Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Hangman in the Mirror by Kate Cayley

( much thanks from Netgalley, Annick Press and Kate Cayley for allowing me to have a chance to read this book)

(description courtesy of Amazon)

A strong-willed 16-year-old girl fights for survival in 18th-century North America.

Françoise Laurent has never had an easy life. The only surviving child of a destitute washerwoman and wayward soldier, she must rely only on herself to get by. When her parents die suddenly from the smallpox ravishing New France, Francoise sees it as a chance to escape the life she thought she was trapped in.

Seizing her new found opportunity, Françoise takes a job as an aide to the wife of a wealthy fur trader. The poverty-ridden world she knew transforms into a strange new world full of privilege and fine things -- and of never having to beg for food. But Françoise's relationships with the other servants in Madame Pommereau's house are tenuous, and Madame Pommereau isn't an easy woman to work for. When Françoise is caught stealing a pair of her mistress's beautiful gloves, she faces a future even worse than she could have imagined: thrown in jail, she is sentenced to death by hanging. Once again, Françoise is left to her own devices to survive . . . Is she cunning enough to convince the prisoner in the cell beside her to become the hangman and marry her, which, by law, is the only thing that could save her life?

This book was a hard one for me to describe purely because there were a lot of things I liked about this book in the same token there were a lot of things I didn't like. I shall start with the bad to get it out of the way. For me the book description gave far to much away , it pretty much tells you the whole book , and leaves very little to mystery. I also found the ending fell a bit flat for me , left me wanting more of the story , it left me with a what happens next feeling .

Don't get me wrong despite the bad things I really did enjoy this book, the fact alone that it was based on a true story , brought instance intrigue to it. I love that Cayley included a brief follow up about the true story that her book is based off of. Cayleys retelling was good , can't say fabulous , tho she did have a way of making you feel for Francoise. I was easy to see that Francoise never really had a childhood , she was forced to grow up far to quickly and take on responsibilities that were difficult for someone her age . I seemed tho that in the end it would be those hard life lessons that would make her perfect to take on the responsibility of being a Hangman's wife. Over all I would give this book a 2 star, purely on the ground that if you read the description of the book you practically don't even have to read the book after that.

I recommend this book even if i did not give it the best rating because it is an interesting historical story.

review is posted on Amazon and Netgalley and the fb page Totally Booked Solid

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