Monday, June 11, 2012

REVIEW: WORDS SPOKEN TRUE ~ ANN H. GABHART

Adriane Darcy’s mother died during Adriane’s birth.  Adriane grew up without a mother, acquired a stepmother who hated her, and mostly grew up in the office of The Tribune, her father’s newspaper.  Adriane loves the rush to print the best headlines first, and at times even takes to disguising herself as a man to get the stories first hand – very unladylike.  Adriane has never had much interest in being a proper lady, or any activities a proper lady must take part in.  She can’t sew, she hates gossip and she has no desire to ever get married.  However, it seems that Adriane has no choice.  When respectable, wealthy Stanley Jimson asks for Adriane’s hand in marriage (and by that I mean asks Adriane’s father, not even Adriane herself), she implores her father to deny the match.  She hardly even likes Stanley, much less loves him – but her father soon makes it clear that marriage is not about love; it’s about security, comfort and making a suitable match.  The truth is, however, that Stanley’s father (who also happens to be running for Senator) has invested a great deal of money in their precious newspaper.  When her father can’t pay his debts, Adriane becomes the settlement.  Forced to marry the dullest man in all the world, Adriane tries everything in her power to delay the engagement announcement and then the marriage, but it seems there is no way she can avoid this reality closing in on her.

Until she meets Blake Garrett, the editor of The Tribune’s greatest competition, The Herald.  Attracted to her father’s sworn enemy despite herself, Adriane takes to avoiding Blake at all costs -  which is hard as they seem to be covering the same events.  Coincidence or design?  When Blake confesses his love for Adriane and vows to find a way to marry her himself, can Adriane trust the man who holds her heart, or is it simply a ploy to destroy her father’s newspaper?  As if being surrounded by doubts and fears isn’t enough, the whole of Louisville is surrounded by danger when a serial killer known as The River Slasher torments the town.  Girls are ending up brutally murdered – with noses for  a story and hearts for truth, Adriane and Blake place themselves in danger when they join forces to trap the killer.  The only problem is, the trap they set might end up working too well, catching the two of them in its snares.


Words Spoken True by Ann H. Gabhart is a lovely story set in 1850 Louisville.   The competing of two newspapers is very realistically done, and the detail to the workings of a 1850 newspaper is quite intriguing.  The story did start of very slow for me, and Blake and Adriane didn’t have nearly enough interaction to start with.  The story does, however, pick up speed from the halfway mark and quickly progresses from there.

I very much enjoyed Adriane and Blake’s journey.  Adriane’s plight is very realistically depicted.  Girls living in those times had little, if any choice who they married.  Love was not a factor.  Adriane’s panic often became my own – the sign of a  gifted writer. 

The only complaints I have is that the author’s note preceded the novel – in this case I was alerted to the fact that the Louisville riots really happened.  Before even starting to read the book, I thus knew that a riot would break out at some point.  As a reader I prefer to be surprised.  I love nothing more than an unexpected conclusion, and sadly I furthermore guessed the identity of the River Slasher very early on – I must say though, that this was due to Gabhart's excellent character development and attention to detail, something an author should never be faulted for.  I just wish the ending could have been more of a surprise to me, but I pretty much saw the whole conclusion coming. 

Words Spoken True is a sweet story of a frightened girl trusting God to provide the answer to her prayers.  If you’re in the mood for some light reading, this is the perfect book to unwind with.



Product information:
Title: Words Spoken True
Author: Ann H. Gabhart
Number of pages: 368
Publisher: Revell
Year: 2012
ISBN-10: 0800720458
     

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