Today I have, debut author, Ivy Rose, and her novel The Old River Road on my blog. This book is the first in a series of a yet-to-be-determined number of books based on the lives of Ivy’s ancestors.
About Ivy and an Interview
Ivy Rose is an 18 year old history lover and literary enthusiast. Aside from writing, she enjoys being outdoors, chocolate, travelling, reading, and ATVing (preferably if there is mud involved). She resides with her family of 9 on the banks of the Long Lake in eastern Washington.
Me: Welcome Ivy, It’s nice to have you here. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way growing up?
Ivy: I really enjoyed the Elsie Dinsmore books (all 28 of them!) as a child. Even through there is a lot of controversy about those books, they were instrumental in forming my vocabulary and love of old(ish) English.
Me: I liked them too.
Ivy: It depends on the book. Generally speaking, I will have a very, very skeletal outline that has the main events/scenes I want to cover. As I’m writing, I add a lot of other little events in between the main stuff. So I’m kind of a mix of a plotter and panster, leaning more toward panster. 🙂
It’s a bit like that for me.
What is your least favourite part of the publishing / writing process?
Ivy: Least favorite would be first stages of editing. That’s when I do big plot changes, fix big problems—basically all the BIG stuff.
That’s what I’m in the middle of right now.
Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others?
Ivy: High-tension scenes are not my strength. I need to work on them. 🙂
I think I’m probably worst at high action. It comes out all jerky.
What fictional character is most like you?
Ivy: I think I’m the most similar to Belinda in Janette Oke’s Love Comes Softly series, and somewhat like Clara in Kendra E. Ardnek’s Water Princess, Fire Prince.
I’m afraid I don’t know Belinda, but Clara is a very familiar character.
If you could have any accents from anywhere in the world, what would you choose?
Ivy: Oooh, that’s a tough one. I absolutely love Irish and Australian accents. I don’t think I could pick between those two, though. 🙂
Choose Irish. Australian isn’t really that awesome. There are those people who’s voices are particularly distinctive, but they’re actually slightly annoying. If you want an Australian accent, choose a subtle one. I listen to those all day long without noticing.
You can connect with Ivy via her blog, Goodreads, and Pinterest.
About the Book
When seventeen-year- old Clara Boutwell married her dashing coworker, William McDonald, she was convinced her life was near perfect. The journey before them as newlyweds in the great city of Chicago was promising and exciting. But a frightening disease soon takes William in its grip, forcing them to the clean air of the western frontier in a desperate attempt to save his life.
But pioneering doesn’t prove to be easy, with miles between neighbors instead of fences. On the eastern Washington prairies, the McDonalds face hardships and trials in a new world where everything is tested, from physical endurance to emotional strength—down to their relationship and faith in the Lord.
This novel tells the incredible true story of Clara and William, the great-great grandparents of the author, in a sweet narrative full of laughter, tears, and the struggles of an early pioneering family. Prepare yourself to share in their experience as you read this account of a pioneer family in Washington state, and see their lasting legacy that has endured into the fifth generation.
I don’t read a lot of historicals these days, my taste tends more towards fantasy generally, But as soon as I read that this book was a true story I was interested. I adore true stories, and particularly enjoy, one’s from the pioneer period.
The Old River Road (my mind keeps trying to type Rose, instead of Road) is a sweet story. Not the most engaging or exciting book, but a relaxing book for those day you just want something quiet.
The story paints a clear picture of a life in Chicago and later out on the frontier. Life is not always easy but it is generally happy.
Clara and William were a lovely couple, and I loved their families. So many books leave out anyone who isn’t necessary to the plot, or make sure characters bring more conflict or tension. This was a loving, peaceful family, a great example.
On the writing quality side, there is some room for improvement, which is to be expected from a debut book. Ivy leans a bit much towards telling and summarization on a few occasions and the writing doesn’t have the sparkling wittiness or immediacy that draws me to some personal accounts. This might just be personal style though. The characters feel real, but for the most part are not distinctive.
Summing it up, this is a lovely book, much better than anything I have produced myself so far, and I look forward to Ivy continuing the series.
(I was given a e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.)
A Pair of Giveaways
Ivy has been very kind and is doing both a US and an international giveaway. Make sure you enter the right one.
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Hannah E. — Review, Interview
Monday, July 11th
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Rebecca Morgan — Review, Interview
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Kenzi Knapp – Review, Interview
Hosanna Emily — Review, Interview
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Thursday, July 14th
Deborah C. — Review, Spotlight
Anna S. Brie — Review
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Friday, July 15th
Hope Ann — Review, Interview
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Anika Joy – Review, Interview