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Review Date: 10/20/2011
Enjoyable book with pleasant characters. This book is 4th in the series and it can stand alone as you do not have to have read the previous books to enjoy this one.
Review Date: 10/5/2011
The author might have taken on more than he can chew with this first book. It starts out awesome. Unlike others, I loved the foray into missionary life in Asia during the turn of the century. It gave me a glympse into the mind-set of that age. I also loved the conversion of the masses vs. sustaining culture battle of the story. However, toward the end, the author just seemed to want to be done with the story. The characters get flat and the plot goes into the fantastical to create a platform to end the story quickly.
My advice: definitely get this book, but when the opium man comes knocking... skim to the end.
Review Date: 7/26/2011
Helpful Score: 4
This book reminded me of a combination of a Dorthea Benton Frank and Pat Conroy novel. Good southern mystery that kept me turning the pages. It is not a campy ghost story, but ghosts do play a prominent role in the plot.
Review Date: 6/2/2010
clever, funny, and unconventional. Definitely not for conservative Christians.
Review Date: 4/1/2011
This is one of those tributes to long-time friendships that were forged in an academic setting where all is not as it appears. Think Dead Poets Society and A Secret History.
Other reviewers have spelled out the plot so I won't bore you here. I will say that this is a page turner -- the final few pages of a chapter make you want to read just one more. It was easy to get into the story, so if you don't like it in the first 5 chapters, you probably won't.
Review Date: 5/16/2010
Helpful Score: 1
Started this at the beach and became enthralled. In fact, the last third of the book had me asking the hubby to watch the tot so I could finish. Admittedly, I was worried at first that it would require me to remember a lot from Ulysses, but that didn't pan out. Familiarity with some of the classics does help, but is certainly not required.
There were times in the first 100 pages that I wondered if I wanted to continue. If you feel this way, please be patient. The first third of the book is really setting the stage for the remainder. The plot has plenty of twists and the ending did wrap up somewhat unexpectedly (which is good, I hate it when I figure it all out and then have no real reason to read to the end).
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