Please Put the Boats Away

Book: Don’t Put the Boats Away

Author: Ames Sheldon

Pages: 291

Rating: 6/10

Genre: Historical Fiction

Who should read this book: fans of post WW2 family lifestyle

First let me say thank you to @booksparks for including me in the pop up book tour. This book released on August 27th.

This was a book about a family that lost their son/brother in the war and the way they all dealt with that sad fact differently. It was also about the political and social aftermath of the war and spanned about 50 years. It was a family saga that included a lot of heartbreak. The historical accuracy was really on point. I found all the historical tidbits very interesting, however the writing and plot itself lowered my opinion of this one.

Writing 0/2 points: I’m so sorry about this rating but I did not at all like the writing style of this author. It was old school and stiff. There was no flow, there were no odd details, just straightforward facts. It was really strange to me and made it difficult for me to even finish this book. I thought maybe I was being too harsh but then I started reading another book after and the writing was so fluid and the descriptions and details were so much deeper. So I’m sorry for the zero but I just couldn’t get on board with this writing style.

Plot 1/2 points: The story was interesting. A family struggling to come back from loss in the 50’s until present day. They dealt with alcoholism, divorce, a woman struggling in the workforce, being a struggling musician etc. I found these struggles interesting, I felt for the characters. But I also had a hard time with the fact that the family in question was extremely rich. They had it way easier than a lot of other people after the war and that made it a little harder for me to sympathize with them. The mother of the dead son, turns to alcoholism and spends weeks in a fancy drying out resort. The remaining kids have their education completely paid for. They are handed jobs in the family business etc. The title is referring to a song about their summer mansion, where they have multiple boats. It just made it more difficult to feel sorry for them.

Hook 2/2 points: The beginning of the book hooked me in a lot more, then my interest started to fade as I got to know the characters. It was set up well, the trauma of loss in the war, the historical accuracy, the sadness, it was all there and then it wasn’t.

Historical Accuracy 2/2: This book was extremely well researched. It included accurate details about politics, medical research at the time, even post-war food trends which I found fascinating. 

Feel 1/2: I finished it because I wanted to see the resolution of the story. I wanted to make sure everyone ended up okay but my heart wasn’t fully in it. The days I was reading this book, saw my attention constantly drawn to other books or TV, which shows me I wasn’t invested.

Overall, I’m not sure I would recommend this book to people around my age, I think it’s more appropriate for an older generation. It was interesting and historically accurate but the writing style was too stiff.

Happy Reading!


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