Forever Phoebe

Written by Chalon Linton
Review by Fiona Alison

In Somerset, 1814, Phoebe Jamison and her older brothers live a charmed life, placing bets with each other on a horse race or chess game, attending tedious balls, and wagering who will dance with whom. A newcomer to the area, Franklin Everly befriends the Jamison family and becomes enamoured of the feisty red-headed Phoebe.

I commend the author for the effort she has put into her book, but it falls short for several reasons. Too much descriptive minutiae stalls the readers’ imagination; too much telling, not showing; by the middle of the novel, nothing of note has happened; the characters lead frivolous lives which makes it impossible to care about any of them; the sexual attraction between Franklin and Phoebe is barely hinted at; and nothing drives the plot forward. Even the danger of a kidnapper abducting local girls feels inconsequential and plays no part in the story. It took some effort to finish the book; however, it may be of interest to readers who enjoy a very slow-burn romance.