The novel tells the story through the eyes of Beatrice Lacey, Quality daughter of the Squire, in love with the land, and frustrated by laws of the curThe novel tells the story through the eyes of Beatrice Lacey, Quality daughter of the Squire, in love with the land, and frustrated by laws of the current day. Beatrice lives and breathes Wideacre, a lush farm land in Sussex; she owns the respect of all the local tenants in the village, she is a talented rider, she is an instinctive and gifted farmer. However, Beatrice knows that she will never inherit the land, due to her elder brother Harry, and the fact that when she marries she will be forced to leave her childhood home.
So she hatches plot after plot. She conspires with a local village boy she may or may not love and sets a plan into motion which ends in the murder of her beloved father. She is wracked with guilt, absolves herself of any blame, and attempts to kill the boy. She only manages to cripple him, but upon finding out he is still alive and has fled Wideacre, she is haunted by his inevitable revenge throughout the rest of the book.
Her plots get more incredulous and morally sickening. She seduces her brother and exercises her power over him and the estate by taking advantage of his penchant for sexual abuse. She becomes pregnant with his child and convinces her sister-in-law to adopt it as her own. She then gets pregnant again and marries her suitor to try to pass off the child as their own. Beatrice also finds a way to poison her mother when she eventually catches her and her brother in the act. Eventually, her most elaborate plot yet leads to her downfall and Wideacre's and she meets her timely end at her former lover's hand as prophesized.
Even though the events were hard to swallow, the book still managed to grip me and I had to know what Beatrice's outcome would be. As a character, she is polarising. I feel sympathy for her and women's rights during her time, but I also feel disgusted by some of the extreme actions she takes throughout the course of the book. It is fascinating how she manages to rationalise her actions for good, but in the end manages to cause ruin to everyone and everything she loves. None of the other characters in the book were interesting in comparison and a lot of them fell flat and were so one-dimensional it's not even worth mentioning them by name.
The novel was written with a lot of attention to detail, although the prose at times was rather long-winded. The writing did reflect the tone of the book well, and you fell into Beatrice's moods with her, from her sunny happiness to her drugged stupors. However, I felt that it was too much of the same for too long, and as someone who is 'town born and bred', I couldn't truly connect with Beatrice's ache for Wideacre. A solid 2.5 stars....more
Really cute, it's just a snapshot into the life of pre-teen Margaret. Great for any teenage girl (or boy) growing up, wondering what's happening to thReally cute, it's just a snapshot into the life of pre-teen Margaret. Great for any teenage girl (or boy) growing up, wondering what's happening to them, trying to navigate this difficult age. I don't feel like the book has aged at all, really. It was still fresh and relevant. ...more
I felt as fuzzy at Fitz towards the middle but wow the last 25% of that book blew me away. Really, really highly recommended and I can't beli4.5 stars
I felt as fuzzy at Fitz towards the middle but wow the last 25% of that book blew me away. Really, really highly recommended and I can't believe I haven't read it until now to be honest. Looking forward to more Fitz books!...more
Thank you to NetGalley and Disney-Hyperion for providing a copy of the book for reivew. Another fun read from an increasingly fun series. Full reviewThank you to NetGalley and Disney-Hyperion for providing a copy of the book for reivew. Another fun read from an increasingly fun series. Full review to come....more
An amazing book, truly. The level of detail, atmosphere, characters and the seamless writing all work to bring together a truly inspirational retellinAn amazing book, truly. The level of detail, atmosphere, characters and the seamless writing all work to bring together a truly inspirational retelling of a classic legend from the point of view of the women....more
A really fun read. It's oozing with great dialogue, brilliant characters and magic and action aplenty. It's a great book for kids and adults alike. ThA really fun read. It's oozing with great dialogue, brilliant characters and magic and action aplenty. It's a great book for kids and adults alike. The star of the show is the titular Skulduggery Pleasant, who is by far the best fictional skeleton I've had the pleasure of knowing. Thanks to Caitlin for pushing this book on me!...more
4.5 stars. That ending is great! Eddings writes spectacular characters as always and finally the plot is thickening. Sparhawk is a really likeable cha4.5 stars. That ending is great! Eddings writes spectacular characters as always and finally the plot is thickening. Sparhawk is a really likeable character. Although there are still shades of Belgariad/Malloreon characters in all of the other characters, it might just be because I've missed them all. ...more
I always say that I'm not going to see a movie until I read the book, but this one was definitely a classic andOriginally published at Winged Reviews.
