Review and Giveaway: Certainty by Victor Bevine

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.

My Review:

ICertainty_A-Novel_Victor-Bevine_96dpi-677x1024-198x300n 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:
Victor-Bevine-_c-Amy-Thompson-Avishai_300dpi-300x200For 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




Filed under Historical Fiction, World War I

15 responses to “Review and Giveaway: Certainty by Victor Bevine

  1. You eloquently articulated my exact feelings on this novel in such a way that I can see what you meant earlier by how we complimented each other in our reviews! The gist of what bothered me is fleshed out more on your review but for me, it was hard enough to read much less translate into words — I was sickened truly the level in which hatred out of ignorance and prejudice strove the real-life events to take place. 😦 A story needing to be told, but as you said, I am thankful we are ‘thus far forward’ into the future as to be a firm foot past where this story became a true life account.


    • The prejudice in the book is very upsetting and I wanted to let me readers know what they are in for if they choose to read it! Thanks so much for stopping by! I love reading your reviews as well.


  2. anne

    Thanks for this fascinating giveaway and great review. This book interests me greatly since it is intriguing and explores a unique topic.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rhondareads

    Thanks so much for giveaway &bringingnthis book to my attention,


  4. JJT

    Thank you for the giveaway of “Certainty.” It is important to remember that not so long ago, discrimination of many forms was not only rampant, but officially encouraged.


  5. I love fiction about the First World War (it’s my historical specialty), and I’m glad you’ve brought this book to light. Sadly, it’s a story that needs telling.


    • I had no idea that such a horrible incident was going on until I read the book! You are correct that the story needed telling. I have reviewed 5 other books set during WWI. If you scroll down to the “genres I review” section, there is a WWI link to all of my other reviews!


  6. This sounds like a very interesting story! I feel like balancing a bunch of characters can be one of the challenges of nonfiction. The people stories are often my favorite part of nonfiction, so there needs to be enough of that, but it can’t be too hard to keep track of everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. And providing minute details about multiple characters makes it hard to keep track as well. Thanks so much for stopping by!


  8. Pingback: Victor Bevine, author of Certainty, on tour October/November 2014 | TLC Book Tours

  9. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour. It sounds like an important read and I’m very interested in picking it up!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Book Tour & Review: Certainty by Victor Bevine - FictionZeal

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