Molly Lee by Andrew Joyce

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Good Morning readers and happy Saturday to you. Today’s review is of the sequel to the book Redemption by Andrew Joyce. As always not reading the first book first can make this a little difficult but I will review as a standalone novel and hope I can paint a picture of what this book conveyed to me as a reader. As always comments, questions, criticisms, pop them all in the comment box below.

Molly is an eighteen-year-old girl living on her family’s farm in Virginia when two deserters from the Southern Cause enter her life. One of them—a twenty-four-year-old Huck Finn—ends up saving her virtue, if not her life. Molly is so enamored with Huck, she wants to run away with him. But Huck has other plans and is gone the next morning before she awakens. Thus starts a sequence of events that leads Molly into adventure after adventure; most of them not so nice. We follow the travails of Molly Lee, starting when she is eighteen and ending when she is fifty-six. Even then Life has one more surprise in store for her. Molly Lee is the sequel to the best-selling novel REDEMPTION: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer. It is the story of a woman who knows what she wants and starts out to get it. Molly is about to set off on the quest of a lifetime . . . of two lifetimes.

So there’s a little synopsis of the first book to give you an idea where we’re starting off from. The book of Molly Lee spans her astonishing life as she ventures through the western frontier during the late nineteenth century. We follow her as she searches for Huck Finn whilst also discovering a little more about herself and getting into a number of perilous adventures. Throughout the book the author thoroughly describes the considerable character change of Molly; from sweet and naïve, a just eighteen-year-old adolescent to valiant heroine and I bloody loved her from the beginning. Her personality and grit meant that from the very first page turn I was willing her to succeed and wishing that she would finally get to the man who saved her from a fate worse than death, as she puts it. I thought the writer really went to town with this character, gutsy, not afraid to say what she thinks and very inspiring I take my hat off to Joyce for creating such a strong and authentic female protagonist.

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 I thought the long spanning time distance of the plot made for a really intriguing and detailed read. The adventure of Molly Lee that takes her from Virginia right the way to Montana span a life from eighteen to fifty six years young allowing for a truly extensive view of our main female protagonist. We experience the West in an invigorating and all-inclusive manner, whilst visiting cattle drives, school rooms and even a whore house or two all the while Miss Molly is just searching for the man that she ultimately loves. Often our beloved hero is in trouble, but written as like the old dime novels of the Nineteenth century we see Molly overcoming such traumas in three ways, luck, skill or her gift of the gab. The plot is overwhelmingly detailed and rockets along with a fast pace and the action is described in a detailed but wholly original fashion.

Technically the writing style is even and slick with description that transports you the days of the cowboys and their cattle drives. The descriptions were heady and evocative and I could almost feel the sun beating down on my shoulders, it was a joy to read. For me, this book easily stands on its own two feet as a standalone novel. I think the book weaves a brilliant line of stories and manages the highs and the lows for the main character impeccably well. Sometimes books can become a little tedious especially when spanning such a long time period but it is really handled well to keep the excitement coming so you barely have time to look up before you want to get back in and keep reading. Spot on!

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