This novel about Elizabeth Winthrop, niece of Gov. John Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, was extremely well-researched. The book follows ElizThis novel about Elizabeth Winthrop, niece of Gov. John Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, was extremely well-researched. The book follows Elizabeth's life starting with her years in England and through all the drama she went through in the New World. I knew I was in good hands when I read Anya Seton's author's note and she wrote: "My determination to present authentic history has necessitated a scrupulous adherence to the findings of research. And I felt that this woman, with her passionate loves, dangers, tragedies, and courage, lived a life sufficiently dramatic without fortuitous inventions." Amen! If only there were more authors like Seton who felt this way about the subjects and people they tackle when they write historical fiction (ehem, Philippa Gregory). Speaking of Gregory, I knew I was in even better hands when I completely disagreed with parts of her forward to the book: "As a crafted novel rather then a linear historical narrative, perhaps the only thing that can be said against The Winthrop Woman is that in its honoring of the recorded history the novel seems to lose shape. Perhaps it is a question of when the novel finishes. Some readers might prefer the happy ending when [xyz - edited to avoid a spoiler]. [Seton] takes the reader to the logical end of biography: the death of the heroine...." Yes, some people might prefer to wear rose-colored glasses and float around on pink clouds all day and believe that real people living real lives over 350 years ago suffered no hardship without a happy ending to follow it. But come on, even J.K. Rowling killed off Dumbledore and other beloved characters in Harry Potter! Does Gregory want us to spare the lives of Marie Antoinette, Lady Jane Grey and Mary Queen of Scots as well? Send the Little Princes of the Tower home with their mother? Do we always need a happy ending? Personally, I prefer to know the real story which is why I enjoy well-researched historical fiction more than just regular fiction, and if there's a sad ending, so be it. That's life, and I prefer it to the dribble that Gregory writes (Lord save us from her upcoming Plantagenet books)!...more
The three star rating isn't really a reflection on the book itself. It's written well, but Christina was entirely annoying. I just wanted to slap her.The three star rating isn't really a reflection on the book itself. It's written well, but Christina was entirely annoying. I just wanted to slap her. She gave up the Swedish crown just to turn around and chase after other crowns. She meddled when she should have been minding her own business, and she showed up in countries when no one wanted her around. I normally would feel sorry for someone like this, but she had no humility whatsoever....more
3.5/5 I liked it, and it's an interesting story so far, but I don't really understand why Reed wants to be friends with the Billings girls which is wh3.5/5 I liked it, and it's an interesting story so far, but I don't really understand why Reed wants to be friends with the Billings girls which is why I rated it 3.5 instead of 4. She seemed content having no girl friends at her old school, and all of a sudden she wants to be friends with no one but the most popular girls who are pretty mean to her practically all the time. It just struck me as kind of weird, and I really couldn't relate to her after that. The story is intriguing though since it's a little dark and mysterious. I thought it would be fluffy like the Gossip Girl series, but it's a lot different. I'm definitely going to try out the next book or two....more
I really, really liked this book, and I'm really surprised by that fact! I only picked it up because I thought the cover was gorgeous. I've recently bI really, really liked this book, and I'm really surprised by that fact! I only picked it up because I thought the cover was gorgeous. I've recently been drawn to the YA section of the bookstore for some reason (escapism?), and this one seemed cute enough. I probably could have given it 5 stars, but I just can't bring myself to rank it as high as Gone With The Wind and some of the Harry Potters and all the other books that I truly love. Is this classic literature? No. An epic tale? No. Nevertheless, it is an enjoyable read with characters that I wanted to succeed (and those whose plans I wanted foiled!). None of the characters were totally "good" or totally "evil"; even the characters that I wanted to fail had their reasons/rationales for doing what they did, and the nice characters that I liked had their faults. My only complaint would be that the book is clearly set up to have a sequel (or two, as I now know a third book in this series is coming out at the end of the month) because very little is resolved at the end of this book. I found this out the hard way when I finished the book earlier than anticipated, was left with a few cliffhangers, and had nothing else to read on the commute home. I made a dash to Borders to get the sequel (I was desperate enough to have something to read and to continue the story that I was willing to pay full price!), but they were out of it; that's when I realized the third book is coming out soon. I'm just glad I found this little series when I did because I'm thinking the third book probably will end it (this is based simply on me examining the covers - there are three main "society" girls, and each cover seems to portray one of the girls), and now that I'm hooked on the story, I just want to be able to finish it without waiting for yet another book....more
