I was invited by Self-Publishing Services, to read The World Turned Upside Down, John Mernone’s debut book of historical fiction, in exchange for an honest review. This is an intriguing examination of American Revolution from the French perspective, as Rochambeau, Lafayette, and others helped the colonies win independence from England.
Full of suspense, romance, and of course, war stories, this serious student of history learned a lot. For example I had never considered the suffering of the French and English families while their men were away at war, or the pressures the public brought on King George to end the war. While, I knew the French helped us, I never knew the extent of their assistance, or how many Frenchmen lost their lives to aid the colonists.
An Italian mercenary, Major Jean Canossa, is sent with the French soldiers to serve as bodyguard to General Rochambeau. He is immediately smitten with Nancy Campan, whose family provided him a place to stay while in Newport, Rhode Island. Of course, a touching love story blossoms.
While I love the story and am thoroughly impressed with the historical accuracy, I am sorry to have to say the writing needs work.
What made The Grumpy Book Reviewer grumpy?
This was the published version of the book, so I was both surprised and disappointed in the number of errors I found. This excellent book deserved a better editor and proofreader.
- Non-English words not italicized;
- Confusing “insure” with “ensure”;
- Confusing “further” and “farther”;
- Using “begs the question” in place of “raises the question” – they are not interchangeable;
- Mixing singular and plural;
- Mixing possessive and plural;
- Occasional incorrect verb tense;
- Some syntax problems;
- A lot of missing commas;
- Some misplaced commas;
- Excessive and unnecessary use of the word “that”.