Ok, well I should update on this,(& yeah all the other books I've read & not reviewed in 2011). This is a what I call a trashy potboiler...wel...moreOk, well I should update on this,(& yeah all the other books I've read & not reviewed in 2011). This is a what I call a trashy potboiler...well maybe not trashy really, but an historical potboiler. One of those easy reads that have drama after drama and it's not written very well...well in that easy to read style and you wonder why the heck you are reading it: BUT in the end you can't put it down because the plot becomes so angst ridden you are hooked and want to find out what the heck happened - even though you don't really like any of the characters and are fairly sure that the historical facts are incorrect but you are not that inspired to go check. At the end you breathe with relief that it's over and wonder if it was worth the effort. It's one of those books that you pick up at an airport or motel room because there is nothing else to read while waiting - you would not spend actual money on it.
I am being hard on this. Sorry for those who loved it. There were interesting bits. There is a lot about Wales and the life of miners around the war years. There is gypsy drama and love and danger. There are racist and sexist attitudes which may offend - though is probably a true reflection of the times and places and a rape scene. There is a running theme of boxing. You would never know that from the cover or the Rossetti poem presented on the first pages though. The main bad boy character - the gypsy becomes a world renown boxer..travelling to the USA and hanging around Jack Dempsey's boxing circle. A few well known mafia thugs are also written into the plot to make things interesting just in case you happen to get bored..and oh poor miner's daughter makes good, then goes bad, then good again. And some fashion tips for the lower classes just in case you want to fake being rich or actually accomplish it one day. Oh and I forgot the incest.
I'm tired haven't had more than a few hours sleep in a couple of days and beg forgiveness for this paltry excuse of a review - if I had the time I would like to check the boxing facts - whether any contained herein is based on fact or just made up. But I have no time to follow up something that I really didn't think much of..
I think this novel was the author's first book - I guess I would rate it in the genre of ?- Flowers in the Attic" without the sinister mind fucks. It could have been good. Maybe. It wasn't.
My father gave me this today - he's just read it and liked it...so not sure what it's like, since he was basically a non-reader of novels a few months ago. It starts off with a beautifully sad poem by Christina Rossetti.
by: Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)
REMEMBER me when I am gone away, Gone far away into the silent land; When you can no more hold me by the hand, Nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay. Remember me when no more day by day You tell me of our future that you plann'd: Only remember me; you understand It will be late to counsel then or pray. Yet if you should forget me for a while And afterwards remember, do not grieve: For if the darkness and corruption leave A vestige of the thoughts that once I had, Better by far you should forget and smile Than that you should remember and be sad. "Remember" is reprinted from Goblin Market and other Poems. Christina Rossetti. Cambridge: Macmillan, 1862.
Contains a moving account of life in the trenches in Flanders during WW1 - from an Australian perspective. The two timeline/plot kind of dragged a bit...moreContains a moving account of life in the trenches in Flanders during WW1 - from an Australian perspective. The two timeline/plot kind of dragged a bit here and there and the "now" was somewhat predictable but an interesting take on a familiar theme. Worth the read. Also I found interesting the author's accurate use of Aussie accent's and quirky phrasing. Most people don't get it right. :) Oh there are some good quotes but will have to write them up later.(less)
I've given it 4 stars because it's a good story, a good tale woven around some historical facts, but not always good writing ~ the character Rosamund...moreI've given it 4 stars because it's a good story, a good tale woven around some historical facts, but not always good writing ~ the character Rosamund to me is underdeveloped, and why go and spoil a great tale with wanton sexual aerobics in a hammock?. Otherwise I loved the questing / exploration themes; Lou Lu the Ming eunuch for his politics and Popple for his black rose obsession. The ending came about too quickly with somewhat pat resolutions to certain characters but if not for the hammock scenes is forgivable as it reads like a fairy tale of sorts. (less)
397BC - my memory of history lessons of that time are pretty vague. It seems pogroms & massacres of all sorts went on then as they do now. Section...more397BC - my memory of history lessons of that time are pretty vague. It seems pogroms & massacres of all sorts went on then as they do now. Sections 1 & 2 are pretty much a love story/triangle - the 3rd part was in direct contrast. Bloody hateful stuff borne out of religious conformism. Fairly shocked me. Jews killing their wives and children who were not fully genetic Jews.