Thursday, August 18, 2011

Book Review: The Revenant, by Sonia Gensler

The Revenant is an interesting mix of historical fiction, romance, mystery, and paranormal that was very satisfying.

It’s 1896 and seventeen-year-old Willie has stolen an identity and a teaching certificate and taken a job at a school in the Indian nation. Her mother and stepdad have asked her to leave her boarding school to come home and help with their farm, her twin little brothers, and the new baby that her mother is now carrying. To avoid this fate, she runs away to what is now Oklahoma to teach Cherokee girls at their Female Seminary.

Not only does she have to keep up her deception, she finds her teaching duties to be much more challenging than she anticipated. There’s also a mystery surrounding this school. A student drowned the previous year and her death has yet to be explained. Willie is staying in the dead girl’s room, and when she is plagued by a knocking at her window night after night, she starts to wonder if the stories about the school being haunted by the dead girl might be true.

Then there is Eli, a student from the boys’ seminary that Willie is strangely attracted to. And, Eli was in love with the dead girl at one time. When unexplained accidents begin happening to some of the students, the tension mounts and Willie, along with her friend Olivia, begins to believe this is paranormal activity. And, they are determined to do something about it.

The story is slowly paced, but I enjoyed learning about this unique setting and the historic time period as it relates to the characters. I was surprised by the eventual solution to the mystery, and enjoyed the resolution at the end of the book.

The prose is easily understood, and girls who enjoy historical fiction with a little mystery and romance will want this one.

Published by Alfred A. Knopf, June 14, 2011
315 pages

Rating: 3.5/5

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  1. Great review! I loved seeing Willie's experiences as a teacher, she really didn't know how hard it was. The historic part was definitely a plus!

  2. I know Sonia! We are so proud that she got her book published (and it was a two book deal!).

  3. I really want to read this! I'm glad you liked it!


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