omething that I have always been interested in, even though I don't believe in it, is reincarnation. The fact that there is an opportunity to live anoomething that I have always been interested in, even though I don't believe in it, is reincarnation. The fact that there is an opportunity to live another life, so different yet similar to the others, is just fascinating! So, Green Darkness had two of my favorite reading subjects: the Tudors and reincarnation. Imagine how happy I was to find this book! In Book 1, we begin our journey in 1968, with Celia, an American now unhappily wed to an English man. Soon she starts getting strange visions and acting odd and deranged. Celia babbles about King Edward and dancing, then is frozen in an awkward and painful looking position. Fearing for her life and sanity, she is hospitalized. An Indian friend and doctor fears that she is subconsciously reliving one of her past lives, 400 years ago, a life that needed closure. We get a glimpse into this life in Book 2, in the years 1552-1559. We follow a young poor, orphaned girl named Celia living her life under the reign of Henry VIII's children: Edward, Mary, and Elizabeth. We follow her these seven years through abandonment, love, marriage, and ultimately, a gruesome end. What I find the most interesting and engaging is the fact that Celia's family/friends/neighbors/enemies in 1968 play basically the same role in her life in the 16th century. We are swept back to the 20th century for, in my opinion, a less than satisfactory, but sweet, ending. I found that by the time I had reached Book 3 (Conclusion, 1968), I had forgotten all of those characters, so I recommend that after finishing the book, you read Part 1 again. You can make connections and realizations that were missed the first time. I think Ms. Seton did a wonderful job at creating a truly originally and well-thought out book. The way pieces tie together throughout both of Celia's lives is so creative. It was a rather hefty book, but well worth it!...more
**spoiler alert** I love this. Avalon is a beautiful story about searching for the unknown while finding yourself along the way (at least that's how I**spoiler alert** I love this. Avalon is a beautiful story about searching for the unknown while finding yourself along the way (at least that's how I saw it). I love the time period it was set in: ancient history in modern eyes. Old England, the mountains of Iceland, the 'founding' of Greenland, King Edgar, Leif Erickson - all the best. The only part I didn't like was how Merewyn and Rumon didn't end up together in the end. After spending the entire book rooting for them, the letdown disappointed me way too much. 5 outta 5....more
Following in the path of her usual non-fiction, Alison Weir's Eleanor of Aquitaine is no light read. I found myself struggling through parts of it andFollowing in the path of her usual non-fiction, Alison Weir's Eleanor of Aquitaine is no light read. I found myself struggling through parts of it and wondering if it would ever end. We learn all about every known aspect of Eleanor's life: her lineage, early childhood, marriages, children, feats, and later life. There is a chapter solely about the geography and trade of Aquitaine. Another interesting chapter is about the daily lives of those living in England in the mid-twelfth century. So many facts and tidbits are crammed into this book!
She may have been a very important woman, but there's not all that much historical record of her. There are long periods of Eleanor's life that are just plain missing from records; we don't know where she was or what she was up to. That being said, I still feel in order to fill those gaps we get waayyyyy too in depth into the lives of Louis VI, Henry II and Richard and John. We learn so much about their antics, which is interesting, but I truthfully didn't care about them. I was reading this book for Eleanor, obviously. If Alison Weir had written this book strictly focusing on Eleanor herself, it could have been reduced down to, oh, 100 pages or so and been ten times easier to get through.
I've heard about Eleanor of Aquitaine for a long time and knew the basics of her life, but this was the first book I'd read solely about her. Because of that fact, I felt lost half of the time. I would only recommend this book if you are pretty familiar and comfortable with Eleanor's life. In order to get a clearer picture of her, I'm going to resort to some of Jean Plaidy's fiction, The Courts of Love. Hopefully I'll get a nice, simplified version, then maybe I'll pick up this book again.
A book pulled randomly off a shelf at the library. At just past 200 pages, this was an extremely short, enjoyable read. Beautiful language, wonderful scA book pulled randomly off a shelf at the library. At just past 200 pages, this was an extremely short, enjoyable read. Beautiful language, wonderful scenery and details. If you are going to read this, read it for the last forty pages or so! It's amazing....more
I may be going out on a limb here, but I think it's safe to say that 99% of you have read Hamlet by William Shakespeare. If you haven't....you probablI may be going out on a limb here, but I think it's safe to say that 99% of you have read Hamlet by William Shakespeare. If you haven't....you probably didn't attend high school. Anyways, you all know Ophelia, Hamlet's lady friend whose peak in the story is drowning herself. In Ophelia, we are told the same story that we all know by heart, only from a different angle.
The story starts with Ophelia as a young girl. She lost her mother early on and lived with her domineering father, Polonius, and brother, Laertes. When she is about ten years old, her father gets her a spot in the palace working for Queen Gertrude. Several years later, she catches the eye of Prince Hamlet. They fall in love, but they must keep it a secret as he is a prince and she is essentially a nobody.
Part 2 is all of the events that essentially happen in the play. As I said before, it's the same story, just told from a different point of view. Ophelia watches the madness of King Cladius, the piety of Queen Gertrude, and Hamlet's ravel to madness from the sidelines. Then things began to get weird. Remember Ophelia's scene where she has the likeness of a crazy woman as she gives flowers to everyone? I think the author didn't want Ophelia to be insane....in this story, she was simply putting on an act to fool everybody around her. Up to this point in the book, I'd been enjoying the story immensely. It was the change of Ophelia from a tragic character to strong heroine that irritated me.
