Title: The Hawkman
Author: Jane Rosenberg LaForge
Genre: Literary Fiction/Magical Realism/Historical Fiction
Publication Date: June 5, 2018 from Amberjack Publishing
Format: Kindle ARC
*I received this through NetGalley through my wish being granted, but I treat this as a regular review. All opinions are my own*
Goodreads Synopsis: Set against the shattering events of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, at the tale’s heart are an American schoolteacher—dynamic and imaginative—and an Irish musician, homeless and hated—who have survived bloodshed, poverty, and sickness to be thrown together in an English village. Together they quietly hide from the world in a small cottage.
Too soon, reality shatters their serenity, and they must face the parochial community. Unbeknownst to all, a legend is in the making—one that will speak of courage and resilience amidst the forces that brought the couple together even as outside forces threaten to tear them apart.
DNF @ 18%
When I first saw this on NetGalley, I saw that it was set after WWI and that it was magical realism and wished for it. But after reading the amount I did, this was disappointing ultimately. I also don’t have much to say, but here’s my thoughts on this book.
First off, adult literary fiction is not my thing. I have never gravitated towards more “fancy” adult literary fiction. I never understand the writing styles and the pacing of literary fiction. This is one is actually labeled as literary fiction and you can tell by how dry the writing is of emotion and the very slow pace. The prologue was also very confusing at first. It felt like the author was beating around the bush with what gender the dead body was; the author would describe everything else in the scene before saying that the dead body was a female and then go into detail of what the side characters thought of the situation. Also, I think the prologue doesn’t work because it’s hard for me with books to like a book that has a prologue that basically shows you the ending of the book before the actual story begins. This was one of those cases you see the end at the beginning and then get all the filler in between.
But I also agree with many of the other lower rated reviews that this book was not engaging or evocative enough for keeping an interest. The very drab pacing is all about the English culture and social norms of the times and then getting to the characters last which doesn’t work for me. There also scenes that were full of filler prose before answering the subject that was in question which also made me bored. I also thought it was focus more on the Hawkman character but he feels more like a side character with what I read; I never got enough information or development to care about him. I did read the ending and I felt nothing; it felt over long with descriptions for me and also just trying too hard.
Overall: This was just boring and it will be very forgettable for me. I don’t like reading literary fiction and this was one example. It’s dry of emotion, actual flowing writing and building a good story. I didn’t give this a rating, but for NetGalley purposes I give it one star just because of how bored I was. If you know someone who only reads literary fiction, they could try this, but I don’t recommend this if you don’t like dry adult books.
Have you heard of this book? Are you interested in reading it? Do you have any adult books set during WWI that you would recommend?