I Am Margaret Moore by Hannah Capin
Verdict: as disappointed as it seems most other people were. It’s no Foul is Fair, that’s for sure 😦
Recommended: not really
If you’re easily surprised this might be more fun, for people who love military/naval stuff and/or summer camp stories, for a somewhat stream-of-conscious style
Each summer the girls of Deck Five come back to Marshall Naval School. They sail on jewel-blue waters; they march on green drill-fields; they earn sunburns and honors. They push until they break apart and heal again, stronger.
Each summer Margaret and Rose and Flor and Nisreen come back to the place where they are girls, safe away from the world: sisters bound by something more than blood.
But this summer everything has changed. Girls are missing and a boy is dead. It’s because of Margaret Moore, the boys say. It’s because of what happened that night in the storm.
Margaret’s friends vanish one by one, swallowed up into the lies she has told about what happened between her and a boy with the world at his feet. Can she unravel the secrets of this summer and last, or will she be pulled under by the place she once called home?
Not the best. Maybe if I hadn’t known the “twist” from page one it would’ve had more punch? It seemed so obvious that I’m not sure it was actually meant to be a twist, but just in case it is, I’ll stay quiet.
The last quarter gets very disjointed and reads like a stream of consciousness across time jumps. It’s not too hard to follow, but it wasn’t very interesting to me either. Capin has a strong style of writing, and while I generally love it, this ended up getting repetitive. Sure, that was partially the point, but it made me want to hurry up the ending so I’d be done with it.
I didn’t really care about any of the characters either. There was a revelation that made me dislike Mar (see spoiler below) and since we only see the others through her hazy mind, it’s hard to really connect to any of them.
There were two plot points I was surprised by, but they were more of details within the larger story. Ultimately I’d say you can probably skip this one. Stick with Foul is Fair / Golden Boys Beware by her.
Also a personal issue, but the setting of a military summer camp was weird AF to me. I kept getting distracted by the things I didn’t understand or just by how weird it was that people would choose to go there and do that stuff. 🤷♀️🤷♀️
► View spoilers ◄
I mean, it’s super obvious that she’s dead, right? She literally starts it by saying “I’m alive” which call me paranoid but I was suspicious immediately. It didn’t feel like a normal exultant declaration. The real clincher was like page two where it says Flora was the first girl to arrive. If Margaret is narrating from nearby, Flora would be the second. Anyway, maybe my unreliable narrators class has made me naturally suspicious. 🤣
The pregnancy and the actual way Jack kills Mar were a surprise. Rat poison? Seriously? I know Mar sees the good in people but girl what the fuck made you think that made sense? She’s 17 or 18 so I guess the explanation is that her mental state was really fucked up from her distress over the baby and the boy. I don’t know, but it made me like Mar less because that’s really fucking stupid.
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