Alexa's Reviews > The Commoner

The Commoner by John Burnham Schwartz
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** spoiler alert ** Lugubriously slow, or just stately? I couldn't decide. I listened to this on CD (a beautifully rendered interpretation by Janet Sun), and while I stuck with it, it was just so unrelentingly sad. I agree with other reviewers that it's surprising that it was written by a man, because I do think he fully conveys the delicate feminine emotions of the two princesses. (Not that all feminine emotions are delicate, just that these women were bound by the conventions of the court to behave, think and feel in certain ways, handed down over centuries).

I was more engaged in the final 25% of the story, but also very surprised and disappointed by the huge choice made by the older Princess. To assuage her own guilt over something she did in the past, she sets in motion events which will impact the people closest to her. As a parent, I can't fathom making the choice she did. I don't know if that's vague enough to qualify as not being a spoiler, but I'm still going to hide this review.

Some of the descriptions of the countryside, the palace, the marriage ceremony in all its ritual are positively lyrical. It's a well written book - my concerns are with the pace and the plot twist toward the end. Thus, I'm giving it a 3 star review. This is the kind of book I will continue to think about, and may come back to adjust my stars.

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Reading Progress

January 28, 2011 – Started Reading
January 28, 2011 – Shelved
January 28, 2011 – Shelved as: 2011-audiobooks-challenge
January 28, 2011 – Shelved as: goodreads-2011-total-books-read-cha
February 14, 2011 – Shelved as: 666-challege-bookcrossing
February 14, 2011 – Finished Reading

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