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Ratings and Book Reviews (2 20 star ratings
2 reviews

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3.9 out of 5
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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    It's like being there, in that place, at that time

    I normally don’t read literary fiction (I’m a genre reader through and through), but this story immediately caught my attention for its setting and the characters. This is the story of a young Cherockee woman trying to find her path in life in the years immediately before the Great Depression. Maud immediately hooked me as a character, although she gets two different incarnation in the course of the story. In the first half, she’s a strong-willed young woman with very clear ideas about what she wants and the way to get it. What I really liked about her is that she always tries to get her way, so she’s willing to lie and to deceive in order to get her goals, but she’s always careful of the pain she may cause. This is particularly true for her romance with Booker who’s not an Indian. I particularly enjoyed the very subtle cultural differences between them and the way Maud handles it, with care and awareness. I liked the fact that while she is a manipulative woman, she always does that in a good way, and by this I mean trying to do the right thing. This is true with her brother Lovely too (his arc is my favourite part in the novel, with him probably going mad and trying to handle it) and with the murder that happened in the very first part of story, which kept me reading. The first part of story was full of mystery and secrets and I loved it. It was character- and plot driven. I read it without pauses. The second part of the story is very different. A couple of character disappear. A couple of mysteries are swiftly ‘solved’ and that took away a big chunk of appeal for me. But above all, Maud changes enormously as a character as she progressively falls into depression and becomes more selfish and self-absorbed. I won’t say this isn’t realistic, because it is. It just detached me from her, because she shifts from a relatable character (for me at least) to a less relatable one. In the second part of the novel, Maud becomes interested only in herself and I had a hard time watching her caring about no one but herself. As I said, this is realistic, particularly in the place and time period of the story, but for me as a reader it was kind of a shame. I still liked the book a lot. It’s very well crafted, and so vivid. The author set it in a place she knows very well (in fact that’s where her family has always lived) and based part of the story on real people and real events (thought most of the story is fictional). And you can feel this. Descriptions are so real, so vivid and so personal that you have no problem believing you’re there in Oklahoma with Maud, and I particularly enjoyed the family portrait, the different people, the way they relate to each other. It’s a deeply involving story, whether you connect with Maud or not. Recommended.
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    Maud's Line

    I loved this book! The characters had depth, flaws and beauty. The plot kept me guessing until the end. Well written!

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