Dear John, by Norma Betz
Finished 7-18-08, rating 2/5, fiction, pub. 2008
In the interest of full disclosure, I received this free reviewer copy with the understanding that I would review it here. I agreed because the story sounded interesting. Susanna must go and take care of her deceased aunt’s estate and in the process learns a lot about herself through the letters she finds written by her ancestor, Abigail Adams. She is joined on this journey by her best companion, her dog Quincy. I love dogs and genealogy and thought this book would be right up my alley. It was not.
I loved the idea of the story, but the execution wasn’t good. My first problem came early on when I found the first notation to refer to the chapter notes at the end of the book. There were many and they stopped the story and were totally unnecessary. I’ve never seen it in fiction and there is a good reason why. The clunky language was the main problem of the book. The language was stilted and although the characters were fine, their language made them pretty boring.
There were a few bright spots. I loved Quincy and his relationship with Susanna. Also, if you are interested in Abigail Adams you will probably like this better than I did. It is filled with Abigail letters that I found myself skimming, but someone else may find very interesting.
This is her first book and she used an alternative publishing source, Authorhouse. If you are interested in self-publishing your own book and would like me to send you this copy so that you can see the quality, leave and comment and I’ll get it to you.
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