Received in ebook format via www.netgalley.com. Read on an ipad using kindle software. The book was very well formatted, presented well, and all the m...moreReceived in ebook format via www.netgalley.com. Read on an ipad using kindle software. The book was very well formatted, presented well, and all the more enjoyable for it. This is not a classic “ghost” story, although William is haunted throughout his life and is driven to work harder and harder – but he cant seem to remember what drives him or why. The man he comes to think of as “Mr Black” appears most frequently at the graveside of the people closest to William, and it's just after the death of his wife that William and Mr Black have a discussion that changes William's life. A fairly successful mill owner, William changes tack to set up Bellman And Black, a store covering the mourning fashions of the Victorians, an era who took mourning to a whole new (and expensive) level. He doesnt see Mr Black for years, finds he has little in common with his daughter Dora any more (and therefore discards her to his country home), and cuts himself off from all non business contact with humans, even if it means missing out on the human contact he occasionally craves. The business goes from strength to strength on the back of William's drive forward (and the unrealised haunting of the black feathers of the rook). It's only at the end, when Mr Black comes back to visit him, that William realises just what he has lost and forgotten. I've read the odd review that in this story “nothing happens” and that's a pretty fair comment. However, that's not the point of the story itself. You read it for the way it's written, the detail of the mill from start to finish of the weaving process; the detail of mourning (and half mourning, and quarter mourning); just what expenditure will be made at the height of the funeral process. You read it for the loss, and the understanding of what some people will do for financial success, without necessarily understanding if it's what they really want(less)
Shocking family news forces Madeline Wetherby to abandon her plans to marry an earl and settle for upstart Manchester merchant Nash Quinn. When she di...moreShocking family news forces Madeline Wetherby to abandon her plans to marry an earl and settle for upstart Manchester merchant Nash Quinn. When she discovers that her birth father is one of the weavers her husband is putting out of work—and a radical leader—Maddie must decide which family she truly desires, the man of her heart or the people of her blood.
An earl’s second son, Nash chose a life of Trade over Society. When protest marches spread across Lancashire, the pressure on him grows. If he can’t make both workers and manufacturers see reason he stands to lose everything: his business, his town, and his marriage.
As Manchester simmers under the summer sun, the choices grow more stark for Maddie and Nash: Family or justice. Love or money. Life or death
Obtained in ebook format from www.netgalley.com, read on an ipad using kindle software.
I went into reading this book thinking it was a “classic” (Mills and Boon) romance story but soon realised that it was much more than that – and for the better.
Maddie has been brought up to marry the 1st son (Deacon) of her godfather, only to find herself rejected not only as the wife of an Earl, but as a Weatherby (she finds out she was adopted as a child). With no money, family or prospects, she agrees to marry Deacon’s younger brother Nash, who works in Trade in Manchester. It’s only when she arrives at her new home does she realise what it means to live in a manufacturing city house, rather than a country side estate – and what it means to be a wife.
Nash meanwhile has to deal with a wife who appears to not love him, and unwilling to perform her wifely duties in the bedroom (and acts oddly when she does). He also has to deal with the fact that there is discontent in the workers, where there are rumours of strike action and sedition to protest over lost wages and poverty (whilst the business men are living in palatial houses on the hill).
The rest of the story deals with the run up to Peterloo, the massacre of members of the crowd gathered in St Peter’s Field, Manchester to protest the need for reform and suffrage for all. Nash tries to balance between being a magistrate, a man of business, and trying to do the right thing for his workers. It doesnt help that his wife is seeking out a sense of belonging with her newly found family – and whose father is one of the men leading the protesters. Their marriage is at an all time low just before the final meeting, which splits the two apart, Maddie making the only choice she thinks available to her.
