Flesh and Grass- Libby Cone

I was sent a free copy of this book in return for an honest review

Synopsis (from Amazon)

Seventeenth-century Holland was a major power with a large, wealthy middle class built on spices and slavery. Dutch schemes to colonize the New World brought few interested parties, but Pieter Cornelissoon Boom, an early Mennonite with a dream of communal living, brings a few families to Delaware Bay in 1663. Their “Little Common-wealth” is just getting started when the bloody economic rivalry between Holland and England unleashes violence on the coast of Delaware. The Nieuw Netherland colonies swing between Dutch and English ownership in a series of Anglo-Dutch wars. Cornelis, Boom’s blind son, tells the story of the community (based loosely on the ill-fated Delaware settlement of Pieter Plockhoy) in its various forms of existence, relying on his exquisite memory of scent.Seventeenth-century Holland was a major power with a large, wealthy middle class built on spices and slavery. Dutch schemes to colonize the New World brought few interested parties, but Pieter Cornelissoon Boom, an early Mennonite with a dream of communal living, brings a few families to Delaware Bay in 1663. Their “Little Common-wealth” is just getting started when the bloody economic rivalry between Holland and England unleashes violence on the coast of Delaware. The Nieuw Netherland colonies swing between Dutch and English ownership in a series of Anglo-Dutch wars. Cornelis, Boom’s blind son, tells the story of the community (based loosely on the ill-fated Delaware settlement of Pieter Plockhoy) in its various forms of existence, relying on his exquisite memory of scent.

Review

I quite enjoyed Libby Cone’s first book War on the Margins, and when she e-mailed me about reviewing her new book Flesh and Grass I was immediately interested. Generally when I read historical fiction I read fiction based around the two world wars but I thought why not get out of my comfort zone a little.

Unfortunately I didn’t find Flesh and Grass as good as War on the Margins. I found it a little slower, and I didn’t really feel like I ever got into it. There were elements I liked, I thought the emotions were done really well, and you could really understand how smells were attached to emotions for Cornelis. Historically it was interesting too, but I didn’t really get much from it about what it was like to be in completely new place. While events which would bring strong emotions were well described the general day-to-day feelings brought on by moving to a new place were barely touched upon.

I must admit that Libby Cone does have the tendency to write like a historian rather than an author. The topics are interesting but turning them into a story adds little, and it seemed to add less here than in War on the Margins.

3/5

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Filed under Fiction review, Historical

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