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Susan J. (Twain Harte, CA)
Too Quirky to be a Favorite
This book is entertaining, full of unlikely characters and situations. In spite of the poignant story of Milo, the son, I found much of the book too quirky to draw me in completely. I enjoyed the dose of history, although fact and fiction became so intertwined that I lost track of what was real. It is not the thought-provoking kind of book that my book group seeks, but it is a fun read.
Sarah H. (Belford, NJ)
The Tower, The Zoo, and The Tortoise
This is a very charming novel! Each of the quirky characters has his or her own storyline and the writer has you routing for them all. This book will make you smile, and quite possibly giggle, while reading it, but also will tug at your heartstrings. I highly recommend it!
Susan Reiners (Dublin, NH)
A dissenting opiniion
It appears that most BookBrowse readers really liked this book. I tried. Really, I did! With the news always so full of the current wars, scandal in high places, natural disasters and murders du jour, I thought it would be fun and relaxing to read a gentle story about three different love affairs in the Tower now, and pick up a few tidbits of history besides.
Michael P. (San Marcos, CA)
A delight in every way
And yet, I thought this was a big yawn. Ms. Stuart was trying to emulate the style of a Victorian novel, I presume, but I found it distracting and tedious that she kept repeating some things over and over. Perhaps she is in love with her words or maybe it's careless editing, but I don't feel it necessary to be reminded every few pages that the counter in the London Underground Lost Property Office is original, the entire official name of the heroine's place of employment, the official rank of every character or the age of the tortoise. I did like that two of the love affairs were left to readers' imagination, but not enough to make me imagine I enjoyed reading this book.
A fantastic story told by a very talented writer with a gift of picking ideal adjectives. To wit: "capacious nostrils" and "mouthful of humiliation" -- and that's in the first 10 pages. I wish I could pay a visit to Ms. Stuart's Tower!
Patricia W. (Richmond, VA)
The Tower, The Zoo and The Tortoise
Being an avowed Anglophile, I was prepared to love this book. Instead it seemed to me to be a book that was trying too hard to be oh so charming. It was fun to read factoids about the history of the Tower of London but there was so much going on in the book that it was hard to focus on their characters, much less develop a compelling interest in their issues.
Linda K. (Belvidere, IL)
"The Tower, The Zoo, and The Tortoise" is one of the most creative and entertaining novels I've read since Alexander McCall Smith's #1 Ladies Detective Agency series. What a delightful way to learn about another place in the world while being fully entertained. Ms. Stuart provides a full description of each character and invites us to join "the party", and what a party it is! Be quick like a rabbit to get this one!
Julie B. (Menomonee Falls, WI)
The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise
I thoroughly enjoyed this charming and very moving story about the residents of the Tower of London. The author keeps us amused with the quirkiness of the characters and weaves fascinating historical facts into a heartwarming love story about overcoming horrible loss. This book touched my heart and my funny bone.
Marie H. (Salem, MA)
The Tower, The Zoo, and The Tortoise
It is a quirky, light hearted novel and a delightful read. I think it would appeal more to readers that like authors such as Alexander McCall Smith. It is not a mystery but revolves around characters of a certain place--the Tower of London. After reading this book, I have an entirely new view of the Tower. I can't wait to revisit it.