What I Loved:
I love that this book covered three generations of characters. I think it really helped me to understand who Christel, the main character, was. I got an excellent understanding of why her emotional state was the way it was, and I appreciated all the details that went into building the timeline.
Alan and Julian are an odd-couple type of business relationship. Julian is a wonderful man with a lovely personality, while Alan is the exact opposite. He is a cruel, ruthless man that is focused on making it to the top of the success ladder.
Julian finds out he is a father shortly before his death, and he entrusts his daughter to Alan. WHY?!?!? I know as the reader we know more than the characters, but this decision broke my heart. So, Alan ends up the caregiver for Christel, and he is terrible. Christel endures unthinkable acts *see warnings below* and her treatment emotionally hollows her out.
Christel’s early childhood experiences shape who she becomes as a woman. She must work to embrace who she is with the help of someone from her past.
How I Felt:
The plot was so interesting. I really liked how the story covered such a wide range of years. There were twists and turns that I didn’t expect throughout the book, making the story such a page-turner! Christel’s history provides so much for the reader to learn about, and as the information was revealed, I just needed to know more!
The characters were so well-written. They had a depth that stemmed from their expansive histories, as well as the care the author took to develop them throughout the story. Alan is a despicable person. I was disgusted by him throughout the entire book. I found myself blaming Julian again and again for putting Christel in this horrible situation.
I enjoyed Christel’s character arc as she ages. She struggles with her history and her emotions. At times, she wants to right the wrongs with anger and revenge, but at other times, she turns inward, working to heal. She had so many qualities that were just like her father. It was interesting to see the parallels to the ways they treated situations.
Overall, I really enjoyed this story. It was well-written with a plot that makes you need to keep reading!
This book contains physical, mental, and sexual abuse and rape, as well as suicide.
To Read or Not To Read:
I would recommend A Goddess Among Men for readers that enjoy an emotional story with self-reflection and character growth.
Where to Find This Book:
A Goddess Among Men by Daniel Davidsohn is available at these sites.
From the primitive ruggedness of the Amazon rainforest to the privileged society of New York, three generations experience triumph and tragedy in this saga of loyalty, corruption, greed . . . but one woman has the power to change it all.
In 1907, Julian Welch and Alan Reid meet by chance in the jungles of the Amazon attracted by the riches of the rubber boom. Pioneers in an era of uncertainty, they form an unlikely alliance and establish the foundation for a successful empire, Reid & Welch. However, with Julian’s death, the empire is left to Alan, as is the responsibility for Julian’s newborn daughter, Christel.
Yet for Christel, there’s no growing up as a privileged heiress. Instead, Alan subjects her to a life few endure, much less overcome. Through her will to survive and being as uncompromising as she is beautiful, Christel puts the horrors of her past behind her and begins to build a seemingly bright future. But when the success built on corruption starts to crumble, Christel will be forced to address the past or pay for the sins of the fathers.
Just the Facts:
A Goddess Among Men by Daniel Davidsohn
Genre: Historical Fiction
Page Count: 446 pages
Pub Date: June 2020
Born in 1969, Brazil, Daniel Davidsohn’s novels have been called exciting, gripping, and engrossing, garnering him praise and rave reviews. He is passionately attracted to unfamiliar things and enjoys taking readers off the beaten path.
His books include From The Nile to The Euphrates (2009), Mare Crisium (2015), A Higher Power (2016), The Karma Code (2017), Leave Her Out, a 2018 Readers’ Favorite Book Award Finalist, and A Goddess Among Men (2020).
I was provided an advanced listening copy of this book for free. I am leaving my review voluntarily.