I did pick up on a couple of words which were a little jarring. Thankfully the author didnt attempt a Mancunian dialect, which can be very hard to both write and read BUT….I was almost prepared to ignore the use of the word “biscuit” when Quinn was in the kitchen to talk about supper. (Was this the *proper* use of the word biscuit – American “Cookie”- or the American usage as in “biscuits and gravy” – i.e. something akin to a scone or bap?). It did pull me up on it enough to check where the author is from (yes, she’s American). It was a small thing, not necessarily relevant to the progression of the story, but the author had done well to this point and it would be a shame to let it spoil the story. However, then came the use of “Fall” instead of “Autumn”. Sharp intake of breath! Time for a quick glance over the MS by the Europe editor?
Anyway, yes, these bits were small in the grand scheme of things, and shouldn’t spoil the story, which certainly was no standard M&B romp – in a good way! It took me several days to read, and required me to pay attention all way, which I gladly did.(less)
Although Everett Cline can hardly keep up with the demands of his homestead, he won't humiliate himself by looking for a helpmate ever again--not afte...moreAlthough Everett Cline can hardly keep up with the demands of his homestead, he won't humiliate himself by looking for a helpmate ever again--not after being jilted by three mail-order brides. When a well-meaning neighbor goes behind his back to bring yet another mail-order bride to town, he has good reason to doubt it will work, especially after getting a glimpse at the woman in question. She's the prettiest woman he's ever seen, and it's just not possible she's there to marry a simple homesteader like him.
Julia Lockwood has never been anything more than a pretty pawn for her father or a business acquisition for her former fiance. Having finally worked up the courage to leave her life in Massachusetts, she's determined to find a place where people will value her for more than her looks. Having run out of all other options, Julia resorts to a mail-order marriage in far-away Kansas.
Everett is skeptical a cultured woman like Julia could be happy in a life on the plains, while Julia, deeply wounded by a past relationship, is skittish at the idea of marriage at all. When, despite their hesitations, they agree to a marriage in name only, neither one is prepared for the feelings that soon arise to complicate their arrangement. Can two people accustomed to keeping their distance let the barricades around their hearts down long enough to fall in love?
Received in ebook format from www.netgalley.com and read on an ipad using kindle software.
I am hoping this is the Uncorrected proof rather than the final version of this story as it was let down by the formatting and transcription, meaning that parts of words were missing (predominately "f" and "ff"). This left the reader attempting to guess what the author was trying to say, which slows the reader down and rudely pulls the reader out of the narrative rather than letting them get fully engrossed in the story. Anyway - to the story:
Everett has been left down before - living as a farmer in Kansas is a hard and often poor life, and it's a rare woman who will stay and marry such a farmer. Often women travel from outside as mail-order brides, and 4 women have already come to be with Everrett, but all have let him down in one way or another.
However Julia, with her own painful past, comes to town and the pair get married out of necessity rather than love. Everett tries to do the right thing by Julia, who is immediately attracted to, but ends up shunning her. Since the two people, who didnt know each other really in the first place, dont talk to each other, the marriage never really gets going.
Much of the book concerns the struggle of both of them to work out what they need from each other and the marriage. It took a long time for it to become clear this was a Christian Romance (I am not a huge fan of Christian Fiction as mentioned previously), however, as Christian Fiction goes .... this wasnt that bad (Gasp!). Everyone's relationship with God is given a much lighter touch than in The Road Home (by Patrick E Craig), and for many of the characters you do get the impression that this is a path taken as a fundamental part of their life and they use it for guidance and living right and good, but that their every action is not determined by what they think their God demands.
The last section is where I find Julia, who has previously not had a relationship with God, gives it all up to God *just a little too neatly* in order to finish the book (but then I'm just a plain old cynic so I'm blaming me for looking at it this way!).
So in summary - decent historical romance, great for fans of Christian Romance, good for people merely tolerant to same or who are willing to read through to get to a decent story.(less)
It was only after checking online that I realised that this was #2 in a series - there has clearly been...moreReceived in ebook format from www.netgalley.com
It was only after checking online that I realised that this was #2 in a series - there has clearly been events in #1 that would explain why Thomas rapidly finds himself on a boat going to Barbados as an indentured servant, to work for two violent vicious thugs on a sugar plantation. They are physically and verbally violent, mainly towards their betters and women. Much of the violence is implied (screams in the distance etc), with only the occasional slightly more graphical indication of events - such as when boiling sugar strips away flesh from an unfortunate slave.
