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Farewell to Kindness*

Complicated, Perhaps Too Long, Story

You know a book is going to be complex when it starts with a long and complicated cast of characters. There is definitely much going on in this book, perhaps too much. The book begins with a somewhat surprising confrontation between the heroine and her guardian. I read a lot of historical romance, and I don’t think that the way the heroine acted at this point would be true to the times (unless she was a very unusual lady). I did like both the hero and the heroine. They had elaborate backstories, of which we only learned the full extent as the story went on; this is good, as I don’t like an information dump at the start of a book or in the chapters where a new viewpoint character starts. The author does write some characters in dialect, which I found a little distracting at times. I felt like this book was a bit too long and had too much going on. It could have been condensed for a better read in several ways; for instance, there were multiple scenes which I would consider to be everyday moments, with no conflict, crisis, or climax; if scenes don’t have those elements, they should at least tell us something about the character, or preferably, move the plot along. While the author was good at showing slice-of-life moments, sometimes I thought the descriptions went on for a little too long, which slows down the action of the story. The characters are engaging, though–and I think I have a grasp of the full cast!–so I am interested to see how the series evolves.