My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Oh dear. I was going to give it the benefit of the doubt and go with three stars, because I did like the story overall and felt the writing was evocative of a place. About three quarters of the way through the book, though, the author begins to relentlessly hammer the reader with misery in a way that made me angry. Through my sobs, with two pages to go, there was a scene where two characters encountered each other that actually caused me to yell “COME ON!” through my tears.
One of the things that bugged me the most is that, after a certain point in the story, so many important things began to happen off the page. We don’t see the first solo Nightingale journey; we don’t see characters fall in love, we’re just told that they did; we don’t see the deaths or survivals of some characters, we just find out later in exposition what happened to them.
Nothing in this book surprised me. I figured out much of the ending very early on, and I was disappointed that nothing that happened remotely deviated from what I had predicted.