Reviews and bookish conversation with author Samantha Wilcoxson.
If I am lost, you will find me in medieval England.
You can also find me - and my books - on my blog.
A glimpse at the reviews for this book tells me that many people are 'tricked' into reading it due to it's similarity to The Girl on the Train. I realized my mistake about a quarter of the way through listening to this audiobook and decided that I liked it enough to continue.
The most clever thing about this book might be the decision to name it almost the same thing as a famous bestseller, but the plot is also quite intricate - to the point where it becomes implausible. I enjoyed the character development and style of writing that made this book play like a movie in my head. If I found the final reveal a bit much, it did take me by surprise. If you happen to accidentally pick it up, I recommend sticking with it. ;-)
I am a guest of Mary Anne Yarde today, and she asked me what inspires me to write. Check it out.
Jefferson according to Burr. Jefferson according to his daughter. These are fun to read at the same time!
I selected this book based on an online recommendation. The cover and description were appealing, so I decided to give it a shot. The author is new to me, but the era of history is not. Fourteenth century history does, however, seem to be unfamiliar to the author.
Very little of the attitudes, speech, and beliefs of the characters in this book felt 14th century to me. Besides being flat, one-dimensional characters, many of them sounded like modern people thrown into a novel about the plague. Faith and church, which were an important part of life to most people, rich or poor, at this time, are treated with disdain and mockery by almost every character. Medical knowledge of the 21st century is injected throughout the novel to create an island of survivors while everyone around them is dying.
The only character I had any sympathy for was one the author tries very hard to paint as a villain. But I had pity for the neglected and abused fourteen-year-old daughter whose mother had long ago decided that insults were her favored parenting tool. We are supposed to believe that at some point Lady Anne had tried her best with Eleanor, but her treatment of the girl is horrifying, and it is not shocking that the girl has turned into a brat doing whatever it takes to get some attention. That's what neglected kids do.
As for Thaddeus and his boring ramble through the countryside abusing his own crew of teenagers.....I don't even know what the point of that was. There is a murder that is solved along the way, but no one seems too concerned about it.
The book ends with 'to be continued' but I will not be looking for more of these selfish, anachronistic characters' stories.
This book was received from NetGalley in return for an honest review.
The lovely Stephanie Churchill has invited me to her blog to talk about why I decided to write about Elizabeth Woodville in Once a Queen.
I'm excited to be involved in this year's Tudor Summit! I'll be speaking with Heather Teysko about Tudor women. To listen to my presentation, along with a bunch of other interesting talks about all things Tudor, sign up here at http://www.tudorsummit.com .
'On February 1, 1535, King Henry VIII's Act of Supremacy came into force, and one of the first groups he proceeded against were the Carthusian monks. Although this order had long been a respected and peaceful group, Henry labeling himself 'Supreme Head on Earth of the Church of England' made it possible for him to charge them with treason for their failure to accept his self-proclaimed level of spiritual power. His retribution was fierce and intended to be an example of any who considered refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy.'
A big THANK YOU to Tudor Times for inviting me to talk about Margaret Beaufort and her four husbands!
As Bright as Heaven is a novel that feels like a friend by the time one finishes it. The storytellers, a mother and her three daughters, each add their own perspective and emotion to the events of 1918: World War I and the Spanish flu on a global level, love and loss on a personal level. I was captivated from the beginning and sad when it ended.
The method of telling each chapter from the perspective of one of the women/girls of the Bright family reminded me of The Poisonwood Bible. Both books include families moved from all that is familiar with faith and expectations packed in their luggage. This book is not as academically written and does not make such an obvious political statement, but it also feels more real. The faith of the Bright family is ever-present but not overbearing. They struggle, make mistakes, love, forgive, and lose precious loved ones in the flu epidemic that stole more from the world than the war did.
If some of the plot twist in this novel was predictable, I think the author can be forgiven. The development of the Bright girls' characters as they grew up and the emotions elicited throughout the novel more than make up for the lack of mystery. The spotlight on the impact of the flu in Philadelphia and the setting of an undertaker business are brilliant choices that make this an original and inspirational story.
I received this book through NetGalley. Opinions are my own.