Review | Brilliant Books | April 2017 | The Excellent Lombards by Jane Hamilton


Brilliant Books, touted as “your long distance local bookstore,” is similar to Just the Right Book! You fill out a form, a real-life person picks out a book, and then they send it to you. I paid $185.00 for one year of paperback books, though there are other options. While you’re here, why not check out my previous Brilliant Books reviews?

This one was a little different because they sent me some questions via snail mail (how exciting!) and then had me return said questions via snail mail (with a postage paid envelope) so getting started took a little longer than the others. However, once the bookseller got my card back I got a lovely email that let me know that if anything wasn’t to my liking that I could send it back.

The Excellent Lombards cover.jpgThe Excellent Lombards was the April book they sent me. I know, I know, it’s June now – but in my defense they don’t send books out until basically the very last day of the month so I haven’t been sitting on this as long as it may appear.

This was my first experience with Jane Hamilton, though I’ve heard of other books she’s written: The Book of Ruth and A Map of the World.

Did I like this book? Sure, it was cool. Did I love it. Nah. This is very boring language I’m using to describe this book. And I’m not really saying much, you dig? That’s because this book had very little to say as well.

The writing was engaging and I did care about the characters, I just wish they’d done more things. Supposedly a coming-of-age story, it’s true that the story spanned about a decade or so and followed a girl growing up on an apple farm. I learned some things about apple farms and I learned lots about this interesting family. But the story never really got going in a way that excited me.

You’ll note that I’m on record about a million times that I’m not a particularly plot-driven reader. I can get into some books people call “slow” or “boring” but they’ve got to have some other type of meat happening. Unfortunately, this carnivore was left unsatisfied by what was essentially a vegan book.

Rating: 6/10 – I had to choose between three and four stars on Goodreads. I would 100% have given this three stars if I didn’t immediately notice how many people gave it one or two stars and complained about the lack of anything interesting happening. Apparently I am a softie for non-plot-driven-books so I gave it four stars. I am not a very fair person, apparently!

Recommended for: People who like apple farms, fans of family sagas, an easy, non-emotional read.

Does it pass the Bechdel–Wallace testYes.

Author of color / main character of color / female author / female main character: N / N / Y / Y

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