Monday, February 24, 2014

Savage Girl by Jean Zimmerman

I received Savage Girl in a Goodreads Giveaway, and for the most part, it was a great read. I love stories that keep me guessing, although there were few clues that would have enabled me to sort out this mystery until the very end. It was a interesting twist, especially for a historical fiction. The events are fabricated, but the world is lush, full of details, and the prose is wonderful and well executed. While I am not an expert of the 1870's, the story was still easy to follow and the unfamiliar vocabulary wasn't distracting like it can be in some novels.

The one thing keeping me from a ten-star rating was the formatting in the 'present'. While Hugo is telling the story of Savage Girl to his lawyers, it is a page-turning, engaging work. But the actual action in the opening, transitions and ending are difficult to get through. I had a problem with the complete lack of quotation around conversations in these sections. Everything just ran together, it just made those passages difficult to read. The heavy use of asides in the opening is also annoying. I hope some of these problems get fixed in later drafts. Because this was an advanced copy, some leeway could be given to problems like this. 

The plot was interesting, although the ending left me wanting a bit. I like mystery novels that make me go back and look for clues, but I'm not sure there were any to be found in this book. There are a few slow sections in the middle, but there are plot elements that help carry you through those. 

Overall, I think this novel is promising and I appreciate Zimmerman's writing style. I look forward to seeing the final release and future works.

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