Yay or Nay: The Boundary Stone Book Review

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The Boundary Stone is perfect for fans of historical fiction and curious minds who would want to know what it's like during the Great Plague of 1665.


“You must do everything in this life you wish to do.”

- Lord Alvyn Abbott


Author: Gail Avery Halverson
Publisher: Knight Wenstrom Publishers 
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance


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We received a digital copy of The Boundary Stone in exchange for this 100% honest and spoiler-free review. Thanks, Gail!
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SUMMARY


Set in 1665 England, The Boundary Stone follows the story of Lady Catherine Abbott, a young lady who comes from an affluent family and is set to marry her childhood best friend - Viscount Miles Houghton. A lot of women think that her life is the perfect fairy tale, but Catherine thinks otherwise.

As the preparations for the wedding takes place, a series of events take place and these allow Catherine to discover who she really is and what she really wants. She does not want to live a comfortable life in the walls of a huge mansion. Instead, she wants to publish her own book and establish herself as one of the most intelligent women of her generation.

Then, the Great Plague of 1665 takes place. This prompts Catherine and her family to leave London and escape to the countryside. However, the contagion spreads and reaches the peaceful town of Wells. As soon as the Lord Mayor Hardwicke and medical researcher Simon McKensie learns about this, they placed the town under quarantine in the hopes of preventing the illness from spreading to the neighboring towns. This traps Catherine and her family in town and leaves them with no choice but to deal with the disease head-on.

The townspeople work together under the leadership of Simon to cure the infected and stop the heartbreaking disease from spreading. As she offers her services, the course of Catherine's life changes forever.



REVIEW

When I first read the summary of The Boundary Stone, I was excited and wanted to start reading the book immediately. Being a huge fan of historical fiction myself, it piqued my interest.

I'm glad to say that the book did not disappoint me. While it has its own strengths and weaknesses, I enjoyed it immensely. However, it took me quite some time to finish.


The setting: 5 stars

The story was set in the 1665 England, during the time of the Great Plague. This is one of the most devastating events in the history of the world. Several readers would be very interested to read about this, especially when a beautiful story is weaved around it.
The author amazingly described the situation of the cities and towns in great detail. You'll really be able to immerse in the time period and understand why the events in the story happened that way. This book is the perfect time machine.


The characters: 4 stars

All the characters were very enjoyable to read about, especially Lady Catherine Abbott, the heroine of the story. You'll be surprised at how she handles the challenges that come her way. She is definitely not a damsel in distress, and that is quite inspiring.

Aside from that, you will come to love and hate the other characters of the story, too. I like how the author can make you really despise some of the characters and really care for others. Don't be surprised to find your heart breaking once you find out who among them dies of the plague.

My only problem was that there were several very minor characters who took up too many pages of the book. You would think they are important, but they are not. It would have been better to shorten the scenes for these characters and avoid confusing the readers on their actual role in the book.


The plot: 3 stars

I found the first few chapters of the book to be very slow and boring. They contained a narration of how Lady Catherine Abbott lived her life and dealt with her upcoming marriage. There were also bits about Simon McKensie before he came to Wells. It was a good way for the author to establish the setting and the characters, but cutting out a few unimportant scenes would have been okay.

However, when the main problem of the story - The Great Plague - hit the small town of Wells and trapped the townspeople within the borders, things started to get really exciting. From that moment, I was not able to put the book down. It was heartbreak upon heartbreak, then I found myself heaving a sigh of relief when I see a glimmer of hope for the townspeople and the beloved main characters.

The Boundary Stone was definitely an emotional roller coaster and I loved the ride.


The writing: 4 stars

Gail Avery Halverson's writing was very descriptive. As a reader, I actually felt like I was transported to the place and time that the story occurred. The scenes were painted so vividly, it's hard to miss any important detail.



THE VERDICT: YAY! 4 stars!


It really isn't surprising to hear that this book has won awards - including first place for Historical Romance at the Chatelaine Awards. It was not perfect, but it was amazing in many ways. I'm so glad to have come across this work of art.

I would highly recommend this book to fans of historical fiction, romance, people who want to read about tragedies like the Great Plague, and people who just want to take a break from the mundane events of life in the modern world.



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