Friday, March 28, 2008
Yesterday. What a busy day. I finally finished Brookland by Emily Barton. It takes place in the late 18th and early 19th century in Brooklyn, New York. The primary characters are the daughters and owners of Winship Daughters Gin distillery. Although I did love the characters and felt very attached to them, their lifestyles, actions and conversations were hardly believable for young women in the late 1700s. The narrator is the eldest daughter, Prue, who is the main owner of the distillery and the behind-the-scenes architect of the first Brooklyn bridge. Throughout the novel she is at times writing her story as a letter to her eldest daughter who has moved away and is about to have her own first child. Despite the twin flaws of believability and plot points, it was a really nice book. As I said, I felt very drawn to the characters and there is a part in the beginning where the river has frozen over and Prue and her sister are escorted across the river for their first trip to Manhattan, by their father. I loved the image of a family in the 1780s making their way across the river from their little hamlet to a 'big' city filled with new and exciting adventures. It was wonderful to imagine this trip. All in all the novel had it's fatal flaws but was an enjoyable journey. And I learned more about the distilling of gin than I ever thought possible.