Thomas spends his first two years working for the Gibbes brothers, whose threats of violence (and occasional whipping) seem to be enough to keep Thomas from escaping. The threats allow for no interaction with the black slaves on the estate and there is only one mulatto from another estate who is educated and well spoken enough for no attempt to be made at a patois. There are the occasional scenes of the Boiling room etc, but in every situation Thomas is on his own, with no interaction with the black slaves.
Thomas escapes and takes refuge with another plantation owner and the next few years sees him recovering from his treatment and becoming a useful member to the plantation owners. This is a difficult time for the inhabitants of Barbados, where news from England is slow to arrive and does not rapidly reflect the ever changing politics around the Monarchy and Oliver Cromwell's waning fortunes. Politics seem to be at the mercy of the local inhabitants as much as what is going on in England.
There are several bloody fights where people are protecting both their specific plantations, and the wider island against invaders. It many instances people are dispatched in a bloody and violent manner. Finally Thomas manages to reach his just rewards and return home with his family and rich and more contented man.
My overall feeling was that it was very.... dispassionate and disconnected. Whilst an interesting story, I wasn't really that engaged with the main character or any of the supporting people (the most amusing and satisfying bit being the unmarried Mary's reasoning for not wanting to lose one of her legs as "Charles likes the way my legs wrap around him"). The sister and nieces were so one-dimensional as to be non-entities - I dont know if they were more rounded in the previous book - or will be in further books.
This is a section of history that I don't know much about - just what *was* the effect of the change in monarchy on the Slave Trade and the Colonies? I'm sure that the daily lives of all people working in the sugar trade was more brutal and short as envisioned in this book.
So in short, a nice interlude of a story that wasnt a deep commentary on history or slavery but which had the opportunity of being so much more.(less)
This is the tale of Colonel Alexander Hunter, a dauntless and daring Confederate cavalry officer, who, with his band of intrepid outcasts, becomes a l...more
This is the tale of Colonel Alexander Hunter, a dauntless and daring Confederate cavalry officer, who, with his band of intrepid outcasts, becomes a legend in the rolling hills of northern Virginia. Inspired by love of country and guided by a sense of duty and honor, Hunter must make a desperate choice when he discovers the woman he promised his dying brother he would protect is the Union spy he vowed to his men he would destroy. Readers will discover the fine line between friends and enemies when the paths of these two tenacious foes cross by the fates of war and their destinies become entwined forever
Received in ebook format from www.netgalley.com. Read on my ipad using kindle software.
This is both a civil war story and a romance but as other reviewers have pointed out suffers from a few issues at the beginning: Their constant arguing takes up too much time at the beginning and by the time you find out more about why either of them keep to the sides they have chosen, it's too late for the reader to really care. Andrea also goes through this weird phase in the middle of providing some alliterative cursing that is, thankfully, never repeated beyond those few chapters. On the plus side, the latter stages of the book provide both a good example of the horrors of war, plus a reasonable romance. However, it really comes too late to recover the book as a whole.
In the edition I read, the book was also let down by the formatting - words were split across paragraphs and page breaks. 3, 4 and even 5 words were pushed together without a space to separate them. Each formatting error slowed down the reading, as the reader has to stop and translate the text into something readable. What should have flowed smoothly was a jagged spiky read (less)
A brilliantly imagined, irresistible below-stairs answer to Pride and Prejudice: a story of the romance, intrigue, and drama among the servants of the...more A brilliantly imagined, irresistible below-stairs answer to Pride and Prejudice: a story of the romance, intrigue, and drama among the servants of the Bennet household, a triumphant tale of defying society's expectations, and an illuminating glimpse of working-class lives in Regency England.
I’ve read a couple of books “inspired” by “Pride and Prejudice” – the last one being “Death comes to Pemberley” and have always been slightly disappointed with them. So whilst I had heard some good things about this new book, I was both excited and worried about reading it.
