I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It grabbed my attention from the beginning and kept it till the end. I came away craving more information about that p...moreI thoroughly enjoyed this book! It grabbed my attention from the beginning and kept it till the end. I came away craving more information about that period in England's history. I found it incredibly interesting. Life at court was shocking! So much manipulation, plotting and backstabbing. All in the interest of advancing the prominent families to be closest to the king and in his inner circle. The love scenes tended to be somewhat trashy at times, but the book as a whole was great! After I finished TOBG, I was on a quest to read PG's other novels. She has not disappointed!(less)
Another addicting story by Philippa Gregory! She has a gift for making history come alive through her incredible storytelling. I've read that she does...moreAnother addicting story by Philippa Gregory! She has a gift for making history come alive through her incredible storytelling. I've read that she does a good job of accurately following history, for those that deem that important. For me personally, I love being taken to another time period and immersed in it...whether or not the history is completely accurate, I don't care so much. I want a great story and Gregory delivers on that account.(less)
I really enjoy Tracy Chevalier's writing. It's so descriptive and flows so beautifully and seems to make the story just come alive. While I liked Fall...moreI really enjoy Tracy Chevalier's writing. It's so descriptive and flows so beautifully and seems to make the story just come alive. While I liked Falling Angels, I didn't think it was nearly as fascinating as The Girl With the Pearl Earring. But it was still a very entertaining story with interesting characters and relationships and I read through it very quickly because I didn't want to put it down!(less)
Just finished reading this for the third time and still love it. I really enjoy Tracy Chevalier's writing style...it's mesmerizing. You can truly envi...moreJust finished reading this for the third time and still love it. I really enjoy Tracy Chevalier's writing style...it's mesmerizing. You can truly envision the colors and feel the textures when she is describing Griet mixing the paints for Vermeer. The atmosphere she creates in the story is completely absorbing.(less)
This is the first book by Ian McEwan I've read. I love his writing style! He has such a gift with words...beautiful writing, so descriptive and romant...moreThis is the first book by Ian McEwan I've read. I love his writing style! He has such a gift with words...beautiful writing, so descriptive and romantic. I thought the story was great but it got a little slow through the war scenes. The idea of the story is so intriguing...how someone makes an assumption - a wrong assumption - and how that alters the course of the lives of the people involved. I loved watching this story play out, it was fascinating.(less)
I know that a lot of people who were fans of Gone With the Wind were not impressed with this one, but I actually enjoyed it! I practically held my bre...moreI know that a lot of people who were fans of Gone With the Wind were not impressed with this one, but I actually enjoyed it! I practically held my breath throughout the story in anticipation...hoping desperately that Scarlett and Rhett would get together again. I thought it was an engaging story and I couldn't put it down. Best of all, I finally have closure with the epic love story of Scarlett and Rhett...whew!!!(less)
It took me over a month to get through this one...but I trudged on and finished reading it. I thought that the storyline was really interesting, but i...moreIt took me over a month to get through this one...but I trudged on and finished reading it. I thought that the storyline was really interesting, but it got bogged down in too many unnecessary details and explainations, and it really slowed the story down. Just as the suspense would build, and I thought "Finally!" it would go back to the snails pace. I truly was curious to find out how the story would end, but the fast/slow pace got really old! It continued that way throughout the book. Personally, I think it would have read better if it was about half the size, leaving out the tedious stuff inbetween the "meat" of the story.(less)
After over a year of sitting on a shelf collecting dust, I FINALLY picked this up to read. I had no idea what a gem of a story I had been missing! Thi...moreAfter over a year of sitting on a shelf collecting dust, I FINALLY picked this up to read. I had no idea what a gem of a story I had been missing! This is the first book of Follett’s that I’ve read, and all I can say is that the guy knows how to weave one heck of a story. This thing had it all – characters to love and root for, despicable bad guys to wish horrible things for, an incredibly interesting time period to wonder at and be thankful we didn’t have to live in, and a plot that kept unfolding right up until the very last pages of the book.
