Acquired Book By:
I joined Kate Tilton’s Book Bloggers as a way to seek out stories written by emerging Self Published and/or Indie Published writers who might not otherwise get highlighted by book bloggers. This was the first novel that interested me to request for review, as I enjoyed reading the premise inasmuch as the request was to read outside of a firm deadline. This is not an organised blog tour, thereby those of us who request to read the books and/or host the authors Ms. Tilton organises is scheduled around our own time frames. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the author Mike Hartner, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.
I, Walter is the first in a series of books in a saga which will span continents and time to arrive in present day North America.
Each in the series will be connected, though that connection may not be obvious for several more books.
It's almost like looking at a menorah. Many lines, seemingly individual, connect to center at different points.
Walter Crofter was born into Elizabethan England.
In a country and a time where favor and politics were both deadly, can an honest boy stay true to himself?
Especially given his family background?
Places to find the book:
Series: The Eternity Series,
Published by Eternity4Popsicle Publishing
on 10th May, 2013
Published by: Eternity4Popsicle Publishing (Vancouver, British Columbia)
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook
My Review of I, Walter:
The title character, Walter has reached the age in his life where making reparations about his past has become his sole focus, as he turns his mind and thoughts towards the parchment in front of him to create a written account for how his actions of youth led to his path as an elder gentleman whose wife cheekily reminds me to ‘tell more truth’ than fables! The exchange between his wife and himself is the quiet banter most happily married couples enjoy who have known each other well enough to reprimand if the other has misstepped or not taken a project seriously enough to warrant their attention! I gathered from her short entrance, the wife of Walter wanted him to be more keenly aware of how his story could affect those who read it if only he could find a way to ‘tell the story’ he has honestly lived!
Walter’s life was hardened at a young age when the illusions of his father’s attempts to right the sails of the family’s coffers was a bit too much of a weight for his young shoulders to bear. His father was brokering on a favour of a promise from none other than Sir Walter Raleigh! The plight of the welfare of the family was heightened in difficulty due to the overwhelming angst of those who had trouble standing on their own feet: in a society that did not lend to giving credit to businessmen who wanted to earn a living wage. The division of classes was quite strong during Walter’s childhood and the effects were numbing to be sure!
Walter’s life starts to get underway when he joins the Royal Marine Merchant Navy where an unexpected moment of heroism to save a Spanish lass from kidnapping pirates turnt his favour with the father who was not expecting to see his daughter alive! The high seas explorations on being aboard ship has been a keen interest of mine, but Hartner has a way with conveying the life without adding the brutality of the life itself — he’s open about the conditions (i.e. the lack of food, space, and privacy) but he gives you a reading of this life without making you feel the narrative is oppressive as most oft-times can become the case when historical fiction tips the sails into the main thread of the story itself. The last time I read a high seas epic of equal favour of enjoyment was for a ChocLit Romance Close to the Wind!
I enjoyed getting to return to Spain, to settle into the cultural aspects of this historic European country and watch the progression of Walter’s character shift from boyhood to man. I had a feeling this was going to become the story of how he met his wife and how their two paths would merge together, but it did not fully click together (even after I read of her rescue!) until I went back to the first chapter and re-confirmed her name! Sometimes I forget the simplest of details that effectively have the strongest impact on the story! It was such a comforting revelation to see how this part of the series was laying down the groundwork where Maria and Walter’s origins would be revealed!
Walter is a young man who struggled with self-sufficiency and self-confidence in his abilities to take care of the woman he fell in love with as a lad. He felt inferior from a young age due to how he grew up inside the family home where getting ahead in life never felt like a reachable goal. He had a complex against success, as he never could fathom how he would achieve enough to win the hand of whom he was most beloved to wed. Part of his story will ring true for readers who are seeking coming-of age stories wherein the lead character is conflicted against his past and resolution of his future. This is a story that knits together how far reaching one bloke will go to prove to himself and the father of his future wife how honourable he can be whilst finding fault within his guilt for the choices he has to make to in-debt himself towards this goal.
On the writing style of Mike Hartner:
Hartner created a story out of his lead character being seen at the moment of writing down his journals from his epic life lived part on land and part on sea. He turns introspective in certain places which are described in small spurts where he puts his quill and ink down for a pause of thought before resuming. It is nearly as though you are listening to his thoughts being inked to the paper itself rather than reading a recollective narrative fused out of his memories. The pace is well set and the historical bits are quite entertaining intermixed with his humour, which gives this a pleasant read overall.
Being that this is a story for Young Adults, the best part for me was seeing how he treated the historical context without having to broach into areas that would give me a venting inside of a ‘fly in the ointment’. I enjoy uncovering Young Adult fiction that seeks to educate young readers on history as much as strong characters who either overcome adversity and/or attempt to carve out their own lifepath through the choices they make as their being to seek out how to succeed at their trade.
I look forward to continuing to see how this series will move forward and how everything knits together to a new continent as well!
This book review is courtesy of:
Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2015.
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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- CanLit Reading Bingo Card 2015