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The Rathbones by Janice Clark

The Rathbones (2013)

by Janice Clark

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1972188,619 (3.32)12



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I didn't particularly love this book while I was reading it but the images have stayed with me popping into my head over the years. That must count for something. I'd say 4 stars ( )
  ZephyrusW | Jan 22, 2018 |
the oddities of this novel didn't work for me at the moment, though i am fully prepared to accept the fault is my own in my current state. :/ ( )
  Booktrovert | Jan 12, 2018 |
Someone else mentioned this is a kind of [b:Moby Dick|3209693|Moby Dick (Graphic Classics)|Rod Espinosa|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1347576219s/3209693.jpg|27016319] meets [b:One Hundred Years of Solitude|320|One Hundred Years of Solitude|Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327881361s/320.jpg|3295655]. Throw in [b:The Odyssey|1381|The Odyssey|Homer|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1390173285s/1381.jpg|3356006] and you've got an accurate description.

Mercy and her cousin Mordecai flee Rathbone house after Mercy is chased by the 'man in blue' after she was discovered spying on her mother while he 'rode her body.' The cousins are in search of the sperm whales and Mercy's father who has been gone for nearly ten years. Their journey takes them to a few different locations that are directly tied to their family's history, and Mercy (and us) learn of that history along the way. The whole story is leading up to the marriage of her parents so that eventually we understand why her mother is always pacing the widow's walk and rocking it with this 'man in blue.'

The connection to Moby Dick comes from the Rathbone family's obsession with whaling, One Hundred Years of Solitude is the generations of the family of which some members have extra-wordly sensibilities, and The Odyssey is in the various stops and mythical-like creatures the pair encounter and how their voyage leads them right back to its beginning.

It took a long time for me to have any empathy for the characters, and I never really cared for them. Moses, the patriarch, is crazy in how he sets up his own whaling "company" (sons by a string of wives who get passed around all the sons and are nothing but female studs). The naïve and simple Golden Wives and their incestuous daughters who are more reckless and irresponsible than I can imagine. Their inbred children are mythical in their deformities, but whatever.

It was something to read but not to recommend. ( )
  LDVoorberg | Dec 3, 2017 |
Disappointing. I wanted to like it, but just couldn't. I thought that maybe it was just not a setting for me; too much sea mythos. But really it was that none of the characters were engaging. Even the big revelation at the end (an ordinary "so you think s/he's a villain, but you should really just pity them" left me feeling bored & unmoved. ( )
  gahoward67 | Jun 12, 2016 |
So somewhere along the way before picking it up to read it after the publisher sent it I forgot what this book was about and convinced myself it was a children's quest story...and then there was gang rape and I realized that it was in fact an adult title. Mercy and Cousin Mordecai leave home to look for Mercy's father and brother. They are the last in a long line of an incredible whaling family that drifted off course and is now dying out.

I've spent the last 24 hours trying to figure out how I feel about this book. While I still haven't fully formed an opinion about everything I am now certain that I did in fact enjoy this strange epic family story.

I still need a little time to think about what it was I specifically liked but I at least I've figured out that I liked it. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
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The fifteen-year-old heir of a once-prosperous seafaring dynasty in New England spends her days in a crumbling ancestral mansion where she studies the secrets of Greek history and navigation before embarking on a voyage that reveals her family's haunted history.… (more)

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