The story pulled me in from the get go. And while it’s not an edge-of-your-seat nail-biter, it did a fantastic job of keeping me asking questions, constantly wondering what was going to happen next, and made it difficult to put down when I had to. I loved how Follett took several different story threads and then manipulated them to come together and overlap throughout the story. I was truly impressed with all the paths the story took and that there weren’t any loose ends left when it was all said and done. Everything mentioned ended up serving a purpose at some point and I loved to watch all the pieces fall into place as the story moved along. There was steady rhythm throughout the story that I really enjoyed.
Follett’s writing is pretty simple, without any bells and whistles, which normally isn’t my thing. But it really never ended up being an issue because I was so wrapped up in the story that I didn’t notice it so much. Or more, I just got to where I didn’t care about it. The story itself was the star here, not the writing, and that’s okay by me.
This is one I can definitely see myself reading again at some point. And I already have the sequel, World Without End, on my list to read here before too long. I’m really excited to see where he takes the story from here! (less)
I love it when a book I’ve been super excited to read turns out to be a new favorite! That doesn’t seem to happen nearly as often as I’d like, but was...moreI love it when a book I’ve been super excited to read turns out to be a new favorite! That doesn’t seem to happen nearly as often as I’d like, but was definitely the case for me with Memoirs of a Geisha. This was such a beautiful story and I couldn’t help but fall in love with it. It had such a soft, gentle feeling atmosphere, and yet it was also intense, albeit a quiet intensity, if that makes sense. By the halfway point, I had the hardest time tearing myself away from it and would sneak in every spare minute I could to read more. It speaks volumes for a book if I’m able to tune out all the craziness around me (hello…3 and 9 year old boys!) and be totally immersed in it, despite all the background noise. And Memoirs succeeded in doing that!
I know next to nothing about Japanese culture, so this was a really new, insightful experience for me. I found that I had some misconceptions about the role of a geisha. That whole world is quite intriguing and I was surprised to learn all that is involved in becoming one. I especially loved reading the descriptions for the exquisite kimono they wear and the process they go through to dress and do their hair and makeup. So much time and effort is poured into their appearance, and the end result is stunning!
I loved so many things about this book…the way it was written, the overall feel of the story, and then of course, the story itself. It flowed along so smoothly and beautifully, and carried me right along with it. I enjoyed so much listening to Sayuri tell us her story, and going on that journey with her back through her life. I couldn’t have been happier with how her story played out in the end, and I even read the last part of it through teary eyes. This was a wonderful book, and one that I know I’ll read again someday. (less)
I decided to read this book after seeing so many wonderful reviews and comments about it. I just finished it and definitely see why people have fallen...moreI decided to read this book after seeing so many wonderful reviews and comments about it. I just finished it and definitely see why people have fallen in love with it! What a beautiful, warm-hearted story it is! I loved how the story was told through letters written back and forth between the characters allowing us to really become aquainted and get to know them so well. There were times when I laughed out loud and times when I got choked up when reading this. This is one of those stories that just makes you smile and feel all warm and cozy inside.(less)
I feel kind of bad only giving this 3 stars… Bohjalian is a talented author and writes beautifully, but I just wasn’t fully vested in the story he was...moreI feel kind of bad only giving this 3 stars… Bohjalian is a talented author and writes beautifully, but I just wasn’t fully vested in the story he was telling. I felt distant, like I was being kept at arm’s length, and that was frustrating. I was certainly interested in the characters and what was going on, but was missing an emotional element that would have made this so much more enjoyable. There were a handful of times I had a breakthrough, but that was it. This is also a really slow-paced story, which is not a bad thing, but my detachment made it feel incredibly sluggish at times. I ended up just skimming the last 40 pages, ready to be done. Maybe I read this at the wrong time. Maybe I wasn’t in the right mood for it, who knows. I liked it, but not as much as I was hoping I would.(less)
Like so many others, I find Anne Boleyn fascinating. What kind of a woman could make a king so desire her that he was willing to turn his kingdom upsi...moreLike so many others, I find Anne Boleyn fascinating. What kind of a woman could make a king so desire her that he was willing to turn his kingdom upside down in order to have her? It amazes me to think how many years she was able to keep Henry interested and chasing after her before she was finally made Queen….and then how quickly after that she met a tragic death. Fascinating.
