As a spirit of change overturns Europe's old order, Elzelina Versfelt enters her own age of revolution. Married as a romantic young girl to a man who wanted only her money, Elza refuses to be chained any longer. Leaving Amsterdam, she flees to France - where the old rules no longer apply, debauchery is not a sin... and nothing is forbidden. This stunning novel blends history with the language of the heart to tell a sensuous story of an era of upheaval.
©2012 Jo Graham (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
This is the first book that I've read in the Numinous World series and the first of Jo Graham's novels as well. I had no expectations going into the read and was happy to have enjoyed the tale as much as I did.
The book revolves around Elzelina Versfelt during the mid to late 1700's, who finds herself in a string of situations that tests her character and her will. Elzelina is a strong-willed female who bends and shifts with the various fortunes and misfortunes that come her way. She is vastly flawed and unapologetically so, but that is what makes her a realistic and likable lead. I enjoyed the way this tale unfolded. It is passionate and dangerous as well as it is sensual and taboo. This is not a fluffy romance because the main character does explore her sexuality, sleeping with many men and a woman. Also there are a couple of strong situations that might offend some people. However Graham writes it in a way that you understand the severity of the situations, but you also don't feel like it's distasteful or excessive.
Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot. There were some parts that could've used some tightening in the plot or the flow of the scene, but in it's entirety, the tale is beautiful and slightly tragic.
Narrator: Arika Rapson
Rapson did a great job with the narration, her voice was appropriate for the main character whose POV is throughout the book. There were a lot of characters in this book and Rapson was great with distinction and consistency between the various characters. Her tone and pace were consistent as well allowing me a hands-off on the volume dial as well as a constant speed that I could play the recording at.
This was bad. From the vague descriptions of possible reincarnation that went nowhere to weird sex scenes, this was just a strange book. Initially Elza dresses like her dead brother Charles to comfort her mentally troubled mother. Then she dresses like Charles to travel safely, etc until she developes what I guess is a bit of a conflicted identity. That's one storyline. Right off the bat, Elza abandons her children to her cold and politically ambitious husband. That took away any possibility for sympathy for the "heroine". I've tried to find something positive to say..I did like Mechelle, a gallant General of the French Army who becomes an obsession for Elza, but that's it. I only stuck it out and finished the book because I was sure she'd do something climactic with the reincarnation story or whatever she was hinting at. That did not happen.
The narrator was not pleasant to hear. I felt like I was listening to a book club reading.
My recommendation on this one is to save your money.
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