This is my third Tracy Chevalier book of the year and it's another cracker! Chevalier's latest release is anothe...moreOriginal review at Reading in Progress
This is my third Tracy Chevalier book of the year and it's another cracker! Chevalier's latest release is another historical fiction offering featuring quilts, quakers and a British girl called Honor who emigrates with her sister to America to start a new life.
The writing is once again wonderful in this book and the imagery very vivid. We meet lots of different characters in this book, and Honor faces tragedy and meets some new friends on her journey. The central story to this book is about slavery and the things that people did to help black people pass through Ohio and onto a better life whilst most people just looked the other way. To me, the relationships that were formed in the story were just as important, both good and bad, and also the realisation from Honor that life isn't all black and white.
Another great book and I look forward to discovering more of Chevalier's work. (less)
I'm going to come right out and say it, I was a bit disappointed by this book. I downloaded this a while ago and...moreOriginal review at Reading in Progress
I'm going to come right out and say it, I was a bit disappointed by this book. I downloaded this a while ago and was really looking forward to reading it. The beginning of the book really sucked me in, but I found the rest of the book a little bit lacking.
The story is a fictional account of what happened on the night of the crush in Bethnal Green after the air raid siren went off in March 1943. We get to experience the accident, see the after effect on some of the families involved and get involved in the mechanics of the report being written. This is interspersed with a second storyline about the author of the report being tracked down by someone from Bethnal Green wanting to make a retrospective of the disaster on the 30th anniversary. I found this second storyline a little unnecessary and don't really feel that it added anything to the story.
Overall I did enjoy the story in principle and really felt that it was evocative of wartime London, I just found that it didn't really grab me in the way I would have hoped it would and in some places found it very slow. (less)
I really enjoyed this book. It was beautifully written and so descriptive. It really caught my imagination and made it easy for me to "see" what was g...moreI really enjoyed this book. It was beautifully written and so descriptive. It really caught my imagination and made it easy for me to "see" what was going on in the story. I'm not sure I would read this book again, simply because part of its charm was that you had no idea what would happen next. I do think that this book will stay with me forever though as it is quite a haunting and sobering tale of a young boy becoming a man. I would definitely recommend it.(less)
I have read all of Sarah Waters other books, but was hesitant with this one as I was worried that it might be a little bit too risque for me. In hinds...moreI have read all of Sarah Waters other books, but was hesitant with this one as I was worried that it might be a little bit too risque for me. In hindsight, I wish I had read it sooner.
Tipping the Velvet is just as well written as Waters' other works and the story is a rich tapestry which follows the life of Nancy Astley through many ups and downs in Victorian England. The writing is superb and the imagery from it is great, without being over descriptive. The characters are also very strong and very likeable. I think that characters are a strong point in Waters' books as they are human and you can care about them.
This book is known for it's portrayal of lesbian love in the Victorian era. Most of Waters' other books have a lesbian love theme so I was not put off by this. There are some graphic sex scenes in this book, but I did not feel that they were gratuitous and the writer did not dwell on them. Therefore I feel that this book is just on the right side of the fine line between art and porn!
Tipping the Velvet is beautifully written and shows the seedier side of Victorian England, as well as the hidden side of "forbidden" love that we so very rarely hear about in historical fiction. Sarah Waters is definitely one of my favourite writers and I can't wait to see what she publishes next.(less)