I really enjoyed the format of this book and getting to hear both Anne’s story and little bit of Elizabeth’s, as well. I liked getting to see Elizabeth’s reactions as she was reading Anne’s diary and how it affected some decisions she made at the end of the story. And then I also loved getting a more intimate picture of Anne as we read her diary entries. It’s interesting to see how differently characters feel in the hands of different authors. The only other books on the Tudors I’ve read have been by Philippa Gregory. I felt a lot more sympathetic with Anne in The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn than I did in PG’s books. She was certainly still a manipulator, but I thought PG played up that side of Anne more than Robin Maxwell did. That could also just be due to the fact that we are reading Anne’s diary here, and so it’s her perspective we’re seeing. At any rate, I had a different reaction to her because of that.
More than anything, I came away from this book with a huge need to find out more about Anne and about Henry VIII himself. This didn’t begin to satisfy my curiosity, only to increase it. I love books that drive me to research and dig deeper into a subject, seeking out more information. I think I’ll be looking into some biographical and non-fiction reading on the Tudors in order to get a clearer picture of what is fact and what is speculation about their lives. (less)
This was a great story! I thought it was so interesting how women lived back in biblical times. I think they probably must have formed much stonger bo...moreThis was a great story! I thought it was so interesting how women lived back in biblical times. I think they probably must have formed much stonger bonds with each other than what women do today. It seemed like they came together to help one another all the time with daily life events like cooking, cleaning, caring for the sick, births, etc. They shared in each other's experiences. I wish we as women did more of that in today's world.(less)
I liked this one okay. I started to enjoy it more in the second half of the book and that’s what bumped the rating up to 3 stars. The writing wasn’t a...moreI liked this one okay. I started to enjoy it more in the second half of the book and that’s what bumped the rating up to 3 stars. The writing wasn’t as beautiful and textured as it was in The Girl With a Pearl Earring, which is one of my all time favorite books. Overall, I thought the writing was flat and felt kind of lifeless. I missed the lush descriptions that made the scenes in Pearl Earring just come alive. I also thought the sexual thread that ran throughout the story lacked the tension that keeps you holding your breath and waiting to see what will transpire. The writing just didn't grab me this time.
The story is told through different character perspectives, a different character for each chapter. And not just a couple of characters, but several. Unfortunately, I didn't really care for that. I don't feel like I was ever able to really settle into the story with the viewpoint switching so frequently.
Okay, enough with the negative…On a positive note, I was really pleased to see what happened with the characters and their different relationships in the end. I like the route Chevalier went with the ending and thought it was satisfying. So hooray for that.
Although I haven’t been blown away by the past couple of Chevalier’s books that I’ve read, I’m not giving up on her. I have hope that there will be another of her books that I will fall in love with. It’s probably unrealistic to think that I'll love another as much as I love The Girl With a Pearl Earring, but it sure would be nice if one came close! (less)
I was pleasantly surprised by this book! I seriously thought I was about to read a romantic fluff book. While it most definitely was a romance, it was...moreI was pleasantly surprised by this book! I seriously thought I was about to read a romantic fluff book. While it most definitely was a romance, it was anything but fluffy! This was a super intense, emotionally exhausting read, and I loved it! It's the kind of book that takes hold of your heart and doesn't let go. I fell in love with the two main characters, Claire and Jamie, and am thrilled that there are more books in this series, as I am not ready to say "goodbye" to them just yet.
This book had it all...action, adventure, romance (some of the steamiest scenes I've ever read :), betrayal, heartbreak...It was incredibly addicting and near impossible to put down. I see why there are so many people out there who rave about this book. It deserves the glowing reviews it gets! (less)
From the moment I picked this book up I was captivated. I thought it was beautifully written, thankfully, which helped to make this story of the plagu...moreFrom the moment I picked this book up I was captivated. I thought it was beautifully written, thankfully, which helped to make this story of the plague go down a little smoother. There were parts that were very hard to read about and so sad that I did cry a bit. But how could a book about the plague not be sad.
My only criticism of the book would be the ending. To me, it felt rushed and somewhat out of sync with the rest of the story. I don't really know what I would have preferred to have happened instead. I just know that it felt a bit awkward. Even so, I still think it was a wonderful read. I look forward to checking out her other books.(less)