Turtles and Ancient Secrets is a historical fiction novel that tells about the love story of Augustus and Alice Dixon Le Plongeon, two adventurers many years apart in age but true soul mates. They travel the world on a variety of explorations, visiting different places and cultures. One of the adventures is a visit to Yucatan where they came upon a small pox epidemic. Augustus tries to give the inhabitants vaccinations but the Mayan people are terrified. How he deals with this is one of the more interesting parts of the book. Augustus and Alice also witnessed the Massacre at Tizimin where they narrowly escaped death as well as living conditions that were less than comfortable, even for Victorian times.
I picked this book to read because I thought it would involve more about spirits and séances because the book starts with a séance and a pirate ghost who tells Alice about her future. Unfortunately, although there is a tad bit of the supernatural element, the book is almost scattered in the story telling. By that I mean the writing didn’t really flow easily for me and I found it hard to keep track of what was going on. I can’t really put my finger on why I couldn’t get into the story but I just never really found that I could lose myself in the story. I always say that for me to love a book I need to be able to view it in my mind like a movie but with this book I found that almost impossible. The characters were not badly written but Augustus was blustery and unlikeable and I found him to be very arrogant. I also didn’t see the need for the modern aspect of the story with Lucy and the senior Alice. It would have worked well leaving that part out of it and just having Augustus and Alice’s tales. I liked the main idea of the story and loved reading the historical accounts of various things, such as sailing on the ocean liner and little details such as how they dressed, ate and travelled. I guess for me the style of writing is what took away from the book because the story itself was interesting.
I read this book on my ereader and it formatted very well. The cover, unfortunately, really didn’t draw my eye as it is rather bland.