Wednesday, December 13

Book Review: Push Not the River by James Conroyd Martin

Author: James Conroyd Martin
Title: Push Not the River
Series: The Poland Trilogy #1
Genre: Historical fiction, Romance
Format: ebook
Pages: 554
Published: January 1, 2000
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon)

A panoramic and epic novel in the grand romantic style, PUSH NOT THE RIVER is the rich story of Poland in the late 1700s--a time of heartache and turmoil as the country's once peaceful people are being torn apart by neighboring countries and divided loyalties. It is then, at the young and vulnerable age of seventeen, when Lady Anna Maria Berezowska loses both of her parents and must leave the only home she has ever known. With Empress Catherine's Russian armies streaming in to take their spoils, Anna is quickly thrust into a world of love and hate, loyalty and deceit, patriotism and treason, life and death. Even kind Aunt Stella, Anna's new guardian who soon comes to personify Poland's courage and spirit, can't protect Anna from the uncertain future of the country. Anna, a child no longer, turns to love and comfort in the form of Jan, a brave patriot and architect of democracy, unaware that her beautiful and enigmatic cousin Zofia has already set her sights on the handsome young fighter. Thus Anna walks unwittingly into Zofia's jealous wrath and darkly sinister intentions. Forced to survive several tragic events, many of them orchestrated by the crafty Zofia, a strengthened Anna begins to learn to place herself in the way of destiny--for love and for country. Heeding the proud spirit of her late father, Anna becomes a major player in the fight against the countries who come to partition her beloved Poland. PUSH NOT THE RIVER is based on the true eighteenth century diary of Anna Maria Berezowska, a Polish countess who lived through the rise and fall of the historic Third of May Constitution. Vivid, romantic, and thrillingly paced, it paints the emotional and unforgettable story of the metamorphosis of a nation--and of a proud and resilient young woman.

This was a freebie and I snatched it up! I had read something by this author in the past so I was excited to get my hands on this and read it too!

Here we follow Anna Maria and her journey during huge changes in Poland in the late 1700s. Anna is quickly thrust into a world of love and hate, loyalty and deceit, patriotism and treason, life and death. Everyone and everything she loves is in danger. 

First...I must clap because it is so rare to find a book set in a country like Poland. It isn't a main setting a lot so that made me happy. This was def a breath of fresh area. 

Now, I felt like I fell in and out of love with this book. There were moments I couldn't put this down and had to read as quickly as possible. I had to know what was going to happen! And there were moments I found myself reading fast and skimming so I could just be done. Lots of ebbs and flows here. Not sure if it was a me-thing? Maybe it was too long? Maybe we needed some scenes trimmed up a bit? I can't pinpoint what would make me fall out of love. Luckily, it wouldn't last long and I would be back into it. 

Oooo Anna. She certainly had her hands full and life loved throwing that poor girl some curveballs. She is a gem and she deserves happiness. 

The ending was okay. It seems that you can leave well enough alone, but it does give some room for more story. Someday I might continue on. We shall see. 

All-in-all, this was interesting and intriguing. A nice set of characters and a unique setting. I did have some struggles here and there, but overall this was a nice read. I'll give this 3 stars. 


Jen Twimom said...

You are such an eclectic reader. I love learning new things from you.

Carole Rae said...

Awww :D I can't help but dabble in different things.

Blodeuedd said...

I am so behind... turmoil for sure

Carole Rae said...

Hehehe I'm behind too.