Book Review - Stern Men

Book Review - Stern Men
Book Review - Stern Men
Author: Elizabeth Gilbert
Number of Pages: 289
Publisher: Penguin Books
ISBN: 978-0-14-311469-7

I couldn't wait to read Elizabeth Gilbert's book Stern Men. After all, she is the author of Eat, Pray, Love, which I haven't read yet, but it's on my list. I also sailed on a windjammer last year off the coast of Maine, where this book is set, and I couldn't wait to revisit the area - even if was only through a book.

Stern Men has also been reviewed very positively. For all these reasons, I couldn't wait to dig in.

Maybe it was over-anticipation, but I didn't get it. I felt like I was in an art gallery looking a painting that was just a blob of red paint to me, and that everyone understood it.

The heroine is Ruth, born on the island off Ft. Niles off the coast of Maine. She returns from the mainland, where's she's been at boarding school, and spends the summer on Ft. Niles.

The main industry (or the only industry) of the island is lobster fishing. The same is true of nearby Courne Haven Island, causing territory disputes between the people of the two islands.

The book focuses on 18-year-old Ruth's summer on the island, with flashbacks on the history of the islands and the characters.

What I Didn't Like

*I found the book to be depressing. Most of the stories about the characters are sad - involving death, betrayal, and lost dreams.

*It may be realistic, but I didn't care for the swearing.

*Although the book did build up to the ending, I thought the ending was a bit sudden and unrealistic.

What I Did Like

*I liked the character Mrs. Pommeroy, Ruth's friend and neighbor. I didn't find many of the characters very likable, including Ruth.

*I like Gilbert's writing. She tells a great story, even if I didn't like it. I like her writing style and expression.

*I learned quite a bit about lobster fishing techniques and traditions. I found that very interesting.

In my opinion, Stern Men was a good book, just not as great as I had expected. I think I'll go find Eat, Pray, Love and give that a try.

For more information, check out Penguin Books or Elizabeth Gilbert.

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