Oh Sarah, how I miss you from These Is My Words! I thoroughly enjoyed the first installment in this series and while less impressed with the second, Sarah's Quilt, I still enjoyed it considerably. However, The Star Garden fell flat and hopefully the author has decided to let Sarah be after this one.
While less occurs in Star Garden than in Sarah's Quilt (although honestly how could MORE happen?), Star Garden felt formulaic. Marriage dilemma? Check. Rudolfo/neighbor issues? Check. Problems with random strangers? Check. Someone dies? Check. Guns blazing? Check. And the checklist continues. Very disappointing!
Sarah felt a bit off in Sarah's Quilt but she felt quite diminished in Star Garden to me. Yes she speaks again of her books and schooling, which shows us the old Sarah. But the way in which she acts in school and in other situations felt different. Could it be her age? Stress? Past events lead me to believe it was simply the way she was written rather than a character change.
This installment felt forced and I think that is why there is so much drama. There is a lot of violence in this one that never feels fleshed out so it leaves it feeling unnecessary. Also, events in the beginning are never really explained regarding the stagecoach. Little events, ones that were more compelling, tended to be glossed over in this one.
The diary entries in the book again seemed superfluous, which is complete contrast to These Is My Words. The dates seemed more like chapters than diary entries as days and days would be explained in one entry. A diary entry should not be twenty pages, it ruins the illusion. I guess the illusion of Sarah being so real in These Is My Words was rather broken in Sarah’s Quilt and here again, where you felt her less strongly. There was also a great deal of commenting on the past, but not in a way a true diary entry would contain such entries. There were also distracting mentions of who was who when a TRUE diary entry would not require that unless they were new people to the writer of the diary.
Overall Star Garden is a disappointing end to the Sarah Prine series (at least I hope it is the end).