Read advance reader review of The Voyage of the Morning Light by Marina Endicott, page 3 of 3

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The Voyage of the Morning Light

A Novel

by Marina Endicott

The Voyage of the Morning Light by Marina Endicott X
The Voyage of the Morning Light by Marina Endicott
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There are currently 18 member reviews
for The Voyage of the Morning Light
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  • Julia E. (Atlanta, GA)
    Interesting Historical Fiction
    Set primarily in the first decade of the 20th Century, this historical novel by award-winning Canadian writer, Marina Endicott, describes the experience of a young Canadian woman who accompanies her sister, and her sister's husband, the ship's captain, on a commercial cargo ship's journey around the world. The family returned with a young Micronesian boy to "give him a better life". Inspired by pre-WW I published letters of a sea-faring Canadian, the author successfully captures aspects of life at sea, and the consequences of transplanting a child to another culture. Book clubs might enjoy discussing its important themes, though some readers may find the novel's pace often feels like The Doldrums rather than a fast run at full sail..
  • Janet P. (Spokane, WA)
    slogging along
    This book was a story of two sisters, a young native boy adopted by the older sister and the husband of that older sister. The bulk of this book takes place during the end of the 18th century during a long (long long) trip from Canada across numerous Seas to deliver good sold and purchased in various countries and back again, eventually to Canada. The last portion of the book deals with the younger sister and her time traveling back to the islands in the area near New Zealand with her "cousin" or "step brother" who went back to visit his homeland. It was more like a Travelogue than a novel. The settings were beautifully described, but my reading definitely went slowly. I found myself even preferring ironing to reading the book. I liked the characters and the descriptions of the islands and life on the boat were interesting but far from gripping. I hung in there assuming something would eventually happen in the plot, but it was so slow to develop that I somewhat lost interest. I give the book two stars instead of one because it wasn't bad enough for me to quit reading, but I just can't speak highly of a book that moved so slowly. Maybe reading it during a time that didn't include Covid Quarantine might have improved my experience because I am enjoying plot heavy but well written books right now, but I must say, I was very anxious to get on to my next book club selection which, fortunately, was fantastic.
  • Linda K. (Sunset, SC)
    Voyage of the Morning Light
    Honestly, I don't know if I will finish reading this book. Historical fiction is my niche reading, but this story was touted as a story of a devoted half-sister caring for a much younger sibling at the expense of her own happiness. The sisters are anything but happy and Thea's husband, the Morning Light's captain isn't either. A lot of characters are introduced in this tale but certainly do not add anything to the plot. Get me off this boat quick!!
  • Dawn Z. (Canton, MI)
    This book needs to be edited!
    This book is interesting in that the characters travel to far-away places on a sailing vessel, and later, on a steamship. However, the story is disjointed and confusing. The first half of the book is about two half-sisters. The book is written in the third person and the viewpoint shifts between the two sisters. Although one sister—Kay—is 11 and the other—Thea—is near 30, their voices are indistinguishable. There are many unnecessary details, including a temper tantrum that the younger sister throws, after which she alludes to other problems with her temper that aren't illustrated in the book. I couldn't see what the temper tantrum had to do with the plot or with Kay's character development, possibly because there was so little character development.

    At the end of part one, we find one character in a tuberculosis hospital (I'm being cagey so as not to spoil the plot). One character notes that, if the sick character is released from the hospital, it will mean that the hospital staff have given up and that character can no longer be treated. I figured that meant the character would die. Two pages later, the nurse tells Thea that they are discharging the sick character. Then we jump to part two, eleven years later, and the former tuberculosis patient is a healthy young adult, and we never find out how he recovered. And there's a new character who was born shortly after part one ended.

    Part two involves another around-the-world boat trip, this time at Kay's instigation. Again, the ports of call are interesting, but the rest of the story is stilted. A red toothbrush that the character bought at Filene's in Boston makes an appearance three times in part two, and I can't figure out why we needed to know about it.

    I'll admit I like character-driven novels, and this novel is very much plot-driven. I think it could be a decent book with a lot more editing, including both reworking the story and cutting parts that don't help the plot move forward.
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