I always say that I'm not going to see a movie until I read the book, but this one was definitely a classic and one that I was recommended and pulled in to see by a lot of my friends. To be honest, I didn't even realise the source material was a book.
I have to say that unlike most book-to-movie adaptations, this one was remarkably close to the source material. I guess I should have expected it because the writer, William Goldman is a screenwriter by trade and he also did the script for the movie. And the movie isn't a classic by chance. It's a tale of love and adventure, humour and fantasy. It has sword fights and giants and princesses and poison. It's has machine that actually sucks the life out of its victims. It also has one of the best movie catchphrases of all time. I did and always will love this story.
What I do have to say about the book in particular is the way the author starts telling the actual story. He's writing as a caricature of himself whose favourite story as a child was The Princess Bride by S. Morgenstern, from the fictional country of Florin. He finally tracks down a copy to give to his own son to discover that his father only read him the 'good bits', leaving out the tedious history and customs that made the book three times as long and three times as dull. He decides to write an abridged version and have that published instead, which is the story we all know and love.
I think this plot device is bizzare, but it works. I absolutely love the little inserts. The story flows very much like someone is telling you it, which goes against the 'show don't tell' mantra that most good books have. It feels the author himself is actually reading you this story in bed, with all the dialogue he adds himself, the quirks and the even how it ends. I have to say that I enjoyed it a lot and it left me smiling long after I put it down....more
**spoiler alert** The Queen's Fool, like most of Philippa Gregory's books, is an engaging tale of a young woman in history caught between love and dut**spoiler alert** The Queen's Fool, like most of Philippa Gregory's books, is an engaging tale of a young woman in history caught between love and duty. In this instance, it follows the fictional Hannah Green, a Jewish immigrant from Spain who works in her father's bookshop in London disguised as a boy. Due to a chance meeting with some famous historical characters and her gift of the 'sight', Hannah finds herself working as a fool in the service of Robert Dudley, Princess, then Queen Mary, and Princess, and to-be-Queen Elizabeth.
Hannah is torn between her instant love for the handsome Robert Dudley and her reluctant love for her betrothed Daniel, a fellow Jewish immigrant doctor. She is also torn between her love and respect for Mary and her love and fascination for Elizabeth, both of whom she becomes close confidants of. Throughout the book, Hannah's voice, her calm un-womanly-like demeanour, her determination to make her own living, her wanting respect as an equal from her to-be husband, is a breath of fresh air. She is spunky, strong-willed, but still remains completely feminine. I enjoyed her character very much, watching her grow as she slowly turns from boy to woman before us, although she did have her stubborn moments, much like Gregory's other heroines.
The reason I didn't enjoy this as much as Gregory's other books is that I find the circumstances to be unbelievable. All other Gregory books I've read have been told from the point of view of an actual historical character, therefore I believed all the situations, interactions, thoughts and emotions. The fact that Hannah becomes close to not just one, but two Queens-to-be, so much so that she heard Queen Mary's last words I found hard to swallow.
Also, I found her personal story, dealing with her father, her betrothal and eventual marriage somewhat disconnected to the rest of the story. It was almost as if I was reading two different books, one about Hannah the disagreeable wife-to-be, and one about Hannah, holy fool and confidant to the throne. When Hannah has to escape England and live in Calais with her new husband, mother and sisters-in law, as well as her issues with Daniel's son from another woman, I felt it was out of place. It didn't flow or add anything much to the story, it was almost just an interlude to an otherwise engaging tale. I would've liked to care more about her situation, but it was dropped right in the middle of all the political intrigue and succession issues that I felt it detracted from the true story, that of Queen Mary's struggles with her reign and marriage and Elizabeth's slow rise to the top, most of which we miss. Overall, a good engaging read, but not Gregory's best....more