Monday, April 23, 2012
CBR4 Review #4 - The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise by Julia Stuart
I requested The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise from my library based on idgiepug's glowing review. Oh, how I wanted to love this book. I'm not sure if my expectations were too high or if it simply paled in comparison after reading a book I adored, but although I did think very highly of it, that I greatly esteemed the book, that I liked the book, I just didn't love it. And reading it, I felt a bit sad for all the misunderstandings, misinterpretations, and miscommunications between and among the characters.
I did very much enjoy the characters. They were lovely. And it was fascinating learning more about the Tower of London. I absolutely would not want to live there, however. The damp alone would make me miserable. And I learned that Beefeaters are not overly fond of that nickname and prefer to be called Yeoman Warders (which is short for Yeoman Warder of her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress Tower of London, and Member of the Sovereign's Body Guard of the Yeoman Guard Extraordinary), so there's your bit of learning for the day.
The parts of the story involving the London Underground's Lost Property Office were fabulous. I really hope that's what that office is like in real life. No one tell me if it's not. I want to remain blissfully deluded.
As for what I didn't like, I just wanted the characters to talk to each other. All that lack of communication can be a bit frustrating to witness. Especially when the characters are so delightful and it seems like their problems could be relatively easily solved if they would just share their bloody thoughts and feelings!
I have noticed that as some time has passed since I first finished reading it, I feel a greater fondness for The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise. Like I said, perhaps my expectations were simply too high and/or the timing of when I read it was an issue. I definitely recommend it. It's a sweet book, with charming characters, and you learn about the Tower of London--and who doesn't like to learn new things? So, it has many positive aspects to recommend it.