The Queen of Palmyra (Blog Tour)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Title: The Queen of Palmyra
Author: Minrose Gwin
Pages: 390
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Release Date: April 27, 2010

I'm struggling with the review for this book. Before I go into the review, I feel like it's only fair to explain that my mind has been in other places the past couple weeks and I've had more difficulty lately focusing on my reading. So it seems when I am reading, I need something riveting or fast paced to keep my attention. Now, I'm genuinely confused whether my lackluster feelings for this book are a reflection of this frustrating, but inevitable, "reading burnout", or if it reflects more the book in itself. The reason I am hesitant to assume it's the book is that there are things about it I did like.

The Queen of Palmyra is narrated by Florence Forrest through her observations as a child growing up in the south during the 1960's. Her father's a grade A jerk (I really didn't like his character, but then I don’t think we were supposed to.) Her mother has more gumption than I expected for a woman in her situation with as horrid a husband as hers, and she was probably my favorite character. The book is about race and is lauded as the next To Kill a Mockingbird. While I can’t comment on the comparison since I haven’t read the latter, I can say that a lot of the issues in the book are similar.

What I didn’t care for about this book was the slow moving pace. I found the writing to be engaging and kept feeling the potential for the story to take off. When I realized it hadn’t, I would become frustrated. I realized I had read half the book and not a whole lot had yet happened. It was just barely starting to set up the story. So, while certain paragraphs or certain pages would start off interesting for me, I would soon find myself bored and wondering where it was going. I also really didn’t care for many of the characters. I think the author was trying to make them genuine, though, which means that they’re not perfect, lovable characters. One of the characters, in particular, was despicable.

I will say, as I mentioned earlier, I thought the writing was good – engaging and fluid. I think that if you’re in the mood for an intense, character driven book, you may still want to read this. I sometimes like character driven, and yet, this one wasn’t for me. But I feel positive enough about this book to say I’m sure many will still enjoy it. Just be aware it’s not a light, fun read. And it is not like The Help, which I also saw it marketed as.

Check out the other stops on the tour:
Tuesday, May 4th: five borough book review
Wednesday, May 5th: The Bluestocking Society
Monday, May 10th: Rundpinne
Tuesday, May 11th: Natty Michelle
Wednesday, May 12th: Pam’s Perspective
Wednesday, May 12th: My Reading Room
Wednesday, May 19th: Staircase Wit
Thursday, May 20th: Lit and Life
Monday, May 24th: Bluestalking
Tuesday, May 25th: Dolce Bellezza
Wednesday, May 26th: Take Me Away
Thursday, May 27th: Life and Times of a “New” New Yorker
Monday, May 31st: Green Jello
Tuesday, June 1st: Crazy for Books


Juju at Tales of said...

Thank you for the review :) I hope everything is ok? *hugs*

Zibilee said...

Sorry this one was a bit slow for you. I have been reading a lot about this book and am not quite sure if it's for me. I do like character driven novels, but the fact that this is a slower moving read keeps me away a little bit. Thanks for the great review, and I hope you get back in the reading groove soon!

Jenny said...

Juju -- oh yeah, nothing bad. Thanks for the concern though! Just lots to do!

Heather -- I hope so too, lol!

Connie said...

Ah, a bad pace can throw off an entire novel, can't it?

I hope your reading mojo doesn't leave you!

Becky (Page Turners) said...

Hi, found you through the blogger hop and I really like your blog. I'm a follower now and I will be back

Josette said...

Hi Jenny,

I came over here via the blog hop! Love your blog's look. :)

Ooh, I enjoyed reading To Kill a I think I might like this book too. Will have to check if it's already in the bookstores here!


Josette said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gerbera Daisy Mom said...

I'm staying away from this book...two bloggers I follow didn't finish it, and it sounds like you barely made it thru!

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