Saturday, 5 November 2011

Bad Boy Jack


Author: Josephine Cox
Genre: Historical Fiction
Type: Paperback
Pages: 632
First Published: 2002
First Line: "Mary's heart was pounding as she hurried down the country lane."

Synopsis: When Robert Sullivan is left on his own to raise his three year old daughter Nancy and seven year old son Jack he knows he's in over his head.  He decides to leave his children on the steps of an orphanage hoping to give his children a better life.  Soon after leaving his children he changes his mind but as he races back to the orphanage he is the victim of a terrible accident.   Unable to retrieve the children, Nancy and Jack are placed in Galloway Children's home which is a brutal and uncaring place.

All on their own Jack vows to protect his little sister but with his quick temper he soon earns himself a bad reputation.  Shortly after their arrival the callous and money hungry head of the children's home sends the Sullivan children to separate homes -- Jack to a family farm while Nancy is sold to the highest bidder.

During his many years of recovery from his debilitating accident Robert dreams of seeing his children again.  With so many years that have passed will he be able to find out where his children have been placed?  Will they want anything to do with him or will his cowardly actions so many years ago prevent them from having any kind of relationship?

My Thoughts:  Josephine Cox is one of those authors who writes a good easy read.  One of those comforting reads that are a little predictable but you enjoy them all the same.  Her books tend to be set in late 1800's England and have engaging characters and storylines filled with tragedy, misdeeds  and family issues.

While I liked this book for the easy read that it was, it wasn't my favourite Josephine Cox book.  The story had a lot of great topics (abandonment, murder, adoption, betrayal, tragedy ...) but wasn't as great as I had hoped.  It was overly predictable and the ending was much too abrupt.   I like the end of a book to wind down and play out, not to have it shoved at me like the author just wanted to be done with it. 

Predictability isn't necessarily a negative.  Sometimes I like it when I kind of know how things will end but it's usually accompanied by a few twists and turns.  It felt like the lives of the characters were too nicely tied up for my liking. Everyone seemed to get exactly what and whom they wanted in the end. How nice. {insert sarcasm here}. 

What made it hard for me to keep interested was there were four different storylines to follow. Cox did a great job at helping the reader remember who was who and the flow of the storylines was well done. What I wasn't fond of is that with so many different storylines it was hard for me to really get to know any one character really well. No character was given enough time in the book for the reader to really get to know them or even root for them.

I can't complain too much because I actually received this book free.  A cereal company was giving away books a couple of years ago so I jumped on that old bandwagon whole heartedly!  Free books?  Count me in!  When I saw that one of the choices was a Josephine Cox book I was excited.  I thought that "Bad Boy Jack" had an interesting premise and I'm always interested in new reads. 

While this was not my favourite Josephine Cox book I'm still a fan of her work.  If you're looking for a great read check out her "Lovers & Liars" or "Born to Serve".

My Rating: 3/5 stars

1 comment:

Dzoli said...

Bookmarked.Seems interesting book;)

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