Judith M. (San Diego, CA)
Savage Lands started slowly with overwrought descriptive passages. However, I was sufficiently interested in the subject to continue reading and was subsequently totally engrossed. Part One builds momentum to a dramatic ending. Even though I didn't quite understand the motivation behind Jean-Claude's betrayal, I never-the-less was satisfied with the conclusion.
Part Two was a much different read. It was difficult to understand the inferences as the story seemed to drift, and I found that I no longer cared about the characters.
As for the historical aspect, I would have liked to have the historical pages at the beginning, so as to be better informed along the way.
Linda Z. (Corydon, IN)
Savage Lands by Clare Clark
As a history major, I really enjoy historical novels and this one was a winner. I learned what a "casket girl" was and a lot about the French settling of Mobile and New Orleans. I have found myself wanting to learn more about this period using the Internet and my local library. Names like Iberville, Bienville and John Law and even Massacre Island have whetted my appetite for more information. Maybe that is one reason why I enjoy historical novels along with a good story which this delivered.
Ocia B. (Nevada, TX)
Filles à la cassette
Being from southeast Louisiana, I anticipated reading a novel wrapped in the rich history of the casket girls. I did not really enjoy the book. It was hard to get into and some of the descriptive paragraphs were a bit much.
Hilary H. (Tucson, AZ)
I was initially intrigued by the subject matter since I knew nothing about the "casket girls" but it took awhile for me to get into the book. There are interesting historical descriptions that create a vivid background for the story but the story itself seemed slow for the first half though it did speed up later on. The reader does feel for the women in the book as they truly had to put up with very difficult times. There were many parallel stories that were alluded to but were just on the periphery. I think the book could have been a much larger one with more intertwined stories, and more characters about whom I cared more deeply. I really wanted to see the map that will be in the published edition as I'm familiar with the area. Not a great read but not awful either.
Maggie P. (Redmond, WA)
I loved the authors use of adjectives to really give you a clear picture of the the surroundings and the characters feelings. I enjoyed the historical facts, but I felt let down. I had a hard time wanting to continue reading the book. By the middle and into the end of the book, I didn't have a strong connection to the characters. It is a good book for the historical information, just wish I'd felt more for the characters.
Deanna W. (Port Jefferson, NY)
Not So Gripping
I enjoy historic fiction and like to learn information about a specific
time period. However, this story was too heavy on historic detail and not enough on character. This book is based on the true story
of the first French settlers in America and the women sent to be their wives. There are three protagonists : Elisabeth, Auguste,and
Jean-Claude. Had I cared enough about any of them I might have finished this book.
John D. (Garland, TX)
I gave this book the 50 page test and gave it up. Too many paragraphs like "She dreamed about it when he was gone, the images in bright fragments like shards of broken glass catching the light. His gold-flecked eyes in a plump infant face. His long fingers in dimpled fists. A lean, sunburned face and a creamy new one, cheek to cheek, like a slippage in time". UGH.