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Carpe Librum

Bookish conversation with author Samantha Wilcoxson.


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Historical Novel Society

London - Edward Rutherfurd This novel had all the right ingredients to be my next favorite: English history, generational families, over 1,000 pages, and enough complexity to require a few pages of maps/diagrams at the beginning. Unfortunately, in the end I ended up feeling sort of underwhelmed by it. Maybe it is the fact that in order to fit 2,000 years worth of history into one book (even one of this size) you end up like you're just skimming across the top and missing any depth. I think the larger problem, for me at least, was that Rutherfurd includes such an enormous cast of characters that as soon as he starts getting into detail on any certain one and I was just feeling a connection, it is time to move on. Sometimes this shift is one of several generations leaving you with questions about what happened to those characters you had just started caring about and craving more character development. His writing style is somewhat confusing because there are several sections in each chapter from different characters' points of view and sometimes you have to read for a minute before you realize who he is talking about, but I didn't feel that was a huge detriment. The historical details that he does share are interesting and I didn't notice any glaring errors, but I feel like this novel read more like a series of short stories than the epic novel that I was expecting. That being said, I do have New York and Sarum on my shelf that I still intead to try out.