelong dream-only to be shipped off to Pearl Harbor when the war begins. When he narrowly survives the 1941 attack, thanks to the courage of a black sailor he doesn't know, Morris is determined to seek out the man's family and express his gratitude and respect. On leave, he tracks down the man's sister, and finds an immediate, undeniable connection with the nurturing yet fiercely independent Beatrice, who has left the stifling South of her upbringing for the more liberal, integrated north.

Though both try to deny their growing bond, their connection and understanding is everything missing from Morris's hasty marriage to his high school sweetheart Agnes, and from Beatrice's plodding life as she grieves the brother she has lost. At once a family epic, and a historical drama that takes readers from World War II through the Civil Rights Movement to the present day, A Life Apart is about a love that creates complicated and unbreakable ties between two families that live worlds apart. L.Y. Marlow brings readers along for the emotional journey as Morris and Beatrice's relationship is tested by time, family loyalties, racial tensions, death, unending guilt, and the profound effects of war.

Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Expected publication: April 22nd 2014 by Broadway Books 
Genre: Historical fiction
Kristine's Thoughts:
I received an advanced readers copy of this book Crown Publishing- Broadway Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
A Life Apart was an interesting read that spanned many decades and numerous historical events. I thoroughly enjoyed the historical aspect of it but the characters fell a little short for me. What should have been an epic story of unrequited love, guilt, commitment and loyalty felt more like a story of a man getting to have his cake and eat it too.
The characters...
Morris- As hard as I tried, I did not really like him. I understand that times were different but at the same time it seemed that he could just do what he wanted, have two separate families and carry on with very little guilt or impact on his life. There just wasn't enough depth or emotion in his character for me to relate to or understand his actions. He was the cause of so much turmoil for the people that he claimed he loved but the impact on his life was very little.
Agnes- I should have felt sorry for Agnes for the situation she found herself in because of Morris but instead I found her to be somewhat annoying and a whole lot naive. Their marriage started in less than ideal circumstances and became shaky practically before the I do's were over. Morris showed signs of drifting away from her almost immediately. Why in the world did she hang on? I didn't get it. Deep inside she knew there were serious issues and chose to ignore them for the sake of outward appearances.

Emma- A classic case of spoiled, only child syndrome. She was a very selfish, self involved young lady until almost the very end of the book where she finally redeemed herself in my eyes.

Beatrice- This was the only character that I was truly invested in and the one that, in my opinion, suffered the most because of Morris. I liked everything about her and routed for her every step of the way. Also, her circle of friends and family were a real treat to read about. She suffered the most guilt, regret and remorse and I didn't think that was fair.

Over all it was a good story but I didn't like the fact that I disliked most of the characters. Perhaps this was intentional on the authors part to show the not so pretty side of people in the face of adversity. If so, it was very effective.

No comments:

Post a Comment