Book Review: Keturah {Lisa T. Bergren}

by - 12:41 PM


*breaks into the "Hallelujah" chorus*

I feel so free now that this book is finally over.

I almost DNF-ed it - almost - but I forced myself to keep reading because it was a review book.

Honestly, I'm glad I did . . . but only because it gives me the satisfaction of having conquered this *cough* interesting book.


As you can see, I'm back with yet another book review! Aren't you thrilled? My reviews are always so professional and insightful. (Seriously, what would you do without them? :P)

I have many, many thoughts on this book . . . so shall we begin? 


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In 1772 England, Lady Keturah Banning Tomlinson and her sisters find themselves the heiresses of their father's estates and know they have one option: Go to the West Indies to save what is left of their heritage.

Although it flies against all the conventions for women of the time, they're determined to make their own way in the world. But once they arrive in the Caribbean, proper gender roles are the least of their concerns. On the infamous island of Nevis, the sisters discover the legacy of the legendary sugar barons has vastly declined--and that's just the start of 
what their eyes are opened to in this unfamiliar world. 

Keturah never intends to put herself at the mercy of a man again, but every man on the island seems to be trying to win her hand and, with it, the ownership of her plantation. She could desperately use an ally, but even an unexpected reunion with a childhood friend leaves her questioning his motives. 

Set on keeping her family together and saving her father's once-great plantation, can Keturah ever surrender her stubbornness and guarded heart to God and find the healing and love awaiting her?

(Find on Goodreads & Amazon)

(Find my review on Goodreads & Amazon)


:: LOVELY THINGS ::


The unique setting. I've never read a book set in the Indies! I found the premise to be rather different and unique. Though honestly, it ended up being a super boring storyline soooo . . . yeah, more on that later.

The sister relationships. Although I didn't actively like the characters, I appreciated the strong bond the sisters had. Sibling relationships are THE BEST. *nods*

Um . . . that's pretty much all I can think of. :P

:: NOT-SO-LOVELY THINGS ::


OH MY GOODNESS SO BORING. This is honestly one of the driest, most uninteresting books I've read in a long time. I literally fell asleep during the "intense" scenes. Basically 80% of the book either involves a) talking about crops, b) talking about how horrible men are, or c) talking about the attraction between Keturah and Gray. HAHAHA HOW ABOUT NO?? I have very minimal interest in all the specifics that go into running a plantation. I expected SOME talk about it, obviously, given the synopsis . . . but not so much that I was bored to tears. The whole storyline ended up feeling very flat to me. Not to mention all the melodrama the author felt she needed to add to make it, ahem, interesting.

The characters. I was extremely aggravated with Keturah for most of the story. I wanted to sympathize with her, given her difficult background, but I just . . . couldn't. She was obstinate to the point of ridiculousness and acted so much like a child at times. She also felt really uppity and condescending. I don't know - she just wasn't likable. And Gray?? Ehhhh. His interest in Keturah bordered on obsessive sometimes. He was overall a rather stereotypical "love interest." I could care less about him. The other characters were either despicable or flat. (Although, I did like some of the slaves! They were better than all the main characters.)

The romance. Oh boy . . . here we are at last. This book made me question whether or not I should go back and re-read Lisa T. Bergren's other series, River of Time, which I enjoyed as younger teen. Because the romance . . . it's so physical and dramatic. I actually got a bit of a chuckle out of it, while at turns wanting to throw the book across the room. I didn't LIKE Keturah and Gray separate, so putting them together was even worse. Although it wasn't ONLY based off physical attraction, it just felt like it was emphasizing that aspect a lot. 

Case in point. There were lines like this:

"His legs were spread-eagled to give him better stability, and his jacket yawned wide, giving her a glimpse of even more of his chest and belly - muscles far bigger and more defined than when they last swam together at the swimming hole. A man's now. So much more defined than Edward's had been. His dark hair flopped partially over his eyes in a way that she knew would make most women swoon."

