Friday, January 22

Book Review: The Lieutenant

Title: The Lieutenant

Author: Kate Grenville

Pages: 302

Summary: The Lieutenant is a gripping story about friendship, self-discovery, and the power of language set along the unspoiled shores of 1788 New South Wales. As a boy, Daniel Rooke was an outsider. Ridiculed in school and misunderstood by his parents, Daniel could only hope that he would one day find his place in life. When he joins the marines and travels to Australia as a lieutenant on the First Fleet, Daniel finally sees his chance for a new beginning. As his countrymen struggle to control their cargo of convicts and communicate with nearby Aboriginal tribes, Daniel constructs an observatory to chart the stars and begin the work he prays will make him famous. But the place where they have landed will prove far more revelatory than the night sky. Out on his isolated point, Daniel comes to intimately know the local Aborigines and forges a remarkable connection with one girl that will change the course of his life. The Lieutenant is a remarkable story about the poignancy of a friendship that defies linguistic and cultural barriers, and shows one man that he is capable of exceptional courage

My Rating: 5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: I saw this book multiple times last year on other blogger review sites, so I wrote it down in my TBR list, and finally decided to read it, and unfortunately it was a bit of a let down. The book isn’t a bad book,it just wasn’t what I expected. I didn’t dislike the book, but I didn’t really like the book either.

First of all, I couldn’t connect to the characters, their lives past by before me, but not one character seemed stand out, and I wasn’t interested in any of the characters lives, or growth throughout the book. I just watched them for a short time, and forgot about them not long after. There wasn’t much to the characters in fact I think I could say they were fairly one dimensional.

Secondly, the premise of the story was something that normally would have been interesting to me, having two people from two very different cultures come together and try to learn the others language, communicate with each other and build a friendship sounded like an interesting story but, it didn’t work well. I found the characters to have no chemistry with each other, so their friendship just didn’t come out the way it was intended. Also I just found there wasn’t much happening in the story to keep me engaged. The events just passed by and I didn’t give them a second thought. There could have been a lot of questions raised in the story, communication between two cultures, colonization by Europeans in Native lands and the issues that arise from that, ignorance of Europeans when they come to a new land full of “savages”, but the story just seamed to fall flat of that, or it just wasn’t executed in the way I thought it would be.

Overall the book just wasn’t for me.

On a side note this cover of the edition I have and the covers for the other editions are all very lovely.

Would I recommend it to read: I'm not sure I would. I just couldn't get into the book or the characters. It's not a bad book, but it's not one I'd recommend.

What to read next: I'm not sure what I'd recommend to read next. Possibly look into more historical fiction set in Australia, or set during the time (late 1700's)


Challenges: Read 'n' Review, Pages Read, 10/10 Category Challenge, 100+ Challenge,
A - Z Challenge, Countdown Challenge, Global Challenge, Historical Reading Challenge, NaJuReMoNoMo, New Author Challenge, Support Your Library Challenge, Wish I Read That


5 comments:

  1. I was really disappointed by this book, too. I completely agree- the characters didn't stand out to me at all. I was more disappointed, though, because I LOVED Grenville's novel The Secret River. If you want quality historical fiction in Australia, I would try Grenville's previous book. It's much, much better and one of my favorites.

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  2. Its hard to review books that I neither like or hate. Thanks for the honest review.

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  3. Aatri - I've heard the Secret River was really good, do you have it have you reviewed it?

    Serena - It is isn't it? I'm glad I was able to get my point across though.

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  4. I hate it when I read a book and can't connect to the characters and they feel flat to me. Sorry to hear that's what happened with you and this book. I have read that this book can be a bit unbalanced, so your review just confirms my already negative opinions of it. Won't be reading this one!

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  5. I hate it when I read a book and can't connect to the characters and they feel flat to me. Sorry to hear that's what happened with you and this book. I have read that this book can be a bit unbalanced, so your review just confirms my already negative opinions of it. Won't be reading this one!

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