Where Honesty Never Ends.
Glenfiddich Inn by Alan Geik
Note: A copy of the book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Abbreviated Blurb (for full blurb, visit Amazon):
It’s America in 1915—
The still distant Great War in Europe creates unexpected opportunities for the Morrison and Townsend families in Boston while, at the same time, they watch with dread as the ferocious conflict reaches across the ocean.
William Morrison’s boss, the bank president Joe Finnerty, is also a relentless con man. Whether it’s elaborate stock frauds, war profiteering or just dipping into a widow’s trust account—Finnerty’s ever-cheery amorality both captivates and repels William.
William’s wife, Margaret is also captivated—but for her it is with wireless voice transmissions. It’s called “radio,” and while she is certain it will soon transmit a voice, even music, for as much as several miles, she is dismayed by its use on the battlefields of Europe.
Margaret’s sportswriter brother Byron Townsend covers the Boston Red Sox and its simpleton teenage sensation, Babe Ruth. He believes the World War will be the defining event of his generation and he intends to go to the front lines as a journalist.
Byron’s wife, Helen, shares Margaret’s passion for radio. They form a strong bond in their quest for independence—a bond that will be severely tested by love affairs and patriotism.
But after a German torpedo sinks the ocean liner, the RMS Lusitania, no one’s life will ever be the same again.
Hello everyone! Today, on The Review Board, we discuss Glenfiddich Inn by Alan Geik. With her thoughts, Board Member Harmony Kent.
I have to start by declaring how much I adore this book cover. Had I seen this while browsing books, I would have grabbed it from the shelf for sure. It promises a great read, and I do love a good old historical fiction novel.
The story is set in 1915 in America, and based around the Great War as well as the sinking of the passenger ship, RMS Lusitania. The point of view switches between the many characters, and each receive their own clear section. Radio is about to be born, and while this enthrals Margaret, it leaves her brother and father cold at the thought that they could lose their newspaper business to this new-fangled technology. The tale centres around the Townsend and Morrison families, and also touches on topics of the day such as the stock market shenanigans brewing.
The scene setting and world building have an authentic feel about them, and it is obvious that the author has done his research. The narrative suffers from a slow pace and unnecessary repetition, which slows it still further. Unfortunately, the characters didn’t call out to me and remained somewhat flat and one-dimensional. Having said all that, for a first novel, this ain’t ‘alf bad.
While the book felt too slow for me to enjoy, if you like a more sedate pace, then this may be a read for you. The writer brings the politics and advancements of the time to life, and if you like a good historical novel, then I would say give this one a go.
I give it 7 out of 10 TRB stars, which means it’s all right despite several flaws, and equates to 3 out of 5 on other rating scales, edging to the 3.5 but not enough for a 4.
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