Jo Baker however has done a really rather good job of it I must say. There’s enough of the original story’s plot lines to frame this story of how P&P affects the staff for it to be satisfying for the most ardent P&P fan.
This is almost two books in one – the main story is that of Sarah, the older maid working in Longbourn with Mrs Hill the housekeeper and cook (who is referred to a lot in the original), Mr Hill her husband and Polly the young maid in training. Into this mix comes James Smith as the new footman and Ptolemy Bingley, the mulatto footman for the Bingleys. Both men turn the head of Sarah for different reasons and leads to threads never alluded to in the main text, but which are credible. Book Three marks a short departure in the story, telling a story of the wars in Europe that Austen could never tell, and which could have constituted a novel/novella in its own right.
There are some things that at first reading are perhaps a little too modern – some Wickham’s actions are disturbing when viewed with modern eyes. I had to step away and think for a bit but then remembered in the context of his behaviour towards Georgiana in the original, and that he elopes with the 15 year old Lydia, his behaviour towards the 13 year old Polly is actually pretty much in character. Plus this is an age where if unmarried at 21, women were considered to be spinsters and unmarriable.
Nearly everyone from the original book makes some kind of appearance in this one, but Baker makes the sensible choice of not trying to mimic Austen's dialogue too much. Mr Collins, Mrs Bennet and Elizabeth Bennet are the ones to make the most appearances, and their speech is kept to a minimum. Mr Bennet features as heavily in this book as he does in the original, but has more significance and influence in this book.
The language used brings a certain long languid summer day feel to the story, where one day runs into the next, especially for those who only need to know when the quarter days and holy-days are. The story and the way it's written is nearly enough to make you forget the initial premise - much more smooth that the previously mentioned "Death comes to Pemberley" by P. D. James.
Overall a great addition to both the Historical Fiction and the P&P canon.(less)
How funny - got the ebook from www.netgalley.com, and brought the hardback a few days later whilst Lynn visited the JQ Bookwormers bookgroup in Birmin...moreHow funny - got the ebook from www.netgalley.com, and brought the hardback a few days later whilst Lynn visited the JQ Bookwormers bookgroup in Birmingham and I hadnt realised until writing this review.
When his great-uncle, the master detective who schooled him in the science of “thief taking,” is mysteriously stricken, Charles Maddox fears that the old man’s breakdown may be directly related to the latest case he’s been asked to undertake. Summoned to the home of a stuffy nobleman and his imperious wife, Charles finds his investigative services have been engaged by no less than the son of celebrated poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and his famed widow, Mary, author of the gothic classic Frankenstein. Approached by a stranger offering to sell a cache of rare papers allegedly belonging to the legendary late poet, the Shelley family seeks Maddox’s aid in discovering whether the precious documents are authentic or merely the work of an opportunistic charlatan.
But the true identity of his quarry is only the first of many surprises lying in wait for the detective. Hardly a conniving criminal, Claire Clairmont is in fact the stepsister of Mary Shelley, and their tortured history of jealousy, obsession, and dark deceit looms large over the affair Maddox must untangle. So, too, does the shadow of the brilliant, eccentric Percy Shelley, who found no rest from the private demons that pursued him. With each new detail unearthed, the investigation grows ever more disturbing. And when shocking evidence of foul play comes to light, Maddox’s chilling hunt for the truth leads him into the blackest reaches of the soul. (less)
From the moment her marriage to prince Ahab thrusts her into the intrigues of palace life, Jezebel’s exotic beauty opens doors and her will breaks dow...moreFrom the moment her marriage to prince Ahab thrusts her into the intrigues of palace life, Jezebel’s exotic beauty opens doors and her will breaks down walls. Torn from her homeland and wed to power in a strange country, Jezebel vows to create a legacy and power all her own. Some might call her a manipulative schemer, bent on having her way. But they don’t know the whole story, and she was much, much worse. As she moves through the halls of power, her heart struggles between devotion to the gods she worships, the prince who loves her, and her thirst for revenge. She sparks a battle between her strangely powerless gods and the God of palace administrator Obadiah — a God who confronts her with surprising might. She will fight, though victory may cost her everything.
