Skip to main content

Kaleidoscope by Diane Eklund-Abolins: A Book Review

Kaleidoscope

Author: Diane Eklund-Abolins

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher: Aoe Publishing

Release Date: 2021

Pages: 374

Source: This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: It is 1917, and a war in Europe is also being felt in Australia as young men sign up in their thousands. Some of them anticipate adventure; others believe that fighting for England is the right thing to do. Bridget O'Connor, a young woman from the Central West of New South Wales with a husband and a brother caught up in the war, does not believe that killing can ever be the 'right thing to do'. At the same time, she is fleeing to Sydney, expecting to be hanged for a dreadful crime she herself has committed. Past injustices, domestic violence and society's perspective on women twist around the central themes of war and Bridget's crime.


     My Review: Bridget has committed a dreadful crime that would result in her being hanged. To save herself from that dreadful fate, she and her young son escape to Sydney to live with her sister. She dreads being hunted by the police and wonders if she caught what will happen to her when she is hanged. As she is in hiding with her sister, Bridget ponders her life and contemplates how she has committed her crime. She also wonders that if she is hanged, if there will be an afterlife waiting for her. Would Bridget ever be caught and punished for crime?


Bridget is a complicated character. Mrs. Eklund-Abolins slowly peels back the layers of Bridget’s character and the motive for why she committed that crime. By revealing Bridget’s character slowly and the crime, the reader comes to understand Bridget in an intimate way. Bridget’s family had come to Australia from Ireland to seek a better life. They are Catholics and are faced with many prejudices. These events helped shape Bridget’s childhood years. We learn that Bridget often ponders her faith and her relationship to God. We also learn that Bridget was once naive and romantic in her youth. However, WWI had a profound effect on her, especially since her husband and brother were directly involved in her life. The war played a major role in the motivation of why she committed her crime. Bridget in the novel goes through guilt, fear, sadness, loss, and choices. Thus, Bridget seems very human and flawed. Because the reader takes time to get to know Bridget, it is hard to not emphasize and understand her motives.


Overall, this novel is about war trauma, religious beliefs, and choices. The message of the novel is that life is unexpected and that there is always hope. Another message is the novel that even though life does not always go as you had planned, there are still endless possibilities. The novel starts out slow, but it is still an excellent character-driven story. The one main flaw of this story is that it suffers from mostly being told instead of shown. Still, it is an emotional and moving novel. There were also a few surprising twists in the story. Kaleidoscope is a novel that will still linger with you long after you have read the last page. The characters, especially Bridget, feel very real to the reader. The story makes the reader have anxiety for Bridget that you cannot help but read to the end to see what happens to her. Kaleidoscope is a must read for fans of WWI because it tells the personal costs and trauma of how it affects a soldier and his family. I recommend this for fans of Beauty Among Ruins, Band of Sisters, and The Victory Garden!


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post by Allison Pataki: A Book Review

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post Author: Allison Pataki Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Ballantine Release Date: February 15, 2022 Pages: 381 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: Mrs. Post, the President and First Lady are here to see you. . . . So begins another average evening for Marjorie Merriweather Post. Presidents have come and gone, but she has hosted them all. Growing up in the modest farmlands of Battle Creek, Michigan, Marjorie was inspired by a few simple rules: always think for yourself, never take success for granted, and work hard—even when deemed American royalty, even while covered in imperial diamonds. Marjorie had an insatiable drive to live and love and to give more than she got. From crawling through Moscow warehouses to rescue the Tsar’s treasures to outrunning the Nazis in London, from serving the homeless of the Great Depression to entertaining Roosevelts, Kennedys, and Hollywood’s biggest stars, Marjorie Merriweath

The Seven Sisters (The Seven Sisters #1) by Lucinda Riley: A Book Review

The Seven Sisters (The Seven Sisters #1) Author: Lucinda Riley Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance Publisher: Atria Release Date: 2015 Pages: 463 Source: My State Public Library Synopsis: Maia D’Apliese and her five sisters gather together at their childhood home, “Atlantis”—a fabulous, secluded castle situated on the shores of Lake Geneva—having been told that their beloved father, who adopted them all as babies, has died. Each of them is handed a tantalizing clue to her true heritage—a clue which takes Maia across the world to a crumbling mansion in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Once there, she begins to put together the pieces of her story and its beginnings. Eighty years earlier in Rio’s Belle Epoque of the 1920s, Izabela Bonifacio’s father has aspirations for his daughter to marry into the aristocracy. Meanwhile, architect Heitor da Silva Costa is devising plans for an enormous statue, to be called Christ the Redeemer, and will soon travel to Paris to find the right sculptor to

Iceberg by Jennifer A. Nielsen: A Book Review

  Iceberg Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen Genre: Children, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Adventure Publisher: Scholastic Release Date: March 7, 2023 Pages: 317 Source: My State Public Library Synopsis : As disaster looms on the horizon, a young stowaway onboard the Titanic will need all her courage and wits to stay alive. A thrilling tale from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer A. Nielsen!     Hazel Rothbury is traveling all alone from her home in England aboard the celebrated ship Titanic . Following the untimely death of her father, Hazel’s mother is sending her to the US to work in a factory, so that she might send money back home to help her family make ends meet.     But Hazel harbors a secret dream: She wants to be a journalist, and she just knows that if she can write and sell a story about the Titanic ’s maiden voyage, she could earn enough money to support her family and not have to go to a sweatshop. When Hazel discovers that mother didn’t send her with enough money for