If this wasn't enough, Ophelia doesn't die. She takes poison to feign a death and only lets Horatio in on the secret. I realize that this would have been a much shorter story if she really had died, but c'mon...I would have enjoyed the overall book much more if it had followed the story more closely and ended with a crazy person drowning herself. I think this irritation carried over into Part 3, Ophelia's new life in a new country. Everyone that she previously knew (her family, Hamlet, etc) are barely given a passing thought. There was a totally different feel to the story that just didn't fit.
If you don't mind that the story becomes majorly skewed from the original play, I think you'd like this story a lot. It was well written and Ophelia is a pretty likable character. It was a nice, quick read - as well as a flashback to high school. 3.5 stars....more
I LOVED this book when I was about 10; probably read it over 50 times, even though I thought Sally was a fruitcake. My favorite part of the book is somI LOVED this book when I was about 10; probably read it over 50 times, even though I thought Sally was a fruitcake. My favorite part of the book is something along the lines of Sally's friend telling her about Latin lovers, and Sally later asking her mom where Latin is. Her mom's response is basically 'WTF?' It's gold, trust me....more
I bet if I had actually slugged through this entire thing, it would have taken 2+ months. I'm sorry, but I don't really care to read 15 pages on JohnI bet if I had actually slugged through this entire thing, it would have taken 2+ months. I'm sorry, but I don't really care to read 15 pages on John Lennon's ancestry....more
There should be a "Read-part-of-but-didn't-finish-and-never-will" shelf. I enjoyed the movie and liked recognizing lines from the book....but this wasThere should be a "Read-part-of-but-didn't-finish-and-never-will" shelf. I enjoyed the movie and liked recognizing lines from the book....but this was just too over my head. It's a shame, really....more
To me, Philippa Gregory is a touchy subject. She picks interesting people to write about, but twists and exaggerates history and calls it the truth. MTo me, Philippa Gregory is a touchy subject. She picks interesting people to write about, but twists and exaggerates history and calls it the truth. Maybe I should start a meme called Soapbox Sunday, where I pick a book related issue and rant and rave about it. Hmm....you're up first Philippa. Anyways, The Queen's Fool focuses on a young Spanish Jewish girl named Hannah who emigrates to England and through a small series of events begins working as a fool for Edward VI (supposedly she's funny, I never saw it.) So obviously, if you know the history, Edward doesn't last long as King, so Hannah is now Mary I's fool. Some other things happen (some grisly murders, a marriage, lots of crying, etc), but by the end of the book I was bored. I was sick of Hannah Green and wished that she would die in a fire. Maybe then the book would jump up a notch on the awesome scale. If you are a firm Bloody Mary hater and despise everything about her, just read this book and you will immediately change your mind and love her. Most books I've read about her during the time of her reign describe her as old, ugly, and stubborn, not to mention a tyrant about faith (have you seen Elizabeth with Cate Blanchett? Jeez, poor Mary looks like a dwarf ogre). The Queen's Fool does not deny that she is old and ugly, especially compared to her younger sister Elizabeth, but it shows the good in her and overlooks the less than desirable qualities. I have so much more sympathy for her after this; she led a downright sad life. For some reason, Hannah runs around in boy clothes. I don't think she wears a dress until the end of the book. So this leads me to question who the heck that person in the lovely green dress is on the cover. Hey, if Hannah can woo a husband all while wearing drag, more power to her. However, the main problem I have with this book is that Hannah had key roles in some major events during that time: she worked for Robert Dudley, and was close friends with both Mary and Elizabeth......pretty impressive FOR SOMEONE THAT DIDN'T EXIST. That's just stretching a fiction story too far. Do I recommend this book? Maybe. If you like whiny girls and descriptions of people being impaled, go for it. One big cheery 'ugh' from me. 2.5 stars....more
Yuck. Yuck yuck yuck yuck. Initially when I read this book I liked it. I think this was my first book about Elizabeth I, so I was clueless. The writinYuck. Yuck yuck yuck yuck. Initially when I read this book I liked it. I think this was my first book about Elizabeth I, so I was clueless. The writing was decent and the story line somewhat interesting. I felt that it focused to much on Amy Dudley, even though she was quite interesting herself (especially her mysterious death). I was really hoping for a book from Elizabeth's POV. Looking back, however......the big problem that I see is that it's very hard to believe and difficult to swallow that, even though so young, Elizabeth was that clingy and needy. This big deal about her being a strong and courageous woman is questioned when you read about her having nervous breakdowns when Robert Dudley isn't around. Who would've wanted that bag of hormones running a country? The second problem lies more with stupidity on the editors side. The book is set up chronologically and each chapter's title is a date, but half of the time, the years are wrong. For instance, Chapter 7 is titled '1563' and Chapter 8 is '1561' (just an example, I can't remember exactly what the typos are.) I spent at least 10 minutes staring at the book going 'Huh?!' Also, I got distracted by weird and random quotations and capitalizations. Maybe I just had a messed up version?
All in all, The Virgin's Lover left me with a bad taste in my mouth. It also reinforced my feelings that Philippa Gregory should not call herself an historian. 2 stars. Not my favorite book from PG, but I still love her. On to The Other Queen A Novel....more
I really enjoyed Outlander and was very excited to read Dragonfly in Amber. However, I was severely disappointed. There was nothing particularly wrongI really enjoyed Outlander and was very excited to read Dragonfly in Amber. However, I was severely disappointed. There was nothing particularly wrong with the books, just that it was so LONG. Really long books don't faze me, but long books full of monotonous conversations and not much of anything are awful. I just think it was full of paragraphs and descriptions that were unnecessary to the story. I enjoyed the overall story, loved the ending, but any book that takes me two weeks to read is obviously not one of my favorites. I still think I am going to read the third book to find out what happens next....more