Slight downside with this ebook edition in that the text was very small and with no easy and reliable way, whilst reading on a kobo at least, to increase the text size or spacing to anything more comfortable. This made it a slower and more painful to read than I would have liked. It was easier to read on a laptop using ADE's magnifier, but since this is not available on a kobo - and the book not available to upload to an ipad with magnification - it sort of negates the practicality of an ebook. If you have any kind of vision issues, this book *in this current format* is not appropriate for you
As to the story itself:
The focus of the story changes between Jezebel, Obadiah the Chief administrator of Israel, and Ahab the prince of Israel and Jezebel's betrothed.
Jezebel is the unwanted child of a pair of twins born to the high priest of Phoenicia and is brought up knowing that she is unloved by both humans and gods alike. The book starts with her sacrificing her sister - the family favourite - to the gods at the direction of her father.
Ahab is the uncouth son of a mercenary, the latter having fought his way to become King of Israel. 17 years old, Ahab has been a fighter as long as he can remember, and has killed more men than he cares to count. He is to marry Jezebel in order to consolidate the union between Israel and the Phoneticians
Obadiah is the son of a prostitute and a drunk, but is more finely bred than Ahab, better dressed and rather more sensitive.
The differences between Phoenicia and the much younger and poorer Israel are well described - Jezebel has grown up in a much more prosperous country, whether she realises it or not, and is shocked and disappointed when she is sent to a country still at war where all the palaces she lives in are built for defense rather than comfort and affluence.
Other differences soon come to light - Jezebel worships her gods, which means regular child sacrifices to keep them appeased. Obidiah worships Yahweh. Elijah the prophet has warned Ahab not to bring Jezebel to Israel, and when he does, Yahweh condemns Israel to several years of famine. Once Yahweh releases Israel from famine and drought, Ahab - previously ambivalent as to which god to worship - follows Yahweh much to Jezebel's disdain.
Over the next years, Israel becomes stronger under Yahweh and Ahab. Jezebel attempts to consolidate power and a dynasty for her and her sons, but never realises that she could be happy. She becomes more maternal towards her third child than she did to her previous two, and doesn't realise that she loved Ahab in the end.
Whilst I did like the book, I feel that in being such a high level story, it did tend to be a little shallow in parts. I know that Garrett is trying stay within the realms of the narrative presented in the Old Testament (which doesnt allow much leeway for much digression from the story presented to us), but I came away feeling that I could have had just a little bit more....
For those that are not of a religious bent this can be read without fear of being preached at or sermonised to. Those who are seeking a little reassurance within their faith will also be able to take some comfort from this book.
Actually a 3.5 - would have been a 4 except for the formatting issues(less)
Received from LibraryThing's March 2013 Early Reviewers.
Alex is interviewed by Lindsay, a female English journalist, after the discovery of a fighter...moreReceived from LibraryThing's March 2013 Early Reviewers.
Alex is interviewed by Lindsay, a female English journalist, after the discovery of a fighter jet too deep in the Scottish waters. When flying her home, both of them crash through a strange vortex, and find themselves in 14th Century Scotland during one of the most politically active times in the country's history. They need to tread carefully to survive, and consider getting home somehow.
Both seem to be particularly "lucky" - Lindsay somehow has enough knowledge of Old English to get them through the first few encounters, and Alex has enough fighting experience to make him useful. The book is focussed mainly on Alex, never showing us a view on Lindsay when it's not in relation to Alex, and we never get to see the situation from her standpoint. Alex seems to settle in well and fast, and doesnt seem to think about finding a way back to the 21st Century.....the "fairy folk" seem to be barely threatening and rarely make much of an appearance - the book seems focussed on the historical and fighting portion rather than the need to get back
There are at least 2 other books in this series, so I presume these are addressed in later books(less)
Using her own family history as inspiration, Du Maurier gives us the aging Sophie Duval, who has promised her nephew that she will tell the story of t...moreUsing her own family history as inspiration, Du Maurier gives us the aging Sophie Duval, who has promised her nephew that she will tell the story of their family, starting with her mother marrying into the local community of glass blowers.
