*sobs uncontrollably* Review when I get it together....
I really need to find more books that are adaptations of classics. Because I’m becoming a sucker for these types of books. Jane Austen, who knew I loved you so much?! I was picked up and not only swept away by this story but I was tossed into the air and thrashed back and forth like that cow from the “Twister” movie.
I was flying high on the breath taking dialogue, Elliot’s frustrations and her impossible decisions over her family, and the heartbreaking love story between her and Kai. I’m just so sorry it took me so long to read this book!
Story / Tempo / World Building
To establish her world, Ms. Peterfreund uses old letters between Elliot, the estate owner’s daughter and Kai, one of the children on the estate who works in the barn on the farm equipment with his father. Immediately from page one, I’m suckered into these sweet letters between a 6 year old Elliot and a 7 year old Kai as they describe their young lives and how different their lives are. Back and forth between letters from the past that Elliot has saved and the actual story enfolding, we learn that, for simplicity sake, the dystopian feudal system is slowly crumbling around a now 18 year old Elliot.
To help save the estate, part of it is rented out to famous explorers who are building a new ship. And front and center on this ship building crew is her long lost childhood friend, Kai. And he’s none too happy to see Elliot after she refused to run away with him and leave the estate.
Back and forth, the past unfolds in letters while Elliot tries to understand this new Kai. But that’s not all there is to this story. There’s treachery in the form of politics, a small study of morality or what’s ultimately right and wrong, and finally there’s that ultimate “Spock-ism” – the needs of the many… do they outweigh your own needs and wants? I think that’s the main crux of this story. And you just don’t know how it’s going to end!
It’s what kept me reading day and night, never putting the book down for too long.
I would be very surprised if any reader truly admits that they like Kai. Elliot… she’s my girl! From the first teasing letter to Kai to how she takes care of her friend Ro, she is a smart, beautiful girl. Young Kai, he was a sweetheart. But new and improved Kai? He’s nothing but bent and hurt and taking it out on the wrong people. He doesn’t deserve Elliot’s attention. Grrrrrrr!
It’s pretty amazing when you can get so worked up about a book and it’s characters, as if they are real and you’re living right there with them. That’s a sure sign of a good book for me.
Oh, and yeah, there were supporting characters. Yep, they were absolutely perfect. Perfect, perfect, perfect…
So I absolutely can’t wait to start Across a Star-Swept Sea, book two in the series (it really could be a stand alone book because it’s not a story continuation, it’s just written in the same world). It’s an adaptation of The Scarlet Pimpernel. I just want to read MORE of Ms. Peterfreund’s writing!!!