The Fortune Follies by Catori Sarmiento

After the end of World War Two, American society is recuperating from the human loss of war, an uneven social system, and a massive corporation that has caused a technological boom. Seeing a new opportunity, Sarah Igarashi departs from her home on the coast of Alaska to meet her cousin in Seattle where she stumbles to find her place in a new city filled with otherworldly technologies and ideals. In contrast is her cousin, Penelope, who is quite comfortable navigating through a rapidly changing society while also pursuing a singing career with the assistance of her uncle and close cousin, George. However, in pursuing their own goals, each family member is met with outward and inward conflicts; from familial deception to social upheaval and natural disasters.

A little about Catori first:

author-photo-2020After growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Catori Sarmiento’s travels while being a military spouse have often inspired her unique writing style. Although she began writing at an early age, it was not until she began writing poetry during her time as a University of Maryland student that she decided to seriously pursue professional writing. She went on to study writing in a graduate program at National University of San Diego while also living in Tokyo, Japan. Upon graduation, she began writing what would become a first-place Cygnus Award-winning novel, The Fortune Follies. A year later, her next novel, Carnival Panic was published.

She hopes that readers will find intrigue and entertainment in her stories!

Karen Meyer’s Review: 2-Stars (DNF)

This book in my opinion was not ready to be published.

The dedication page looks like the beginning of Chapter 1. I don’t think I ever decided where Chapter 1 began because in the middle of what I thought was chapter 1 was a Seattle Citizen Registration for Sarah Igarashi. So the first chapter went on and on and on.

Then finally in the middle of the page in a bunch of text was a tiny little 2. I assumed this to finally be Chapter 2 therein Loc 385 of 4022 or 10% of the book was given to chapter 1.

The opening sentence went like this: “It was a terrible thing she did and it had been necessary.” Already I felt like the “and” should have been a “but “. This got me into “critique mode” since that is also something I do.

Therefore I finally got to chapter 2 and just couldn’t go any further. Edit, edit, edit!!! Never submit a book to be published that has not been edited to death.

I am so sorry, but because of the totally unorganized manner of the book, I am giving it 2 stars.

Sherry Terry’s Review: 3-Stars (DNF)

This book is an alternate history steeped in factual events during and after WWII. A little dystopian feeling.

I felt the plot was a great idea. A young girl leaving everything she knows behind to start a new life in a foreign world. It just didn’t come across that well in the end. I didn’t get a sense of any of Sarah’s heritage before the war, and she felt a little too “American”. I have no idea who she was before, which makes it hard to connect with who she is in the book – now.

I liked the descriptive nature of the setting at first, then it became overwhelming, and I started skimming. The main character, Sarah’s dialog makes her sound combative. She questions authority, then agrees to do what they are telling her to do. It feels like the author is trying to explain how things worked by using dialog (which is good) but it feels thrown onto the page in order to get it into the book.

I feel if we had more character emotion and a better sense of who the main character is instead of setting description, it would have had a little more nuance to make Sarah feel more real. She feels like a regular American moving from Alaska to live with her cousin in Seattle.

The details are good, and the prosy nature of the sentences flow smoothly. For readers who enjoy a lot of details, this is the book for you. Even though I did not finish reading the book, I can well understand why readers of this genre will love it.

Please feel free to share your review in the comments.

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