This was one of those books where the concept was just a little too big to fit into one book. The author has a great skill for writing, which is the only reason my rating is three stars, but the details, thoughts and other points the author attempts to weave in to this story. We follow not one, but three different female characters in this book, among the huge group of supporting characters.
In “A Voice To Be Heard” by Dell Brand, the reader first meets Florence, who has been seduced by the wealthy son of her boss. We learn about the historical aspects of this situation and yet I was amazed at just how naive the girl was for being educated. He was clearly playing her, and she continued to let him, with no promises, no engagement, nothing. I know that without her mistake we wouldn’t have a story, but I just wasn’t convinced she would do that.
This story spans about 40 years, I personally thought it was just too much detail to fit together and expect the reader to sit through. I was pulled out of the story countless times, trying to weigh the historical details, with the thoughts of the characters, and then the story arch. I really think the choice to include thoughts in this novel is a tough one, because it’s a hit or miss technique. In this cause, they were just too simplistic at times, characters stating obviously feelings, and thoughts without helping move the story along, and it really pulled my attention away and made me struggle to relate to the characters.
Overall, I really thought that this novel should be broken into two stories at least, if not three, focusing on the mom, then each of the daughter’s stories. I appreciate that this story was well written, I just think the idea got too broad for the book. The author lists a cast of characters in the beginning and city maps, and I think if the reader needs a list of all the characters, the story might be better off being condensed.
Things I enjoyed about this story included the historical detail, I thought in the later portion of the book the author really pulled some great historical details into the story and really gave me a perspective that I didn’t have before. I thought it was unique and fresh and really enjoyable. The writing is very good. I didn’t notice any technical issues in the book, so I was able to read through without being hindered by those issues. I think this has the potential to be a really interesting book.
I thoroughly think that this book would be enhanced by some trimming, editing and maybe splitting it into a few different stories. I think then I’d be able to really enjoy the story the author is trying to tell, without being hampered down by all the excess details, characters, and plot lines. I felt the beginning was rushed, as Florence’s only point was to have the children for the later part of the story, but I didn’t like meeting her and seeing her be seduced so quickly. It really flew in the face of the character that was being built. I think as a reader, I need to take more time with each character and their story and let it stand on its own.
A Voice To Be Heard
Reviewed by Cianna Reider for Rebecca’s Reads (1/14)