The story starts with Sophie's mother getting married in the 1770s in rural France, where the glass blowers are situated beside the forests that provide the fuel for the furnaces.
Sophie herself gets married in 1788 in a joint wedding with her younger sister. It's not long before the issues building up in Paris spills out into the countryside. The storming of the Bastille and other important events is told via gossip and second hand scare mongering as panic spreads across the land, and thieves and brigands are seen in every shadow, ready to burn crops and steal wood.
Over the next few years, we see how the revolution happening in the bigger towns and cities filters down into the countryside, where neighbour can turn against neighbour and family fortunes can be made and lost by a word in the wrong place.
Sophie's family is directly affected where one brother, who gambles with his money and reputation, emigrates to England having been declared bankrupt too many times, and stakes his living (badly) with the other french emigres.
Pierre becomes a notary, Edme works first with Pierre and then Michel as local leaders in the revolution. Both men die in their old age, tired and worn out, and Edme is left to continue her fight for a revolution that has long lost it's spark. Sophie lives into her old age where her nephew (Michel's son) has become the mayor of the local town and we're back to where the story started.
The book is sub-400 pages long in this edition, so this is not an in depth detailed look at the French Revolution. du Maurier has chosen some set pieces to highlight on and there is much that is told briefly (or not at all). Therefore this is not a book for someone looking for a non-fictionalised account of the Revolution, should be seen more as a lead-in story.
This is another example of du Maurier's skill is telling historical fiction, and should be much better known than it is.
Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lu...moreStaring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe's new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement by Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison
Read - ok attempted - as part of a challenge, and have to admit I've finally declared it a loss.
Set in the years after slavery, this is the story of Sethe, a black woman set free, but who is still haunted by the loss of her family and friends. She is not free in the real sense because she killed her children and one of these lost souls - her daughter Beloved - has seemingly come back to life to stay with her in the house 124.
There is a mix of timelines that weave in and out, with various characters appearing, such as the SchoolTeacher (the new, nasty Slave Owner at Sweet Home), Paul D, etc.
I can see why people have loved this book, and appreciate why it has won so many awards, but I've struggled with it, and read so many books in the meantime whilst this has sat on my bedside table that I have been unable to pick it back up and finish it. I will therefore have to declare it a loss and move on(less)
**spoiler alert** Received as part of the October 2012 Librarything's Early Reviewer, from Book View Cafe.
From the publishers: Nick Moulin is a ration...more**spoiler alert** Received as part of the October 2012 Librarything's Early Reviewer, from Book View Cafe.
From the publishers: Nick Moulin is a rational, thinking man, who one day acquires a fascinating old book that brings him a dream of a beautiful woman and an adventure of long ago.
This is similar (but not the same) to "Kindred Spirits" by the same author (modern character goes back in time) and "The Last Sunset" by Bob Atkinson, the latter being time travel back to the same area/period of time (redcoat massacres in the glens of Scotland). The main differences with this book is that the main characters get to go forward and backwards in time and (spoiler alert!) manage to change history.
The main thing that bugged me in the book: Nick was in a small apartment, having moved out of his parents' house (his mother was truly dreadful!) and seemed to be of limited income, living on junk food. However, when he went to go shopping with Beth, he managed to get her a whole new wardrobe (dress, tops, underwear, trousers, shoes) with no worries, as a savings account from his time at a dotcom had mysteriously appeared. Beth's discomfort in the new world was dealt with well, and stopped before becoming too tedious.
Not sure I was entirely convinced with Fionn and his take with Beth - he said he was in love with her but seemed to watch from afar and do a little meddling with the men in her life. There was nothing to convince me what he was going to do to make her his - there seemed no plan to kidnap her away to the faery land or otherwise make her his (or did I miss something?). He didnt seem wise or barmy enough for me.
