A.J.'s Reviews > Lady of Hay

Lady of Hay by Barbara Erskine
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's review
Aug 24, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, historical-fiction, on-the-kindle-not-the-shelf, medieval

** spoiler alert ** Warning: Flippant discussion of a triggery subject. Read at your own discretion.

All in all, this was a lovely book. The writing style was clean and easy to follow, and both the historical and medical information was obviously well researched and presented convincingly. Perhaps best of all, I felt that almost every major character in both the historical and present day plotlines were fully developed and well rounded early on, which helped me buy into the increasingly erratic behaviors that came along as the regressions began to have more and more effect on both the protagonist and those around her.

But I stuggled with something and have to take away one star merely for the fact that every single time I thought I had figured out which guy to cheer for, he turned into a rapey arsehole. And as I phrased it to my brother, "I don't mind a little rape showing up in books when it's historically accurate or significant to the plotline or whatall, but I though I was gonna be reading a historical-fantasy hybrid, not getting surprise sex my brain didn't know it wanted."

You see, protagonist, generally when your ex-boyfriend decided to rape you, your response should really not be, "Dear me, how traumatizing. How fortunate that it was actually his alter-ego from a past-life regression and not really he who raped me, because I still love him." Actually, your response should probably be to CALL THE POLICE. In general, there was a severe lack of calling the police in appropriate situations...and this is coming from someone who watches Burn Notice and doesn't bat an eyelash when they pull U-turns on the freeway and no one calls Highway Patrol.

But other than that little nugget jarring me out of the story, it was quite an enjoyable read.

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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Matt (last edited Sep 04, 2011 10:36AM) (new)

Matt Spencer Well, if the guy was possessed, perhaps that DOES qualify as mitigating circumstances, where the dude in fact wasn't in control of his own actions because another freakin' CONSCIOUSNESS was at the wheel? "I was possessed - no, I mean, literally - we're talkin' some EXORCIST shit here!" DOES sound a tad more legit than "I was drunk," honestly. And the legal system doesn't acknowledge the supernatural (which is actually quite handy if you're into settling vendettas via astral projection, but I digress). Then again, they're both having past-life flashbacks, so it's still all the same people doing what to who, so isn't it still the same guy, just "This is a continuation of what happened last lifetime" instead of "What happened last week"?

message 2: by A.J. (last edited Sep 05, 2011 01:05AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

A.J. I mean, I'll buy the explanation in context, sure; and the book was certainly worth reading and I would recommend it. I honestly thing the biggest reason I got hung up on it was because at the point when that occured, I was just adjusting to the fact that the character who I THOUGHT was going to be the "good guy" was actually the villain, and the jerk boyfriend who I disliked was the "good guy." And I finally got the to point where that all made sense, and then he went crazy, and suddenly there was no "good guy" and my brain went "Umm...WTF, mate?"

'Cause really, I've read books way worse in this particular respect and been pretty "meh" about the subject. Because I am a horrible person, and I read a lot of books.

message 3: by Matt (new)

Matt Spencer Nothin' wrong with bein' a horrible person who reads a lot of books. Like some nutty horror-adventure fantasist summed up my feelings on the matter, "You could have whatever conversation you liked with a piece of art, and no one could step in and call you impertinent. It spoke silently yet echoing from the mysterious well of spirit and history that produced it, and you could only speak back with your soul’s most primal, naked responses."

I for one love stories that effectively jerk you around over who you can root for/call the "hero/villain", so I should probably actually check this out.

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