5 Jul 2018

Review: My Lady Zane


'' ''Take this and open it as you wish, to know that I am with you. I have fallen for you, Betty Zane. I will wait for you, always.'' ''


★★☆☆☆


From Goodreads:
Letters from the States came often and, sometimes, more than five at a time. Marines do love to get mail. Not email. The real thing. Good old U.S. Post mail. Handwritten. Had to be. It was 2003 and Sergeant Leah Ann Sullivan read her mail every day, addressed to her 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, which was just south of Fallujah, Iraq. The mail was from her grandmother, with whom she was very close. One hell of a story was laid out in those letters. A love story in the time of the American Revolution. Leah never knew she had such history in her family. Leave it to Grandma, always so full of great stories. On Leah's breaks from her duties, the letters brought her back to a time when America was young A time when the country was undiscovered and her ancestors had to protect Fort Henry and their colony. There was a lot to lose in the 1700s, around the Ohio Valley. Local tribes wanted their land back, and the British knew how to take advantage of that. Betty Zane was the girl who had to grow up fast on the frontier. She was raised by her four brothers. Her older brother, Colonel Ebenezer Zane, taught her how to protect herself, use her instincts, and shoot a long rifle. Then, Betty fell in love with Zach. Their love was immediate and deep. She never stopped loving him, even when she was forced to go to school in Philadelphia. All she wanted to do was to come home and marry the boy she loved, a boy who was becoming a man and who helped transform Fort Henry into Zanesville. Betty would find a way. But the Shawnee Warrior with the scar on his brow was out to take everything from the Zanes. He lost his brother because of Betty and her brother. He lost the respect of his tribe. He was losing his land. He found his opportunity with the British Captain Pratt and the American traitor George Girty. They were just as determined. They conspired to take down the Zanes and Fort Henry. But they threatened the wrong girl. A girl who was becoming a woman, who loved her man and her country, and would do anything to save them. The letters told Betty Zane's story well, and Grandma knew what she was doing. The stories stirred something within Sergeant Leah Ann Sullivan at just the right time. Her Captain has assigned her to lead a mission. A "Red Eye Op." Now it is her turn. She is about to find out just how damn tough she is. Who is the ruthless enemy in the dark of the Iraqi desert, taking out her fellow Marines? Who are the two unknown soldiers who have compromised her team? Will she have the time to tell the Marine named Vargas how much she cares for him? With her Captain's faith, and a team who has put their trust and respect in her, Leah is about to embark on her own journey. A journey of self-discovery and intestinal fortitude, and high risk. One that takes us to the ending of a true story, about a female warrior in the past that will forever change who this warrior is in the present.

If you know how the movie Dear John begins then you know the beginning of this book. Minus the love interest.

My Lady Zane is told from multiple perspectives of a modern day soldier based in Iraq and a young girl during the fight for America's independence, as well as of minor characters'. The blurb of the book promises the reader a lot. It promises answers to questions, it promises revelations and a love story. In the end, it only delivers partial answers, a side-plot-like love story, and even more questions.

Leah, the main-character followed in the modern day, receives a pile of letters from her grandmother, depicting the story of another young girl in the middle of another war. She strongly believes there's something her grandmother wants to teach her through the letters but hadn't realized what it is yet. The story of Betty Zane takes us all the way back to the American revolution, where a young girl has found a love interest, Zach, but then is shipped to live with her aunt to attend school. Their love blossoms while they are apart through small gifts Zach gave Betty before her departure.

While I somewhat enjoyed the story, there were some issues I had with it too. For instance, the storyline didn't seem wholesome. The times the reader follows Leah, there are some major plot-holes, and mix-ups. And I know, some characters are featured for such a short amount of time that they cannot be introduced properly, but when there's  a battle scene and someone is injured and I am sitting there just confused that if I should be sad or was the character just someone that was written as a filler for the author to kill him. *Breathes deeply*, to be honest, I had a complicated relationship with Leah's character. I wanted to like her. She had some awesome features, and she seemed real but her surroundings always felt too blurred to actually understand what was happening around her. I don't know if it was just meant to be like that or not. I mentioned earlier that I didn't get the point of the story; why not write the book entirely from Betty's point of view, since Leah didn't give anything more to the plot. She just followed from the sidelines.

Then Betty's side of the story. It wasn't just Betty and the love story. It was Betty, Zach, her brothers, a random-ish guy with an overly intelligent horse and some Native-Americans teaming up with the British. Trust me, as odd as that sounds, it's all there. Betty is described as a bold young lady, all for the Revolutionary Cause. Her brother is the Colonel of Zanesville, she has grown up with the Revolution. For the most part, there wasn't a clear main-plot, but more like multiple subplots thrust together and told to play nice. And did I already mention the horse? Just to mention that again, that really made me question if I should be reading at 3 am.

Though confusing, the story itself was an enjoyable read most of the time. It wasn't like I wanted to DNF it at any point. More like, I was just pushing forward, willing myself to make any sense of the storyline. Or explain, how the end was a reasonable one.

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