This wasn't as good as the first book. I enjoyed this one, but mostly because I got to know and like the characters in the first book. The first bookThis wasn't as good as the first book. I enjoyed this one, but mostly because I got to know and like the characters in the first book. The first book left me hopeful about what would happen in the next book, but this book was quite the downer in comparison. There were quite a few twists that I didn't anticipate, but none of them were joyful or hopeful in any way (actually, they were the complete opposite). I started the next book in the series (Envy) immediately after I finished this book because I didn't care for the ending (kind of like the sixth Harry Potter book - it doesn't end happy so you kind of want to get on with the story and hope some better stuff happens in the next one). The only problem with this series is that I'm not sure if the third book (Envy) is the final book, or if there will be more books to come; if it's the last book, I figure the ending will be happy, but if there's more to come, then these relationships may just keep dragging on and on in a rather unsatisfactory way....more
I gave up on this book somewhere around the Brimstone section because reading it started to feel like a chore. Claire kept claiming she wanted to go bI gave up on this book somewhere around the Brimstone section because reading it started to feel like a chore. Claire kept claiming she wanted to go back to her husband in the 1940s, but she seemed to be having a grand old time in the 1740s and appeared rather well adjusted to the change in time period! I'm not entirely sure why people love this book because it didn't seem special to me at all. Claire would get in trouble, Jamie would rescue her; repeat - it just got boring to me. Maybe I'll try reading it again some other time....more
3.5/5 Better than Rumors, but not better than The Luxe in my opinion. I'm getting a little sick of Lina (even Penelope is less obnoxious to me). If sh3.5/5 Better than Rumors, but not better than The Luxe in my opinion. I'm getting a little sick of Lina (even Penelope is less obnoxious to me). If she ends up with Tristan in the last book I'll be okay, but if she ends up with Leland I'll be pretty annoyed. I'm interested to see the cover of the last book to see what she looks like (assuming that The Luxe showed Elizabeth, Rumors Penelope, and this book Diana). I am continuously shocked by what the author puts poor Elizabeth through! I hope she finds some happiness in the final novel. My favorite character continues to be Diana, although the weird twists that have been happening with her and Henry in the last two books (Rumors and this one) aren't really that enjoyable. I loved their relationship in The Luxe because it was so fresh and pure....more
Okay, take my 4 stars with a grain of salt. For what this book is, purely fluffy smut written for teenagers, it's worth 4 stars to me. I wanted a quicOkay, take my 4 stars with a grain of salt. For what this book is, purely fluffy smut written for teenagers, it's worth 4 stars to me. I wanted a quick, easy read and a story I could get into right away, and this was good entertainment. I'm not sure I'd really want my teenager reading it, but I suppose it's not much worse than the adult romance novels I read as a teenager. I'll probably read the other books in this series as well (I'll at least read the next one at some point)....more
I stopped reading this book in Chapter 7 because I just couldn't take it anymore - it was mostly dull stories with some interesting tidbits thrown inI stopped reading this book in Chapter 7 because I just couldn't take it anymore - it was mostly dull stories with some interesting tidbits thrown in every once in a while.
The beginning of this novel was alright. The best parts of the book for me were the descriptions about that time period in general (the Romans leaving Britain, the Christians slowly making their way over, the druids, etc.). I never really cared for any of the characters. They all seemed pretty flat to me.
This is a problem I have with Rutherfurd - the book finally started to get interesting to me, and that's when he decided to move it along 500 years! I was FINALLY looking forward to what the group of characters in chapters 1-3 would do (Deidre, Conall, etc.), and what happens at Chapter 4? New characters, new century! I'm used to Rutherfurd changing time periods and characters every chapter, so when I started this book, I expected that. But once chapter 3 had the same people, I thought maybe the book would progress differently (the genealogy chart isn't showing up well on the Kindle at all so I couldn't get any clues from it - first time I wish I had the actual book). Needless to say, I was slightly frustrated! I knew this was bound to happen with Rutherfurd, but why spend so much time with these people at the beginning of the book? If it would have ended at chapter 2, I would have been fine - certain things happened that seemed like an appropriate ending, so Rutherfurd could have moved on with their descendents a few hundred years later at that point. I don't feel like chapter 3 was a sufficient ending for these characters, and I wish he would have ended it earlier or given them another chapter. (Sorry this review is a little cryptic - I just don't want to post any spoilers!)
I thought chapters 4 and 5 were pretty decent, but I hated the Sigurd character. I didn't hate him because he was a bad guy (although he was) - I hated him because I thought the character was stupid. Due to Rutherfurd's writing style, I realize there isn't going to be as much character development as in other books, but I don't like characters who are all "good" or all "evil", and there just didn't seem to be any redeeming qualities to Sigurd. He was the typical "bad guy", and that just made him predictable and boring to me. (Once again, I'm leaving details out - I wrote more about this in the European Royalty group's discussion threads - http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/2... )
There were some interesting parts to chapter 6, but it's just getting buried under all the political/military stuff, and by chapter 7 I gave up....more
As much as I wanted to strangle Amber, I did enjoy this book. Someone said it reminded them of Gone With the Wind, and I would agree - it's definitelyAs much as I wanted to strangle Amber, I did enjoy this book. Someone said it reminded them of Gone With the Wind, and I would agree - it's definitely an epic (except in 1600s England instead of 1800s America)....more