Official Review: Long About Ten Years
Post by rumik » 04 Nov 2019, 13:56
[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Long About Ten Years" by Paul O. Snawder, Vera Hensley, Carol Wooten.]
3 out of 4 starsShare This Review
Sylvester Adam Decker's wife, Sarah Foster, seemingly died of a snakebite ten years ago in 1906. Being an abusive husband, Sylvester was more enraged than upset at her death. He has spent the past decade seething in resentment towards her for leaving him. But now, a mysterious stranger approaches him with a sinister proposition. All of a sudden, he finds himself reliving the days after he proposed to her. But all is not as it seems.
By now, you may have assumed that Sylvester is the protagonist of Long About Ten Years; I did too. But this couldn't be further from the truth. Authors Paul O. Snawder, Vera Hensley, and Carol Wooten have painstakingly developed a vast, multi-generational plot with several characters and many twists and turns along the way. So much happens over the course of this book, you'll feel ten years have passed by the time you finish it.
Along with the plot, the characters are definitely one of the best parts of this book. One of the more distinctive ones is the parson that delights in making snakes dance, and he might not be as pious as he seems. Most of the characters in this book aren't morally perfect; a few of them may even hurt their own family to get what they want. And that's why the book feels so real. The characters have motivations and insecurities, and even the ones that appear towards the end of the book get their own backstories.
The writing style is very distinctive, fitting the book's historical setting. At times, the narrator sounds like a neighbor telling you about the recent gossip in town, which I really liked. Take this excerpt, describing the church of the aforementioned parson:
"I hear-tell that sometimes they'd even take to drinking strychnine just to see if the man upstairs would keep them from dying from the poison. Hell, even if he did, that stuff still has to taste like hot rotten eggs and burn like blue flame moonshine going down. Folks used to say that old Applegate would drink that poison and then spit it in the eyes of those rattlers so they couldn't see where to bite him."
Unfortunately, this book is not without its faults. For one thing, it could really use a round of editing. I am usually lenient when it comes to commas, but there were numerous instances here where a necessary comma was omitted. I also found some more typos, some of which were rather confusing to read.
All in all, I'd rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. It's got an amazing plot and a unique cast of characters, but the editing issues hold it back. It's very commendable that a book with three authors manages to keep the writing consistent.
I'd recommend this to everyone interested in historical settings as well as family dramas. Although the book does involve some heavy religious themes, I didn't feel it was overly preachy. The book does have some profanity and depictions of violence, including rape, so I wouldn't recommend it to those under 18.
Long About Ten Years