Laughholly's Reviews > In a Dark Wood Wandering: A Novel of the Middle Ages

In a Dark Wood Wandering by Hella S. Haasse
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Feb 27, 09

Read in February, 2009

I started the book, started Goodreads, and then vanished from the face of the earth. I'm back now. It was a thick read, but I enjoyed most of it. What I liked best (and what I believe the book is best known for) is all the great historical details you get by reading about one man's life. This is the kind of history I like best -- what people wore, how they thought, what their lives were like. What was expected of this person in his relationship to his mother, or this person in relation to men she didn't know? What did these rooms smell like, and how many teeth was a guy likely to have left by the time he reached age 60? The author here manages to get you lots of information without becoming dry or bogging you down in endless description. The historical figure on whom the novel is based is fascinating in his own right, and I related to him; we have similar thoughtful temperaments and spend a lot of time wrestling with our flaws, and I was hugely encouraged both by his successes and the way his failures were rooted in honest motives.
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