Book: Cliff Of The Ruin by Bonnie McKernan
Publisher: Abbott Press, 2012
Genre: Historical fiction
Source + Date Read: Received this book in exchange for an honest review + May 2013
Recommend: For those that like folklore infused with their historical fiction.
Favourite Line: “Less thinking. More trust. Breathe.”
I’ll admit that I’m not too fond of this book cover. The painting is lovely but it’s not an original created for the cover but rather a copy of one. I just don’t like the slam-bam photoshop affect this has going on- though the designer chose the best font for the book, I believe.
Set in post-Civil War USA (at first) and then we’re taken to Ireland and a whole new realm that blends Irish folklore with reality. It’s a nice twist to what appears to be a traditional Historical Fiction novel.
I have mixed feelings about Cliff of the Ruin. I didn’t dislike the book, at all actually but it took a great deal of goading to finish it. I don’t know why this is so, I had some minor issues with the characters but in general it was an average read. So why did it take me all of 3 months to finish? And why did I dread having to do so?
First, let me say that it is well written. McKernan has a conversational styled prose that is comforting and familiar. I struggled with the written-Irish dialect, but it wasn’t something that prevented me from enjoying the book.
The male characters are particularly irksome. Well, let’s start here: When I think about Ruin’s characters I think in black and white. They’re either in category A or category B, no in between and I found this to be a barrier to enjoying or relating to the characters. Mae is feisty and fun and serious (Yay!) and the men are chauvinist, rude and … men. I don’t know, there is nothing wrong with any of them. McKernan clearly developed her characters in a thoughtful manner, I just didn’t enjoy their presence.
So, I end this review a bit confused and that don’t happen often! There is nothing wrong with the book. It’s enjoyable, it’s got everything it should. It’s technically great. I, personally, just didn’t enjoy it.