Historical fiction with good writing, flat story

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thereadingrachel Avatar


I was really looking forward to reading When Two Feathers Fell From the Sky. A historical fiction about a carnival/circus show mystery is right up my alley! Plus, it was nominated for the Pulitzer, so my expectations were high. Sadly, my expectations were not met.

The book started out really strong for me. I loved the character development and felt like I was really getting to know each one. The writing style is lyrical and descriptive, and I felt transported to the time and place of the story. But at around 25% through, that same descriptive writing and character development started to seem like daunting overkill. There was a lot of unnecessary back story that started to cause me to lose interest in the actual story.

Then the actual story was a bit of a let down. The description of the book led me to believe there would be a heavy mystery aspect, but I found the mystery was lost to the writing and backstories. I ended up skimming quite a bit of the last 25% waiting for something to happen, and it just didn't for me. Had the writing not been what it was, I likely would have DNF'd the book halfway through.