Today’s review is on Dearest Josephine by Caroline George.
Dearest Josephine follows recent high-school graduate Josie who’s last year of high school was filled of turmoil and grief, especially after the death of her father. While she figures out what she wants to do next, she travels to the manor her father had purchased before his death, and while there she discovers letters and a novel written by one of the previous owners, Elias Roch, who lived there in 1820. She starts reading these items and instantly feels a connection with someone who lived 200 years ago, especially since the letters were written to someone who was her namesake. Will she finally come to terms with her grief? Or will she forever feel a deep connection who has long since died?
I had mixed feelings about Dearest Josephine. It had a lot of elements that I really liked, but it also had some flaws that made me not like it as much as I thought I would.
Some of the elements I liked was that it was told in epistolary style, and it was set against the backdrop of the British moors. Also, it dealt with the topic of grief really well. I also liked getting to know Josie, Oliver and Elias Roch, a man from 1820 who used to live in the manor that Josie is living in. I also liked how she discovered his letters and novel, and it added another dimension to the plot.
However, some of the elements I didn’t like is that in some ways is that the dual timelines never really seemed connected to each other, except for the fact that Josie is reading Elias’ letters to someone named Josephine. Also, I felt like I’d been teased that something paranormal would happen…and it didn’t, which was a let down. I get why the author chose to end the book the way she did and what she was trying to accomplish, but it was still a let down. Something else that I didn’t like was the format, although granted, I did read it as an eARC, so that could have been the reason why it was weird. I didn’t like how I would be reading a passage from Elias’ novel and then in the middle of it there was a text exchange between Josie and her friend Faith, or Oliver. The same would happen in the middle of his letters. I get that the intention was that we are seeing Josie react to what she is reading, but it made the story feel disjointed.
Overall, this was just okay. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it and I would definitely be interested in trying something else out by the author. Thank you to Thomas Nelson and Edelweiss for providing me a copy of Dearest Josephine in exchange for my honest review.
Janelle L. C.