Thursday, December 15, 2011

Whither Thou Goest, I Will Go by Naomi Dathan (ARC)

This book is supposed to be an ARC, but by the looks of it, it's already available for sale. So, for all those who can't wait, yay! There is a catch though, this book (well, the ebook version anyway), seems to be available only on the Christian eBook app Vyrso.UPDATE: According to Kirkdale Press Publicist, the book is also available on the Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Google Books and iBooks. It seems that I (happily) stand corrected. And now, I lost all the other books on that app.....

Ok, now about the book. If the title seems familiar to you, it's because it's from the book of Ruth, where Ruth tells her mother-in-law Naomi that she'll follow her anywhere. It's cool and all, but a bit strange to be used in a book where the plot was about a wife submitting to her husband.

Jem (or Jemina) is supposed to be this spoilt brat, whose husband Seth takes to the frontier and causes her to learn not to be spoilt and yadda yadda yadda, a fairly typical plot. I enjoyed reading this book, especially since it's set in the 1880s which is a time-period I don't know much of, but the main 'problems' were, I felt, mostly characterisation problems rather than plot. (The plot is simple but really good).

Jem was a very lovable character. You might say too lovable. As the narrator, it's necessary that she isn't so unappealing that no one wants to continue reading, but it was really hard for me to think of her as spoilt at all. The dirt and grime in the West that she originally complained about seem to me like valid concerns. Maybe it's because I'm hypersensitive about dirt (which is why, after I read a historical novel, the first question is "What about the toilets?!?!"), so to me, her initial concerns are perfectly reasonable. Yet, she does experience character growth in a marked way, and gains fortitude through the trials.

Seth on the other hand, was unlikeable. He is, I think, supposed to be superior in terms of character than Jemina, but his actions seem selfish. Perhaps the opening was too short to understand him fully, but his temper tantrums and the lack of any narrative from his point of view made it really hard for me to sympathise with him.

Overall, it seems that the main problem with the book is that it is a little too short. While you can't really lengthen the story too much without being boring (although the ending is definitely for a sequel), more could be done to establish Jem's character as a lovable but spoilt-brat and Seth as a good man, as well as fix other things, such as Jem's father, whose nasty character was revealed too late in the book (he was called that by Seth, but I didn't, and still don't, fully trust what Seth says). But still, I enjoyed reading the book, and I look forward to any sequels.


  1. Hi Eustacia, I'm the publicist for Kirkdale Press. I just wanted to let you know that in addition to Vyrso, the book is available for purchase for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Google Books, and iBooks.

  2. Hi Ryan, thanks for letting me know. Sorry for the mistaken impression, now it's easier to do word-of-mouth recommendations to my Church mates(:

  3. Hi Eustacia, thanks so much for reviewing Whither Thou Goest. Every single bit of feedback is so helpful as I face the daunting task of writing the sequel. :-)


  4. @Naomi: Thanks for your kind words(: I look forward to seeing more of Jem and Seth ^^


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