Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Enchanted Islands

Happy Wednesday!  I spent the afternoon cleaning shelves in my room. The room used to be my parents den (formerly my daughter's bedroom), and it is now my bedroom (I moved to be closer to my mother in case of a problem).  I am moving out my mother's things (Department 56 Snow Village houses), and moving in my books.  I have discovered that I need many, many more shelves (there seems to be piles of them everywhere)! I am trying to figure out which pictures can come down in the living room so I can add shelves (you never get rid of the books)! Today is National Wine Day (a good one).  Pop the cork (or unscrew the cap) and enjoy a glass of wine tonight!  

Enchanted Islands by Allison Amend is a historical novel.  This is the story of Frances “Fanny” Frankowski (later shortens it to Frank).  Fanny is eighty-two years old and telling the reader her story (fictionalized account).  Fanny was born in Duluth, Minnesota on August 3, 1882.  Fanny was born to a Polish family that had immigrated to the United States.  Fanny meets Rosalie Mendel. Rosalie comes from a Jewish family that encourages education.  The Mendel has a nice apartment and clothes with plenty of books.  Fanny was looking forward to high school until her parents told her that she had enough education and forced her out to work (though she did evade it for a while through a little trickery).  But life is not always greener on the other side.  Fanny soon comes to find out that Rosalie’s life is not all it appears.  Fanny tries to help Rosalie but ends up getting shut out.  Then one day Rosalie is ready to flee.  They both take off to Chicago.  Fanny gets a job and finds a nice beau.  Things are great until Rosalie betrays Fanny.  Then Fanny heads off on her own.  Fanny finishes high school and gets a college education.  She ultimately ends up in California.  After teaching for many years, Fanny needs a change.  She becomes a secretary at the Twelfth District Office of Naval Intelligence.  This is where Fanny reconnects with her old friend, Rosalie (I cannot believe Fanny forgave her).  One day Fanny is approached about a special assignment.  Lt. Commander Ainslie Conway is an intelligence operator (and ten years younger than Fanny).  Ainslie needs a wife for a mission in Galapagos Islands (also known as the Enchanted Isles).  Fanny agrees to marry Ainslie (they can annul it after the mission) and they set out for training.  The two eventually spend a couple of years on the Galapagos Islands where there is no electricity, running water, homes, etc (it sounded awful).  They have to take everything with them.  This is before World War II and they are checking out the German presence in the area.  How will they fare on the island?  Will their mission be successful?  See what happens to Fanny by reading the Enchanted Islands.

Enchanted Islands is a misleading novel.  It is really about Fanny and Rosalie.  How their friendship shaped their lives and how it endured despite betrayal and time apart.  Very little of the book is devoted to the spy mission and the time the two spent on the islands.  This novel started out interesting, but then the pace slowed down considerably (I believe slugs travel faster than the pace of this book).   Enchanted Islands is nicely written, but it is lacking spark (something/anything exciting).   It just drags on until the end.  There are intimate scenes in the novel (and some inappropriate scenes with a minor) and violence.  I did not understand Frances with relation to her “marriage”.  It was supposed to be a marriage of convenience, but she acted like this was a real marriage (it was odd).  This novel is based on real life people, but Enchanted Islands is fiction.  I give Enchanted Islands 3 out of 5 stars (just okay).  If you are looking for an intriguing spy novel, keep looking.    

You can follow Allison Amend on Amazon.  I received a complimentary copy of Enchanted Islands in exchange for an honest evaluation of the novel.

I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to stop by and read my review.  I am off to relax.  I am just staring The Lie by C.L. Taylor and reading Fate of the Fallen by Ellery Adams (I am disappointed with this novel).  Have a great evening.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

No comments:

Post a Comment