Rated of 5
by Magaret (Brookfield, VT) Jamrach's Menagerie
Told in the first-person, Jaffy Brown's story is of a life filled with wonder, exquisite joy, unbridled excitement, terror, brutal horror, survival, great sadness, love, and acceptance. I found myself totally and unabashedly absorbed in his nineteenth century world.
The teen-aged seafaring Jaffy laments that he will "never be able to describe all this, the way it felt". Not to worry … Carol Birch simply provides the most wonderful imagery you can possibly, well, imagine. Her descriptive narrative is vivid enough to have made my mouth water as an eight year old Jaffy tastes his first raspberry puff, to have made said mouth run dry during his on-sea adventures, and to have tears running down my cheeks when he struggles with the horror of choosing life or death.
I am enthused enough about the writing that I have ordered two earlier titles by Ms. Birch. She's that good.
Rated of 5
by Eileen B. (East Moriches, NY) A Great Suspense Novel
I really enjoyed this historical novel. It was a page turner and there were times that I was at the edge of my seat. There was suspense, terror and the characters felt real to me. The book was beautifully written and I felt that I was right there on the boat with the Jaffy and all of the other bizarre characters. I look forward to reading Ms. Birch's other books.
Rated of 5
by Steve B. (Spring, TX) Thrills & Suspense on Every Page
This book has adventure, excitement, tension and terror on virtually every page. Jamrach's Menagerie is definitely not for the faint of heart. It is extremely well written. I felt like this had the read of an autobiography. The author is that convincing in her portrayal of Jaff's odyssey. I will definitely be watching for other books by Ms. Birch. I think this book would lead to very interesting book club discussions but I would be careful in recommending it to juveniles.
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