Books, Reading, Review
Comments 9

Book Review – ‘Crow Hollow’

25114452Title: Crow Hollow
Author: Michael Wallace
Genre: Fiction (Historical)
Release Date: June 1, 2015
Rating: ★★☆

“In 1676, an unlikely pair—a young Puritan widow and an English spy—journeys across a land where greed and treachery abound.
Prudence Cotton has recently lost her husband and is desperate to find her daughter, captured by the Nipmuk tribe during King Philip’s war. She’s convinced her daughter is alive but cannot track her into the wilderness alone. Help arrives in the form of James Bailey, an agent of the crown sent to Boston to investigate the murder of Prudence’s husband and to covertly cause a disturbance that would give the king just cause to install royal governors.
After his partner is murdered, James needs help too. He strikes a deal with Prudence, and together they traverse the forbidding New England landscape looking for clues. What they confront in the wilderness—and what they discover about each other—could forever change their allegiances and alter their destinies.”

Despite how much I usually ramble in my book posts, I can’t really think of much to say for this one. I think that says a lot in itself. To be honest, I’m really glad I only paid $1.99 for it (through Amazon’s Kindle First).
I guess I was set up for a fall on the opening page, when the phrase “like so many” was used:

Sailors scrambled off the decks like so many bilge rats, leaping to the pier, tossing ropes, and hauling the gangplank into position.

Yes it’s a personal thing and pretty small, but it bothers me when certain turns of phrase stick out from the page – to me if they stick out it means they aren’t necessary. Again, it’s just my thing, but it set the tone for the rest of the book and I couldn’t get it out of my head. I’m a bit obsessive like that.

Having said that, I did enjoy reading it but that was really only due to the historical aspect of it, and it was well written and pretty well researched (based on my limited knowledge of the period). The era and location were really appealing to me as I enjoy reading historical fiction, and I’ve read very little set in The United States in its early colonial days, so this was basically uncharted territory for me; but what I read was intriguing enough for me to want to read more about it. On the other hand I didn’t like the characters that much, and there were too many little plot threads that, to me, had no purpose other than filling out the story without really going anywhere.

So my feelings are mixed, hence a two and half star rating – I didn’t dislike enough not to recommend it to others, but I didn’t love it enough that I would recommend it to everyone.

WHO SHOULD READ IT –  I think you really have to be into historical fiction to read this, insofar as that it’s the only genre you read.
WHO YOU’LL LOVE – James was pretty cool as far as 17th Century spies go (and if you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know I’m pretty into spies); very cloak and dagger (in the literal and figurative sense).

And now a question: Do you have little things that bother you when reading (like me with unnecessary phrases), and do they have a huge influence on your final opinion of the book?

Also, have you voted to help me pick my holiday read? If not, click here to see the shortlist and help me make an impossible decision!



  1. Pingback: Book Review – ‘A Man of Some Repute’ | bitsnbooks

  2. Hi, I read your blog on ‘Pulse’, your tase in books reflects mine.
    Having been a blogger for many years, I took a leave, and started book blogging again. Do not expect much, I am just done setting up the page.
    Your question regarding authors who add to a phrase, is one of my major reason to stop reading a book.
    As for Kindle Unlimited…I discourage friends from waisting money, most authors are unknown, surely there is a diamond in the rough found among them…if one is looking for a serious read? I haven’t found one.
    A nice Sunday to you…


    • Hi! Thanks for stopping by! I just checked out your blog and it does look like we have a similar taste in books. I just had a look at the Albertine website and it looks like there’s an excellent selection of books. I’ll definitely be spending some time on that website!

      The last Kindle First book I read wasn’t that bad actually. Not fantastic, but definitely better than ‘Crow Hollow’. I don’t mind spending a couple of dollars for an ebook by an author I don’t know as I always like to read new things. So for me Kindle First is good in that respect. But I agree that if you’re after something really good that it’s probably not the best way to go.


  3. Pingback: A Book Bingo Update | bitsnbooks

  4. Ack, bummer that this one didn’t work! I can relate to certain things bothering me… I think that authors using unnecessarily large or complicated words tends to distract me.


    • That’s annoying too; I don’t want to have to be checking the definition of a word every ten minutes. I think some writers just like to show off their vocabulary.

      If I’d paid full price for Crow Hollow I’d have been pretty annoyed. But it was only $1.99, so I won’t lose any sleep over it 😁


  5. I got this through Kindle First, too, and haven’t read it yet.

    Yeah, I have little things that really bother me when reading, too, from basic typos to really strange metaphors. Today I read one that compared a forest sunlight seen to “churning butter with diamonds” — wasn’t sure how to feel about that. I also don’t like the expression “like so many.” And on and on and on. I think any avid reader has them.

    But I do love colonial times. So I’m sure I’ll get to this eventually.


    • I won’t deny it was very interesting to read as I know next to nothing about that era. But I’ll be interested to see what you think of the characters.

      I hope you like it more than I did 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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