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Uncertain Voyage: A Novel by Dorothy Gilman
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Uncertain Voyage: A Novel (original 1967; edition 1988)

by Dorothy Gilman (Author)

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279270,711 (3.42)4
With a broken marriage and a nervous breakdown barely behind her, Melissa sails for Europe. When a strange traveler urgently asks her to deliver a book to a secret address, Melissa agrees -- much against her better judgment. Soon Melissa realizes she's being followed. Her life is suddenly in danger. And as she finds herself forced to fight alone against an enemy she cannot understand, Melissa discovers something extraordinary about herself, something she never suspected . . .… (more)
Member:Mothsmom
Title:Uncertain Voyage: A Novel
Authors:Dorothy Gilman (Author)
Info:Fawcett (1988), 192 pages
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Uncertain Voyage by Dorothy Gilman (1967)

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This was my first introduction to Dorothy Gilman. I had a four book sampler box set and this is the one I chose to dig into to.

There is no mystery here - at the beginning, on a trip, she is handed a book to deliver for a secret agent when she gets to an eventual destination. Not taking it that seriously, she later learns the man has been killed and has to decide whether to deliver the book.

Well, most of the time she isn't thinking of that - she has a sweet love affair in a town that occupies most of her thoughts. Most of the book is her digging into herself, finding her way through life during a self-discovery trip alone. The book and crime sit in the background. Unfortunately the female lead comes across very weak, dependent, and miserable.

She's such a .... grim character. She doesn't know what happiness is and doesn't know what she wants. She is pessimistic, always searching, doubtful even when good things are present, and sometimes seems even borderline suicidal. She mentions at the beginning that she just left psychiatric treatment and left a miserable marriage behind. Even at one point toward the end she seems calm about the thought of death.

The character evolves at the end, which brings the book up a bit, but the journey to get there was bleak, dragging, and not very pleasant. As I said, there is no mystery, it's a crime piece. The ending is a little too convenient too, no clever twists.

I will read another of Gilman, her writing style is good, and hope it is better than this one.

( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
While the bare bones of this mystery are standard fare, the exploration of what it means to be alive - what it means to be ones self - what makes life meaningful in fact - these are the interesting things about this novel. Another nice touch is the fact that Melissa finds such reserves of self - I always enjoy strong heroines. ( )
1 vote tjsjohanna | Aug 24, 2009 |
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The ship had been five days at sea, and now Melissa could feel tension rising in her at thought of their arrival the next morning in Cherbourg and a few hours later at Southampton; for on the following day, Sunday, they would reach Bremerhaven, Germany, and there she would be abandoned, rendered up to a huge and totally new constituent-- a crocodile with open jaws-- where not a friend or acquaintance, not even a name scrawled on a slip of paper would be available to her for the next fourteen days.
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With a broken marriage and a nervous breakdown barely behind her, Melissa sails for Europe. When a strange traveler urgently asks her to deliver a book to a secret address, Melissa agrees -- much against her better judgment. Soon Melissa realizes she's being followed. Her life is suddenly in danger. And as she finds herself forced to fight alone against an enemy she cannot understand, Melissa discovers something extraordinary about herself, something she never suspected . . .

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