At the start of the year, I decided to use a TBR Jar. But instead of doing one book for every month, I’m doing one for each category of my 105 Challenge. This time, I picked my book for challenge 4 (books I own but haven’t read), Sinners and Shadows by Catrin Collier.
Blurb from Goodreads:
Orphaned at age 8 and raised by a brutal brother, nineteen-year-old Rhian dreams of meeting a man who will love her and give a family of her own. When she is invited to join the Evans family on New Year’s Eve 1913, her life is thrown into turmoil. The youngest Evans’ brother, Joey, confesses he loves her. Handsome, charming Joey has never met a woman who could refuse him anything. But Rhian is suspicious of his reputation as a ladies’ man and it takes time, tenderness, and persistence to win her trust. Just when she finally admits that she loves him as much as he loves her, Joey’s past overshadows and finally shatters their happiness. Rhian turns to her employer, Edward Larch, who offers her the only position he can, that of his mistress. Her choice is simple and irrevocable—to forgo love and the chance of a settled family life for the sake of financial security.
You know how people who aren’t bookworms try to be when they know you are? Years ago, I had a friend like that. And for my birthday around 5 years ago, she got me this book. It looked pretty average. You could tell she’d just grabbed it off the shelf randomly. But it felt rude to throw it away when I hadn’t even read it! So this year, I thought “I better read this. What if it’s great?”
She didn’t know what she was doing. It was terrible.
I literally just found out that this is the third book in the series. I guess that shows that the series isn’t that good, because I didn’t really need to read the first two to follow it. But still, I won’t complain about how the scene wasn’t set, and the characters not being introduced well. Like I said before, this is why you don’t let other people buy you books… I didn’t really get a good idea about who all the characters were. For ages, I wasn’t sure who was friends with who, and which ones were related, and which one was in love with the other. It was a small town, so everyone had some connection with the other people. It didn’t help when she swapped between names for them. Sometime he was Mr Larch, sometimes he was Edward, sometimes he was Father. That just made it even more confusing! Worse, sometimes the same character would swap between names. As in, Rhian called him Mr Larch AND Edward at different parts in the book. If the characters had been better developed, I might have been able to work out who was who.
I hoped that an exciting plot would make up for me not caring in the slightest about any of the characters. In the blurb, it tells us that there’s going to be a war, and an affair. I love war! But actually, that blurb was a massive spoiler. The affair happens half way through the book, and it’s meant to be a huge shock when it’s suggested. The war happens 3/4s of the way through, and isn’t as big a part of the book as you’d expect. Plus, war is meant to break hearts. I want to worry about who’s coming home, and if they’re injured or whatever. One person died. Out of all the people that went, only one of them didn’t come home. One of them complained a lot, but that was about it.
Okay. STOP. I’m going to talk about the ending, because it made me really mad. If you’re dumb, and still want to read the book, don’t carry on. If you don’t care, keep reading. Here, have a distracting picture!
So, Joey and Rhian broke up, because of stupid reasons. Then Joey had a one night stand, and got someone pregnant. Rhian had an affair with a married man. It was meant to be drama, but it wasn’t. Then, for literally NO REASON, the married man got hit by a tram and died. I was meant to be sad, but I wasn’t. Rhian was. Then the pregnant lady died in childbirth! So guess what happened then? Rhian and Joey got back together, and conveniently had a baby! Collier couldn’t fix their relationship, so she had to KILL OFF THEIR PROBLEMS. I’ve read some bad books in my time, but that’s got be one of the worst endings I’ve ever read
You can carry on now!!
Although, I don’t have much more to say. I could go on and on about how much I hated it, and how long it took me to read (a month, due to procrastination). But I won’t. If you’re still not sure if you want to read it or not, just ask me. I can persuade you not to, don’t you worry!