Otherwise, I thought the story was good, interesting, and new-ish take on a fantasy staple. (less)
The first in this series that I've read, and it's chiefly about the 4th and 5th wives of Henry VIII - Anne of Cleves (the German speaking Dutch wife,...moreThe first in this series that I've read, and it's chiefly about the 4th and 5th wives of Henry VIII - Anne of Cleves (the German speaking Dutch wife, and the only one to survive the marriage without being accused of treason) and Katherine Howard (the young girl who took her place).
Told in several different voices, primarily Anne, Katherine and Jane Boleyn (Anne Boleyn's sister in law who helped send her to the scaffold) and the voices are different enough that it's easy to switch chapters and their narration. Anne of Cleves is shown to be intelligent to understand court and the danger of having such a man as a husband. Kitty is flighty and vain, able to turn a man's head but unable to recognise danger when it's in front of her. Jane is a manipulative, but ultimately blind-to-danger, and doesnt realise that she can be betrayed as soon as she stops being useful.
I dont know much about the wives of Henry VIII so unable to determine how much of the book is "poetic license" - as a fictional book, rather than a biography, I suspect a certain amount, but the book is no worse for it. It is a relatively easy read, especially once I got used to the chopping and changing beterrn all the different voices (less)
Advanced Reading copy recieved as part of the Penguin Proof Reading group. Lovely Hardback copy.
There is the odd typographical error (mainly around...moreAdvanced Reading copy recieved as part of the Penguin Proof Reading group. Lovely Hardback copy.
There is the odd typographical error (mainly around pages 365/366) but as this is an ARC, then it's a small and almost expected event.
Right, onto the book
Set in Victorian London still recovering from Jack the Ripper, where children are still being sent up chimneys by the chimneysweeps, the Metropolitan police are trying to get public confidence, and someone is killing Policemen.
The book deals with a police service starting out in a world that doesnt trust them, there is no concept of profiling or Serial Killers. CSI this isnt. Fingerprints are only just being "discovered". There is no DNA, blood analysis, mobile phones and no cars in the car pool.
There was some wording (e.g. "gaining closure" over a death) which I'm not entirely sure was in use in late 19th Century London.
Once I settled down to read, it was paced well. Couple of threads that were started but which didnt tie up (e.g Day's wife looks like she's going to get involved more, but that peters out......do have to admit this book only goes over three days so if it had gone longer there might have worked out different).
On the whole easy and enjoyable book and this was an excellent debut novel(less)
Fictionalised early life of Attila the Hun, focussing on his time being held as a hostage by the Romans, his escape, and journey back to his family.
Wh...moreFictionalised early life of Attila the Hun, focussing on his time being held as a hostage by the Romans, his escape, and journey back to his family.
Whilst this was an easy enough read, I soon got bored, and am not interested in the other books in this series. Lots of fighting, lots of military set-ups from a dying Rome, lots of scheming and politics - which should keep certain readers entertained, but not me.
I had this book on holiday and had the choice of putting back in my luggage to read the last 100 pages or so and have to admit I left it behind.....(less)
I will admit that I started listening to this on the way to the airport for my holiday, nodded off, half listed to it, and have then spent the next mo...moreI will admit that I started listening to this on the way to the airport for my holiday, nodded off, half listed to it, and have then spent the next month or so getting round to completing listening to it.
That perhaps gives a poor reflection on the book (it should give more of a reflection on that fact I can fall asleep on a 3 hour coach journey to Gatwick). The story is spooky and mysterious and the narrator (Paul Ansdell) ably contributes to the ambiance and is written in the fine tradition of gothic horror novels.
Mrs Alice Drablow lived and died at Eel Marsh house, and Arthur Kipps is sent to the house to represent his firm at her funeral, and afterwards clear up her papers. At the funeral, he spots a woman dressed in black, with a wasted face behind her veil, and soon becomes aware of a malaise that inhabits the house. Searching through the papers, he pieces together a sad story, and he begins hearing and seeing things, and it soon pushes him to the edge of sanity. The Woman in Black has a reputation and it comes to haunt Kripps when he least expects it(less)