Today I welcome TLC Book Tours back to The Book Binder’s Daughter with an historical fiction novel entitled Certainty. I invite you to read my review, learn more about the author, enter to win your own copy, and visit the other stops on the tour.
In honor of the centennial anniversary of World War I, I have reviewed quite a few books set during The Great War. I have learned so much from all of the historical novels I have read about World War I, and Victor Bevine’s novel set in Newport, Rhode Island is no exception.
This story is based on real events that happened in Newport just after the war. The navy has twenty five thousand sailors stationed at the Naval base in Rhode Island and now that the war is over the idle soldiers are looking for entertainment that includes drinking, parties and women. Captain Arnold, one of the commanding officers, has decided to recruit some of his sailors for a secret mission that includes trapping and arresting men who are homosexual.
The references to homosexuals as “fairies” throughout the book is disturbing but also drives home the point that the navy was rabidly homophobic during this time period. Arnold and his group of recruits launch a campaign to gain the trust of gay men, catch them in sexuals act and then arrest them. During the roundup and arrest of these gay sailors, a popular priest is also arrested and falsely charged with carrying out lewd acts. One lawyer in this small town bravely steps up, risking his family, career and reputation, to defend the kind priest.
I think this book has an important message, that we should not judge or condemn those who are different from us. All people are capable of being good, regardless of their sexual orientation. How far would we go to help protect someone we know is innocent? Would we go against the crowd and defend someone is wrongly accused?
The issue that I had with this book is the organization of the plot. The author tried to fill in the background of several of the characters who were tangential to the plot. I appreciate trying make the reader understand a character’s history, but when this is the case with too many of the characters in the book the plot becomes somewhat muddled. I found the story a bit meandering at times as it switched back and forth between different people involved in the pastor’s arrest and trial.
Overall, this book will make you angry that any human being can be treated in a cruel and inhumane way. It will also make you thankful that in the 21st century people are recognizing that homophobia and any type of prejudice against a group of people is wrong. If you can handle the mix of emotions which this book will bring up then give CERTAINTY a try.
About The Author:
For over thirty years, Victor Bevine has worked as an actor, screenwriter, audio book narrator, director, and more. A graduate of Yale University, his acting credits include many prestigious roles onstage as well as roles in the film version of A Separate Peace and countless television shows. He has read over one hundred and eighty titles as an audiobook narrator; in 2010, he received an Audiophone Award for his narration of the Pulitzer Prize–winning book The Beak of the Finch. He has written several screenplays, including Certainty, which was chosen for two prestigious writers’ conferences and which served as the basis for his first novel. His thirty-minute short film Desert Cross, which he wrote and directed, won accolades at the Athens International Film Festival. Currently, he serves as CEO of the World Freerunning Parkour Federation (WFPF), of which he is co-founder. He resides in New York City.
This giveaway is for one paperback copy of Certainty. It is open to residents in the US or Canada. To enter, just leave me a comment in the comment section below the post and let me know you are interested in the book. It’s that easy! Giveaway ends on 11/21. The winner will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond. Thanks for entering!
The Winner is: Doing Dewey
Other Stops On The Tour:
Monday, October 20th: Time 2 Read
Tuesday, October 21st: Patricia’s Wisdom
Wednesday, October 22nd: Booksie’s Blog
Thursday, October 23rd: Jorie Loves a Story
Friday, October 24th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Monday, October 27th: Sarah’s Book Shelves
Tuesday, October 28th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Tuesday, October 28th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Wednesday, October 29th: Bell, Book & Candle
Thursday, October 30th: Joyfully Retired
Monday, November 3rd: Books a la Mode – guest post
Tuesday, November 4th: The Book Binder’s Daughter
Wednesday, November 5th: Readers’ Oasis
Thursday, November 6th: Back Porchervations
Monday, November 10th: ebookclassics
Tuesday, November 11th: Nightly Reading
Wednesday, November 12th: BookNAround
Thursday, November 13th: Books on the Table
Monday, November 17th: Life is Story
Friday, November 21st:: FictionZeal