Like . . . like . . . what the heck? I don't know whether to laugh at the melodrama of it all or gag over how disgusting that is. Maybe both. xD

Not to mention the fact that Keturah was SOOOOO wishy-washy, going from "I don't need a man" to "oh my goodness, isn't Gray handsome?" within the space of ten seconds. She pretty much decided she loved him a few pages after telling herself she was done with men forever. Yeah, that sounds reasonable. :P

Basically, everything about this romance was laughable.

It just felt . . . cheap. I don't know how to describe it, but the book overall felt cheap and superficial. It had some REALLY heavy themes which could have made for an impactful, emotionally touching read, but instead it just came across as flat. God was shoehorned into the plot, with just one short, forced scene where she "felt Him" and "found peace." Throughout the book, there are references to God but never any outward change to Keturah. Not to mention, she never seemed to come to the realization that men aren't all evil louts. (Which is a hard realization to come to when the author decided "oh hey, let's make ALL THE GUYS on this island disgusting!" Was that . . . really necessary? I have a hard time believing everyone except Gray was leering at Keturah and her sisters and basically being horrible human beings . . . ) This book felt like a disservice to the very themes it was trying to develop. 

Overall? I'm extremely disappointed, but also relieved to be done. I won't be continuing this series and am reluctant to read any more of Bergren's books. My apologies if my review came across as scathing. There were a few things I liked about the book, and perhaps other people would have better experiences with it. :)

:: CONTENT ::


Keturah obviously had an abusive husband, and that is dwelled on a lot in this book (though not usually in descriptive details). Basically, every man on the island is made out to be licentious (lots of leering at Keturah and her sisters takes place), and one man in particular threatens her and attempts to rape her sister. Some alcohol consumption occurs, longing for kissing, physical attraction between main characters, etc. There are also mentions of slave abuse and one instance where a freed slave is beaten. Overall, I would probably say 16+ for this book, due to mentioned content concerns.

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

1.5 STARS


That was . . . different. *awkward cough* This is the first really negative review I've posted on my blog, and I must say, though I thoroughly disliked the book, it was kind of fun to write this review. Tell me: do you enjoy writing negative reviews? I have a love/hate relationship with them. It's kind of liberating to be able to rant about the book once you're done but it's still not pleasant having to endure the pain of the book. xD

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5 comments

  1. Ugh, I'm sorry that you had to put up with that book, but I'm glad you found some sort of pleasure reviewing it. Ranting is rather therapeutic, isn't it?

    Anyway, I hope your next reads are an improvement to this one!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh man, what a shame! That's so awful trying to stick with a book you're not enjoying at all. Been there! It's the worst. But huzzah on you for finishing! *sends you cookies*

    This does sound like it...wasn't the best. :-/ I've always wanted to read her River of Time series, but I've seen a lot of reviewers say the romances in it are extremely sappy and annoying. So that just seems to be this author's style...? And wow, that snippet you shared. Like you, I don't know if to gag or just laugh hysterically. This is supposedly a CHRISTIAN book? Oookey dokey then. I think I'll be passing on this one. Heh.

    I TOTALLY get you on feeling better after reviewing a bad book. I get this HUGE urge to rant when I've read a poorly done novel. Like Sarah said, I think it's therapeutic. We just gotta TELL SOMEONE about all our thoughts. So I'm glad you were able to let it all loose. Lol.

    And, fyi, I love ALL your book reviews always!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Aw, I was actually looking forward to this one (probably the setting). Now I'm definitely going to skip it. And the content doesn't sound the greatest either. It's sad that Christian writers are venturing into the sensual and such. Such a shame!

    Micaiah @ Notebooks and Novels

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ugh, I'm not a fan of romance (especially written out bits) in books, so to hear this one was like is like that makes me not want to read it!

    A good book set in the Indies/ish is Betsey and the Emperor, so if you want a good one that's similar, check that one out :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. This was a great review! You describe things very well. :)
    To me, fake and cheaply-written characters and story-line is the most annoying thing. It makes me mad when I read a book like that because I wasted my time on it!
    But your review was good tho. :) :) :)
    -Amaris

    ReplyDelete

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