**spoiler alert** I am finding it so difficult to come up with enough words to describe how much I adored this book. Sherry Jones is an absolute tour...more**spoiler alert** I am finding it so difficult to come up with enough words to describe how much I adored this book. Sherry Jones is an absolute tour de force in this. If you haven’t tried her books before, I cannot emphasize enough how much you’re missing out by not reading them. She has written “Four Sisters, All Queens,”, “The Jewel of Medina”, “The Sword of Medina,” and an e-novella, “White Heart,” which is a prequel to Four Sisters. I have read all of these and I assure you, whatever Sherry writes next, I will be in line to read. She is an absolutely stunning author and a wonderful, warm person who I am honored to know…and share a birthday with!
Writing from Heloise’s point of view, she brings us to the first day that Abelard and Heloise meet and the road they traverse down. It is beautifully written and I found myself being brought to tears, laughing with them, feeling anxiety, wanting the happiest of endings…but alas, if you know the story then you know, that is a fate that will elude them both, unfortunately. They eventually have a child, secretly marry and are cruelly separated, with Heloise eventually taking vows and becoming a nun and eventually becoming an abbess, which is the last thing she wants to become. Abelard is brutally attacked by some of Heloise’s uncle’s friends…there’s so much I want to tell you all but that would be unfair. I don’t want to give everything away!
There are moments where you will ponder, why is life so cruel? Why couldn’t they simply be allowed to be together? (Consequences be damned!) The medieval years were truly an oppressive time if you were a woman; bound to do as a man told you and what the church tells you to do. That Heloise was allowed to be the scholar that she was is astounding, as most women back them were restricted to learning housewifely duties.
Only in death were they brought together once more, being buried together. Though their story has survived the ages and their letters to one another remain, I like to think that they’ve been reunited in the next life (if you believe in such a thing).
If you do take the plunge and read this–which, you absolutely should!–I promise you that you’ll forget your surroundings and be brought to the time period and back to France. It’s a stunning piece of literature. Brava, Sherry!(less)
I am the first to admit that I generally hate chick lit. And even though this book was lumped in ‘historical fiction’, I find it more of an AU story a...moreI am the first to admit that I generally hate chick lit. And even though this book was lumped in ‘historical fiction’, I find it more of an AU story and chick lit. It’s got all of the things that are supposed to get us sighing and angry and all of that good girly stuff. I gave this 3 out of 5 because the idea is fantastic–can you imagine if Jackie and Marilyn actually did write back and forth? That would be amazing. I love both women and respect them; however, in the letters that ‘Jackie’ wrote, I didn’t feel her, if that makes sense. Being that she was so well read and educated, I find it hard that she would be so one dimensional in letters. I applaud the author for knowing Jackie’s history and trying to come across as the most famous First Lady in history, but that fell flat for me. I didn’t feel she was successful.
Writing as Marilyn, I felt there was a little more success, but there were times where the author made her sound like a total bubblehead, which Marilyn was not. She was constantly thought of as a dumb blonde or a whore or a slut, but she was a person and ‘Marilyn’ was just a persona. She is a woman who took courses at NYU, studied her hardest at Strasburg and honestly, from what I understand, they didn’t just take anyone in. I suppose it can be said that I am biased as I’ve read a lot more about Marilyn than Jackie. However, judging by other reviews I’ve seen, I’m not entirely alone.
There were moments of total madness–Marilyn describing a sexual act in depth for Jackie, for one and there were also moments that were sweet and tender, such as commiserating over stillbirths/miscarriages et cetera. Whilst it would be fun to think that they really did get that close, it is fiction. Also, the footnotes–oi! They were horrid and really unnecessary. It’s a fictional book, come off it! I began to lose interest halfway through and when I finished, I was glad.
This was really an amazing book. I hadn't known about Frances Stuart and her relationship with Charles II. That she was true to herself was big for th...moreThis was really an amazing book. I hadn't known about Frances Stuart and her relationship with Charles II. That she was true to herself was big for that timeframe. I really felt that I was there, though I am very used to reading about the Tudors, I loved reading about the Restoration period.
There are some authors who always deliver...Katie is definitely one of those. with the rich backdrop of Borgia Rome and a Vatican full of intrigues, r...moreThere are some authors who always deliver...Katie is definitely one of those. with the rich backdrop of Borgia Rome and a Vatican full of intrigues, reading how Giulia manages to survive and endure it...yes. this is a delightful read! (Full review when I am not. mobile)(less)
Sometimes a review is long and it doesn't need to be. This book is one everyone should read if possible. I cried, I was filled with joy and heartbreak...moreSometimes a review is long and it doesn't need to be. This book is one everyone should read if possible. I cried, I was filled with joy and heartbreak..the Holocaust survivors who have written their stories or spoken them...I am thankful for their courage and endurance, in that they can reach inside of themselves and go back to that place in their lives and and relive it so that no one forgets. And we shouldn't forget because it shouldn't happen again. (Yet, it does in other countries and will likely continue for all time.)
I don't want to reveal anything for this because at 175 pages, you can finish it within the day if you wanted and have the time. Eva writes honestly and with a great deal of honesty and love. Her candour or us refreshing an there is nothing pretentious about her. You'll love her and feel for her.
And you will remember her because this is that sort of story.