Thursday, 5 March 2015

Review: The Shopkeeper's Daughter by Lily Baxter

In World War II–torn England, a young woman must fight to keep her family together, whatever the cost.

Ginnie Travis has been working in her father's shop for the past five years, trying to keep it afloat. When scandal rocks her family just as relentless Nazi raids threaten their very lives, Ginnie and her sister are forced to flee and stay with their aunt in the North of England. The last thing she expects to find in the quiet countryside is love, especially with an American soldier. A soldier who has secrets of his own.

Tragedy strikes, the horror of war rages on, and Ginnie will do whatever she must to protect everything she holds dear.

ebook, 384 pages
Expected publication: March 10th 2015 by Avon Impulse 
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

Kristine's Thoughts:

I received an advanced readers copy from Avon Impulse via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

I had a lot of issues with this book. Some of them were minor but there was one major issue with the story that I just couldn't get past.

Let me start off by saying that I love historical fiction and books that take place during war time. I have read hundreds of them and perhaps that is the reason that this one didn't live up to my expectations. There are so many outstanding books about war in the genre that I have rated very high as well as one that I consider the greatest love story I have come across to date. This one is not it.

My biggest issue with this book (and it was a really big one) was the relationship between Ginnie and Nick. What relationship? There lies my issue. On one page it mentioned she had a crush on him and by the time you flip the page they were going on their one and only date and breaking up on that same date. It then went on and on throughout the entire book about how heartbroken Ginnie was and how she would never love again. What??? There was zero development or chemistry where their relationship was concerned so the reader did not get an opportunity to care about it or feel it. Honestly, I couldn't have cared less about it and thought it weakened Ginnie's character to the point that she wasn't the strong independent woman that I think she was meant to be in the story. There was more chemistry between her and Laurence and Steven for that matter. Who cared about Nick? I certainly didn't. 

This leads me into another issue with the book for me. The characters for the most part were all a little weak and lacked depth. Shirley was probably one of the most annoying and unlikeable characters I have come across. I know times were different but come on. She changed who she loved almost as much as people change socks and was so incredibly selfish. Ginnie catered to her and was a strong enabler to her annoying personality which made it hard to like Ginnie.

The final thing that I will mention (although there are other things) was the extreme overuse of the word "honey." Every single American character in this book from the Army doctors to civilians said honey all the time and it drove me crazy. I get that some people are "honey/sweety" type people and I try not to take offence but every American character in this book said honey a lot. The rest of the characters did not. Was this intentional? Was it to be implied that it is an American thing? It may seem silly but it annoyed me to no end.

I hate to write an unfavourable review but I have to be completely honest. As I stated above, this is my favourite genre to read and I have read a lot from it. This book just does not compare to the many amazing books out there in the historical fiction genre.

About the Author

Lily Baxter lives in Dorset. She is the author of Poppy's War, We'll Meet Again, Spitfire Girl and The Girls in Blue. She also writes under the name of Dilly Court.