Jan 17 2008
Dear Ms Rae,
Your book, “Marike’s World” sounded so interesting. Set during the turbulent years of the American Revolution, I had hoped to see it through the eyes of this young Dutch-American woman. Instead what I got was literally only Marike’s world and not much else.
The story reads more like a soap opera about Marike’s life. We see her as a young woman scrubbing the house, falling in love, getting in trouble, having a child, finally getting married then living with her awful mother-in-law, then the troubles with her sister-in-law. Okaaaaay.
Yes it’s a historical and we see how cold the winters were and how hard Dutch women worked but it could almost have been set in any time before the mid 19th century. Very little of the momentous events going on, the Revolution and the early setting up of a new nation, seem to affect these people and precious little mention is made beyond “we heard later that…” or “it was said that…” It was like watching someone skip stones – random mention was made of these events and with about that much depth. Philip fought for a year but all we hear is that he stood guard duty and hated it and that he was cold and hungry. They lived in NYC while it was controlled by the British and the most we get is that they didn’t bother Philip because they needed the supplies from his chandler’s shop to outfit their ships. I mean….come on. These people hardly seemed to notice what was going on around them. Most of what we get is Marike dealing with her in-laws and the awful man her sister-in-law took up with.
Marike’s a nice person but rather bland so …why did you choose to tell this story? What I gained from it is no real sense of the history, a little about the place and weather, some about the interaction of the native Indians with the Colonists but not much more. It was a fast read, it wasn’t a hardship to read it, but I don’t really feel a great impetus to recommend it to anyone. C