Not by Sight by Kate Breslin follows Grace Mabry, a spunk suffragette in England during WWI, who is willing to do whatever it takes to help her country. However, there are plenty of people doing nothing help the country—such as Jack Benningham, a handsome, rich, able-bodied man who would rather swoon young ladies and party his life away. Or so Grace thinks when she gives him a white feather of cowardice at a masquerade. Then she joins the Women’s Forage Corps to help out and finds Jack Benningham holed up in a mansion, scarred and blinded from a fire accident. Soon her view on Jack, the war, and herself begin to change.
Here’s my thing with this book. I have confidence it’s good. I have confidence it’s great even. It just starts off slow. Too slow for my tastes, I must say.
I didn’t finish this book. I didn’t find anything to keep my going. This isn’t to say someone else out there couldn’t find something intriguing in it. I thought the synopsis was intriguing when I first picked it up. I wanted to see Grace and Jack interact in high society during the early 20th century like the back cover synopsis and cover photo suggest.
But that didn’t happen. The white feather, the masquerade ball, everything the book suggests from the start is over by chapter two. Then, the characters are off in the country of England doing things that aren’t interesting.
Grace’s character didn’t catch me as anything special either. If anything, I found her annoying, whiny even. She doesn’t seem to be heroic at all (maybe she changes by the end). When she finally interacts with Jack, I felt their scenes were stiff and boring. They go on long drives, they ask each other boring questions. I wanted to scream at them. I wanted to scream at all the characters, including the other ladies of the Women's Forage Corps.
I couldn’t find reason to keep reading this book. I hope, maybe, someday I’ll give it another chance. It might have potential (there are hints of undercover spy stuff) but after 158 pages of dull conversation and no sign of the plot thickening, I must give it up.
I think people who enjoy historical Christian fiction with a side of romance will probably enjoy this book more than I did. They might even enjoy it enough to finish it. I’m just not the right audience for this tale.
You can read an excerpt here to find out for yourself.
I received this book free from Bethany House for my open and honest opinion.