Tuesday, August 22, 2017

TLC Book Tours Book Review: The Sworn Virgin

About The Sworn Virgin

• Paperback: 352 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (August 8, 2017)

Dukes's gripping historical novel tells the tale of a desperate Albanian woman who will do whatever it takes to keep her independence and seize control of her future...even if it means swearing to remain a virgin for her entire life.

When eighteen-year-old Eleanora’s father is shot dead on the cobblestone streets of 1910 Albania, Eleanora must abandon her dream of studying art in Italy as she struggles to survive in a remote mountain village with her stepmother Meria.

Nearing starvation, Meria secretly sells Eleanora into marriage with the cruel heir of a powerful clan. Intent on keeping her freedom, Eleanora takes an oath to remain a virgin for the rest of her life—a tradition that gives her the right to live as a man: she is now head of her household and can work for a living as well as carry a gun. Eleanora can also participate in the vengeful blood feuds that consume the mountain tribes, but she may not be killed—unless she forsakes her vow, which she has no intention of ever doing.

But when an injured stranger stumbles into her life, Eleanora nurses him back to health, saving his life—yet risking her own as she falls in love with him...

“It’s hard to believe that the culture Dukes describes was ever real, but the amount of research she put into this book definitely shines through. The story remains fascinating throughout; readers will definitely find it difficult to put this novel down.”—San Francisco Book Review

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Review: I read this book after reading a pretty amazing chicklit novel. Sure that one was light and fluffy and fun, so when I started this one it was like culture shock, because there was nothing light and fluffy about this book at all

The Sworn Virgin is a book you have to give time to. Its by no means an easy read. I had a hard time getting to know Elenora, Fran ad Meria because the pacing of the story was exceptionally slow at the start, and I didn't feel we got to know the characters properly.

Eleanora is a strong heroine, the kind that you don't often find in books. I loved learning about the "Sworn Virgins" of the area. It was a concept I hadn't heard of before and it was fascinating. Though there isn't enough explanation of what they were to be totally satisfying. There was one Sworn Virgin that Eleanora met after her father was killed who likely was a lesbian.  Sworn Virgins live like men.

I didn't know how to feel about any of the characters in this book. You will feel a myriad of emotions for all of them. You will feel pity for Eleanora as well as frustration. She lost her father, and felt it was her fault, but she was terribly selfish about her life.

Meria tried to be a good wife and mother, but she really wasn't the right person to be with Fran or to raise his daughter.

This book deals with the laws of the mountain people of Albania, which in 1910 seem to be centuries behind the rest of the world. It was perfectly acceptable to kill Eleanora's father for some dishonor he did to another, and the murderer gets away with it? Unbelievable!!

And then when she discovers a man injured in the mountains, she falls in love. Things get really tricky there and that's where this book disappointed me, especially the ending. It made sense in some ways but it was also unsatisfying.

Rating: 3 flowers

Kristopher Dukes was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She has been a nationally published writer since she was in high school. Her work has been featured in the bestselling book series Written in the Dirt and fashion bible WWD. She has been profiled in Vogue.fr, NY Times.com, Fast Company, Forbes.com, and WWD. The Sworn Virgin is her debut novel. She lives in Manhattan Beach, California, with her husband, Matt, and Doberman, Xena.

Connect with her on Facebook.


Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.

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