The Rebel Christian

Book Reviews

The Dressmaker's Secret: The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, Book I

The Dressmaker's Secret, front cover.jpg

By Kellyn Roth

I have mixed feelings about this book. I’m not sure what I like and what I don’t like because I think the problem is actually the writing.

Let me first start by saying that this book has a good story. The concept and the true core of the book is really good and very entertaining—that’s why I agreed to review it. The characters are likeable, the setting is lush and described in full detail. There is nothing ‘left out’ and when I reached the final page, I felt satisfied with the story meeting its end. I wasn’t happy it ended, just content with the conclusion. I think Roth did a wonderful job in presenting an intriguing book full of body and depth but I think her style of writing may not be my taste.

As a self-published author, I don’t like to critique other author’s books—I’ve spent a good amount of time re-editing my own novel because helpful reviewers pointed out some mistakes I’d missed. But I’m not critiquing the editing here, it’s the style itself. The way things are described, the placing of words, and the places Roth chose to give more detail versus others.

The opening of the book describes a wonderful mansion and a bedroom. I could picture everything down to the morbid atmosphere Roth described but two paragraphs in I just wanted to get the story started. I really didn’t care about the foreboding halls and the creaking staircase and the morbid house. The place is creepy! I get it. But just one of those descriptions would have gotten the point across. I think, ultimately, this book suffered from a surplus of adjectives.

I’m not going to just trash this book and list what I didn’t like. As I said before, I thought it was good, filled with heartwarming characters and peppered with just the right amount of action to keep the story flowing. Events versus dialogue was balanced and I think the book was well edited, to top it off. I really did enjoy the way the characters interacted with one another and found their emotions and portrayal to be realistic while maintaining a sense of fiction—for the sake of entertainment.

I think what I found unique about this book was that I enjoyed the secondary characters as much as the main cast. That’s not something that happens very often so I definitely wanted to point it out. Roth paid attention to each individual she introduced to readers and I appreciated that. To be able to form an attachment with a character after only meeting them for a few pages is something that may be special and unique to Roth as an author.

I would recommend this book to readers of all ages and faith systems. If you like adventure and a full cast of unique characters, then I think this book would be for you. Anyone who enjoys family ties and a little mystery will definitely want to grab a copy.

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*