Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hush: An Irish Princess' Tale by Donna Jo Napoli

Genre: young adult
FTC Disclosure: bought from Amazon.com
Published: 2007
Pages: 320
Content: PG for violence/adult themes.

Hmmm....I liked the idea behind the story. But I felt that this one could have been done so much better. This story should've been told as a regular historical fiction novel and not as youth fiction.

We follow Mel, an Irish princess, as she is kidnapped and sold into slavery as a concubine. She's abducted with her sister as they are traveling to safety while their father is attacking some Viking royalty at home. They are to return when they here all is safe.

This is told in first person present tense, which is really difficult to write, in my opinion. And, for me, the story was hindered by it. We only get Mel's perspective and it's very splotchy. The story moves too fast and then too slow. I don't really feel like I get into her head with this perspective. Plus we never learn about others' thoughts and feelings within her world. We never learn about what happened to her sister when she escapes or if her family was killed in that attack. Also the story just ends. I want to know more about how she handles being in a home where she's a concubine, where she has to deal with his wife and how she handles having a child with this man who has raped her over a course of three months. I just felt it would have been a better story in a more adult context. I wanted to know her nitty gritty details about how she was handling all of this horror from being pampered royalty to becoming a slave and then to becoming a sex slave.

It does make you think about slavery and history and women's rights, etc, but not too much. It just could've been handled a lot better.

Rating: 2/5


  1. Upon seeing the cover, I suddenly remembered that this has been on my wish list for some time. However, I'm not sure I'll read it now, having read your review. Thanks for your honesty, Heather!
    P.S. Don't you just adore the cover art, though?! It's one of my favorites. :)

  2. Looks like one I'll be skipping, but it does sound like it could have been good if handled better.

  3. I had high hopes for this book, it looked amazing and the story sounded really good. But after hearing this I really don't know anymore. :) Thanks for the honest review.

  4. Sounds like an interesting story, but it doesn't seem like a good fit for YA. Maybe someone will write a similar story as historical fiction.


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