Title: Finding the Raven by Patty Dickson Pieczka
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: White Stag, an imprint of Ravenswood Publishing
Page count: 292pages
Publication Date: June 15, 2016
Rating – 4/5!!
When Julia Dulac’s father is murdered onstage and her inheritance is swindled away, she must work through her grief and fear of poverty to find both the killer and a means of survival with help from the Raven, a black crystal that reveals images of past and future truths. While having the crystal appraised, Julia finds love and her life takes unexpected turns through mystery and betrayal against the backdrop of the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis.
Through the boarding house window, Julia overhears an argument between Rose and her wealthy father over Rose’s illegitimate pregnancy. He drops Rose off, saying he will return in one year, that she must be either single and childless or respectably married. Though from completely different backgrounds, Julia and Rose become fast friends, facing lessons of survival and redemption as their fates become irrevocably entwined.
Happy Tuesday! Today I am bringing you my review of Finding the Raven by Patty Dickson Pieczka. I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review of it.
Finding the Raven follows the story of two young women who find their world’s torn apart, one by a surprise pregnancy that causes her parents to send her away and another by the unexpected death of her father. They find themselves in the same city at the same boarding house and they fast become friends that help each other find their way in the world on their own.
I have had the good luck of reading some really good books lately and Finding the Raven is definitely among them. I thought that the cover to this book was beautiful and I was also pulled in the by the description. Having not read much historical fiction lately, it was easy for me to get wrapped up in this book from the beginning. Altogether it took me about a day to read, which is pretty fast for me because I had to read it during my breaks at work and such, so as you can tell I found it pretty difficult to put this book down.
I definitely loved the multiple perspectives used in telling the story but my favorites of course, were that of Julia and Rose. I loved seeing their friendship blossom and just really loved seeing their individual stories and the struggles they overcome. While I don’t think they are the most complex characters, I thought they were both pretty enjoyable and their struggles fit with the time period this book takes place in.
The ending fell a little flat for me and seemed a little rushed compared to the rest of the book but I did enjoy it and would definitely be up for reading more from this author! I think a second book would definitely answer some of the questions I still had about Julia and Monroe’s ending, as well as the crystal and the ravens but I’m not sure if that is a thing. Overall, this story was absorbing and enjoyable. I recommend checking it out and I am giving it four stars. I feel like it was historical fiction with a little light fantasy, I found that blend to be really interesting and it worked really well. I thought the description of the fair was intoxicating and I would have loved to see a little more of it. If you are looking for an absorbing historical fiction read with light fantasy elements, you may enjoy this story!
About the Author
Patty Dickson Pieczka’s second book, Painting the Egret’s Echo,, won the Library of Poetry Book Award from Bitter Oleander Press. Other books are Lacing through Time, and Word Paintings. Winner of the Francis Locke Memorial Poetry Contest, the I SPS contest, and the Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest, she’s contributed to over fifty journals and graduated from Southern Illinois University’s creative writing program.
AMAZON CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01E11ILY0