Beautiful, headstrong Barbara Devane is a widow at twenty, emotionally devastated and financially ruined by the death of her husband in scandalous circumstances. In colonial Virginia, she struggles to develop a family tobacco plantation, and she finds, in this surprising society, betrayal and evil, and also so her own strength and a new kind of purpose and bond. Returning to London, Barbara sets in motion an unorthodox plan to reestablish herself as a woman of property, confronting her enemies and regaining power and place. As the society around her erupts in political turmoil, she meets a mysterious, charismatic man and embarks on a deeply satisfying yet dangerous clandestine love.
Unlike it’s predecessor Through a Glass Darkly, the sequel lacks the drama, glitz, intrigue, and wonderfully written characters. I wavered between caring and not giving a care about what happened, and continually asked myself what happened to Koen’s writing abilities between her first novel and her second.
There’s just too much going on, and it’s all poorly strung together as we jump across the pond to England and back again to Virginia. This poorly constructed storyline is distract, confusing, and annoying because the historical aspect is dumbed down to where it made it excruciating to read. Yet there is also so much historical information that Now Face to Face reads like an awful history textbook, if that makes sense, and I started to lose interest. In fact, I skimmed the last hundred pages or so.
Overall, I was extremely disappointed.
- Koen, Karleen. Now Face to Face. New York: Random House, 1996. Originally published 1995. Print. 733 pgs. ISBN: 0394569296. Source: PaperBackSwap.