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Title: A Sparrow Alone

Author: Mim Eichmann

Published: 15th of April 2020 – Living Springs Publishers

Format: Kindle edition – 311 pages

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Hello Hello! How are you all?

I hope you all had a really lovely Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day and have had a nice rest!

Today is my stop on the latest blog tour organised by Dave from The Write Reads and I’m going to be reviewing A Sparrow Alone by Mim Eichmann! If you want to find out all about this historical fiction novel, keep on reading!

As always, thank you so much to Dave for allowing me to take part in this tour, and thank you so much for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own!

GOODREADS SYNOPSIS

1890’s Colorado. Desperate following her mother’s sudden death, thirteen-year-old Hannah Owens apprentices as domestic help with a wealthy doctor’s family in Colorado Springs.

When the doctor declares bankruptcy and abandons his family to finance his mistress Pearl DeVere’s brothel, however, Hannah is thrown into a vortex of gold mining bonanzas and busts, rampant prostitution, and the economic, political and cultural upheavals of the era.

Two of Cripple Creek’s most colorful historic characters, Winfield Scott Stratton, eccentric owner of the richest gold mine in Cripple Creek, and Pearl DeVere, the beautiful madam of The Old Homestead, come to life as this old-fashioned, coming-of-age saga unfolds, the first of two historical fiction novels by debut author Mim Eichmann — a tribute to the women who set the stage for women’s rights.

MY REVIEW

A Sparrow Alone by Mim Eichmann is a historical fiction novel, set in Colorado in the 1890s. I haven’t read very many books set in this time period or area, but I was really drawn to this book when Dave told me about it. I do love historical fiction and will read just about anything if it’s labelled as such!

This book was a bit of a surprise to me because, from the start, I was expecting a little more to happen. As soon as I started it though, I really enjoyed the writing style and although maybe this was not the best book for me, because I was just simply expecting a little more from it, I did enjoy it!

At the start of this book, we meet Hannah Owens, the main character of this story. She comes across as a bit of a strange girl at first, but as the novel goes on, she does become a lot more realistic and palpable. My problem with this book is that I felt that the characters were not real at all, and I struggled to identify with them. Hannah didn’t really have a voice until the second half of the book where I started to enjoy the story more, a lot of the start is basically building up to the next bit. The secondary characters were also a little flat in my opinion, which is a shame because there was a really great cast. I liked Pearl DeVere right from the start, and I could picture her perfectly. I didn’t much like the other characters though, which is kind of the point I think since a lot of them are awful to Hannah.

I feel that when this book ends, Hannah has only just started to become what the blurb implies and I felt a bit sad to leave her. This book has a much slower pace, which is not my usual preference and maybe the reason why I feel like not much happened. This book was definitely unique and had a lovely writing style that made me want to keep reading, and the plot was really fascinating (I love any kind of history) but I think that for my personal taste, the execution was lacking a little bit.

I think that if you are interested in this time period and in this area, you would enjoy this book more than I did. I have no idea about any of the historical elements of this time, so I was struggling a little bit to see everything in my mind while I was reading it, and unfortunately, I was kind of superimposing the words on images I already had of other elements or characters, and maybe that is why I didn’t find the characters or the plot to stand out and fully grip me. Hannah was the kind of character that you wanted to root for, but she didn’t have any fight, she did obviously, but not as much as I would have liked. I also feel like the ending just sort of happened, one minute the plot was going on nicely, and the next it was over, which leaves the reader with the possibility of creating an ending for Hannah, but it left me a bit in the lurch because I really wanted more.

Trigger Warnings: death, murder, rape, abuse, attempted rape, child death, fire.

MY THOUGHTS AND RATING

Overall, this was an interesting historical fiction novel that took me by surprise a little bit. I was expecting to love it, and unfortunately, I think my expectations were a little bit high. The characters and the plot came across as a little bit dull for me, and the part of the book that matched up with the promise from the blurb kind of came to an abrupt halt.

I know this is only my opinion and it’s my personal reading tastes, so please don’t be put off. I will say though, that this is a fairly hard book to read, some of the language made me stumble and I felt it was excessive at times where the author was trying to make the dialogue sound like she thinks they would have sounded like, and sometimes it hindered my reading more than contextualised it. There are a lot of triggers in this book, that I mentioned further up, but if you are sensitive at all or struggle with those themes, please do not read this book because the events are fairly vivid and detailed.

The writing style was really good though and despite a slower pacing and a plot and cast that I struggled with a little bit, I did enjoy this book. I know that in this instance, it’s just my expectations that were a little bit high and I was envisioning something else from this book, but I think that if you like the sound of the blurb, you should pick it up because it could surprise you.

I gave this book 3.5 stars, again, it just was a case of not being what I was hoping for and the interesting bits (for me) only happened right at the end, I would have liked it to continue and maybe cut off the first third instead, but I would definitely recommend to historical fiction and history lovers, because I think you would enjoy it! And I am actually going to try to pick up more books by this author because I did really enjoy her writing style.

Thank you once again to Dave and Mim for letting me take part in this blog tour, I’m very grateful for the opportunity and for being sent a free copy of the book to review!

That’s all for now, I hope you enjoyed this post, see you soon, stay safe,

Ellie xx

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – MIM EICHMANN

Mim Eichmann has found that her creative journey has taken her down many exciting, interwoven pathways.  For well over two decades she was known primarily in the Chicago area as the artistic director and choreographer of Midwest Ballet Theatre and director of its home, Midwest Ballet Academy, bringing full-length professional ballet performances to thousands of dance lovers every year and was the recipient of many arts’ programming grants.  

A desire to become involved again in the folk music world brought about the creation of her acoustic quartet Trillium, now in its 15th year, a folk band well known for its eclectic repertoire performing throughout the Midwest that has also released four cds.  She’s also written the lyrics and music for two award-winning original children’s cds, “Why Do Ducks Have Webby Toes?” and “Wander Down Beyond the Rainbow” and occasionally schedules concerts of her children’s music and movement programs.

 Always captivated by the writings, diaries and journals of late 19th century women, as well as that era’s economic, social and political upheavals, Ms. Eichmann has now put pen to paper and the historical fiction novel she has been passionately researching, its rich synopsis gradually evolving over many years, has finally become a reality.  We hope you’ll enjoy “A Sparrow Alone” and its sequel, “Muskrat Ramble.”

ASPECTS RATING

Atmosphere – 5

Start – 5

Pacing – 6

Ending – 5

Characters – 5

Theme – 4.5

Style – 7

Total = 37.5

3.5-star rating

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If you would like to purchase this book, you can find it here:  Amazon UK  – Amazon FRAmazon USAbeBooksThe Book DepositoryWaterstonesBarnes and NobleKoboBlackwell’sBetterWorldBooks

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