Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Book Review: The Gentle Revolutionaries by Don Lord
The Gentle Revolutionaries is written by Don Lord and published by WestBow Press.
When I first took a glance at this book, I wondered whether it was nonfiction or fiction. I have since figured out, with the help of the description on Amazon.com, that it is historical fiction. That, of course, means a fictional account that might include real people but takes place in history - in times gone by.
The gist of the story is that two real-life American missionaries, Dan and Emelie Bradley, go to Thailand in 1835 with the desire to serve the Lord there by bringing others to Christ. They came from New York, in a district where women were generally accepted as equals to men socially. The couple became friends with a monk who later became king of Thailand (known as Siam at the time).
You might have heard about King Mongkut in Margaret Landon's The King of Siam. According to Don Lord, this story was mostly fabricated. The Gentle Revolutionaries tells the story more of the Bradleys - specifically Emelie - than the King of Thailand and the mission work there. The story moved slowly for me from the beginning. In fact, I never got through the entire book. I gave up somewhere near the middle. I found that Lord spent more time building up Emelie than anything else. While she might have been a very admirable person, the author could have moved things along quicker and showed us what contributions the couple made to Thailand and the king better. And in a more interesting way - with more intrigue or a stronger romance thread or SOMETHING.
Needless to say, I was not thrilled with this book, which is sad. I wanted to be. I think that Dan and Emelie Bradley, King Mongkut, and the historical Thailand deserve better.
*I received The Gentle Revolutionaries in exchange for my honest opinion. My thoughts are my own.*