Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Book Review: "Erika" (Ellynore Seybold-Smith)

Sigrit, the first book in this two-book series, is a documentary-style work of historical fiction --- think the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. (Check out my review of Sigrit here.)

As it tends to be traditional with sequels or companion novels for the author to maintain the same genre and style across the series, I expected much the same in picking up the sequel, Erika, about Sigrit's aunt. The work is, indeed, historical, set mainly in the post-World War II United States and Germany, but there, the consistency ends.

Erika, by Ellynore Seybold-Smith, is almost a romantic suspense, given its intriguing premise: that Erika's first husband Rowald, declared MIA during the war and presumed dead, turns up alive and with revenge on his mind when he finds out that Erika is remarried with two children and a life of her own.

Readers who first picked up Sigrit will recognize with some fondness many of the characters that recur in Erika, from Sigrit and Erika themselves to many of their friends and family members. Another strength of the work is in historical details to set the scene, particularly with regard to the transportation methods and post-war cultural differences.

As in every book, there is room for improvement if a second edition should be released. First, the dialogue tends to fall flat and unbelievable, not as realistic as it might. Second, the plausibility of the situations in the work is often questionable --- character reactions, especially, don't seem genuine in relation to the circumstances they face or have faced. Third, an assortment of errors in punctuation and the like prove distractions from what otherwise is a relatively engaging story.

Of the two, Sigrit remains my favorite, but Seybold-Smith is to be commended for her foray into a whole new genre with this particular offering.

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Author: Ellynore Seybold-Smith
Title: Erika
ISBN: 9781495379543
Purchase here:

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this work from the author in exchange for an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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