Title: God's Daughter
Author: Heather Day Gilbert
Series: Vikings of the New World Saga #1
~ MY REVIEW ~
So I'm going to try and gather my thoughts together for an honest review on God's Daughter. I'm just not sure what to think of this book. The Viking culture and history were definitely intriguing to read of. But other things just nagged at me a bit.
God's Daughter by Heather Day Gilbert tells the story of a strong Viking woman named Gudrid, and of her surviving her mother's barbaric death, rejecting volvas and paganism for Christianity, journeying overseas with her husband and his men, and her relations to the Leif Erikson family.
I was fascinated almost at once, (first from the amazing cover, than as I started reading the first pages). This book is a fresh, raw look at the people called Vikings and their lives and customs. The encounters with Skaelings, the stories of the volvas, the healing techniques, Vinland ... it was all quite interesting.
I can't say that I prefer the writing style used. (Example: "I grip my seax, its long blade tight against my thigh, and walk toward the bull." Chapter one: page one) It was kind of hard for me to get into. But it might not bother all. It's seems to be popular these days. I did get used of it fairly quickly though. And, on second thought, God's Daughter did have quite a bit of narrative parts as well; which can make for a little bit of a slower pace I think.
It was an interesting book, I found myself enjoying it a lot at many parts, and I felt like it was even an educational experience. But its probably not what I would usually pick up for a really entertaining novel.
My complaint about God's Daughter would be Gudrid's long line of men who were "in love" with her. She's a Christian and married woman, but still she entertains thoughts about this man back home, and feels this kind of responsibility to all the men who aren't wise enough to keep their eyes off another man's wife. At first, I appreciated this aspect of the story ... it show a real-life struggle and all. But after a while, I just wished that Gudrid would realize how much her own husband loved her, and truly love him back. What part of the husband/wife commitment doesn't she understand? She talks to these men about her feelings and fears; all the while, she knows they're in love with her. And at the same time, she hardly talks to her own husband, even when he finally starts pouring out his thoughts to her. She lets the other men take liberties, even if they're just emotional/verbal, time and time again, until I feel like shouting at her, "Can't you see how this is affecting them? And even yourself?". I feel like after a woman gets married, she's more careful with her relationship with other men; definitely doesn't confide in them. But Gudrid obviously didn't think that way (possibly due to her fears and speculations about her husbands devotion to her). Granted, Christianity was a new thing to this wild people, Finn and Gudrid's marriage was arranged, and Gudrid didn't have a Bible or godly woman to instruct her and help her when temptations arose. But it still pained me after awhile. I would have liked to see this situation resolved, but... the book kind of ended without letting me know if it was exactly. Is there going to be a sequel?? *smiles*
So yes. That's my complaint. Other notes: it wasn't the most action-packed, large-plot novel, but it did have plenty of intense/emotional/intriguing moments and such. I enjoyed the array of characters (except for Gudrid's shameless admirers), and it was really interesting to watch how each of their stories played out, see the different personalities and all that. Except ... was Leif Erikson really like that??
A warning: there are some violent/gory/barbaric moments. Nothing too graphic I didn't feel. And also has some mature content, this being a novel about a married couple. I would say its for older teens to adult.
I don't know what more to tell. I won't exactly recommend God's Daughter, but I'm definitely not saying don't read it! It's an intriguing historical saga anyway, and there is some sweet/poignant/great aspects of it. I enjoyed a lot of it. I would say pick it up yourself and come to your own conclusions. *smiles*
I'm not giving up on this book myself, I would like to read a sequel and see Gudrid grow and things get better! Or just another book by Heather Day Gilbert.