My mom brought Jane Johnson's the Tenth Gift for me from Winnipeg when her and my dad came to visit last week and overall I really enjoyed it! There were a few things that drove me crazy but I'll get to those shortly.
First a summary: The Tenth Gift is set in both the present day AND in 1625, in England AND Morocco. Julia-a likable character save for her being the mistress of her best friend's husband Michael-is ceremoniously dumped by her lover and is given a need work book from the 1600s as a parting gift. What Michael initially fails to realize is that he has given Julia the wrong copy-one that contains the diary of Catherine Anne Treganna (Cat)-a first hand account of her kidnapping by Barbary pirates. As part of the war on Christendom, Cat is taken to Morocco to become a slave. Once Michael realizes his mistake he tries to contact Julia who has cut off all ties and leaves the country-for Morocco. The novel skips between Julia in the present day and Cat's diary entries as her life enfolds as a slave in 1625.
The Tenth Gift was captivating and it held my attention for every single minute-I could hardly wait for a chance to read it. HOWEVER. There are two things in particular that drove me crazy:
1. There were a few times when the author repeated adjectives within pages of each other. I don't mean words like "great" or "fantastic" but words like "noisome" A word like that pops out at you and is easily noticed by the reader (well this reader at least. And I find that annoying (I'm sure many people also find it annoying that I start my sentences with and...but I digress). SO yes, I found that annoying-I mean honestly, don't you have a thesaurus!?!? Here are a few other options courtesy of dictionary.com: fetid, putrid, rotten, stinking, mephitic.
2. I like when a story comes together but this was a bit too perfect if you ask me. There happened to be an awful lots of connections between the characters from 1625 and the present day, in and across both locations. These connections were a bit too convenient and thus unrealistic for me.
Wow-that was a long rant. But please don't get me wrong-I TRULY enjoyed this book!! Best of all was finding out what the Tenth Gift was!!
So readers, what are you reading?