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Walk to Paradise Garden

Walk to Paradise Garden - John B.  Campbell I purchased and read this book. An honest review was requested by The Source, a Goodreads Group, involved in assessing the quality of self-published books.

This book listed as historical fiction and began in 1914. It chronicled the life of fictional characters John and Evelyn Armitage. I looked forward to reading this book and unfortunately was very disappointed.

The first chapters chronicled the front lines of WWI and I enjoyed those. The research was excellent and the description of the battle was good. Once the main characters left the front lines – the book declined quickly.

I read the complete book but several times, I wanted to stop reading. I found the book overly descriptive. The point-by-point narrative of the weather conditions, clothing worn, food and drink consumed made for a long and boring read. The characters came up flat and in many cases, their actions and decisions seemed confused or just nonsense. Although I read the entire book, I never picked up a consistent sense of the lead characters, let alone the secondary characters. The writer noted the characters’ inner thoughts throughout the book, but many of those thoughts, although detailed for the reader, never materialized. There seemed to be a lot of wasted narrative on things that had no bearing on the characters or the plot.

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Much of the plot seemed contrived, and the book lacked the climatic conflict needed to hold the reader. Although I don’t think the writer intended to follow the style of literary fiction, the book was left completely flat with little basis as historical. The poor dialogue, the incorporation of a Longfellow poem in the middle of the book, and lack of plot arcs completely killed the pace.

I found only a few minor grammatical errors, several word echoes and several misused words. The formatting was a little hard to follow and more spacing would have allowed for an easier read.

This was not a book I personally enjoyed, but that doesn’t mean someone else could not enjoy this read. I would probably have been more receptive to it as literary fiction instead of historical.