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Sunrise in the West (Brothers of Gwynedd, #1)
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Monthly Group Reads > NOVEMBER 2017: Sunrise in the West by Edith Pargeter

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message 1: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (last edited Oct 14, 2017 02:13PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Terri | 19571 comments This is the November group read thread for Edith Pargeter's Sunrise in the West.
This book can also be found in the Brothers of Gwynedd The Brothers of Gwynedd (Brothers of Gwynedd #1-4) by Edith Pargeter which contains a few novels in one.


message 2: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (last edited Oct 14, 2017 02:15PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Terri | 19571 comments I've read this one. I love these books written under the Edith Pargeter. Her writing style is beautiful. A style you don't see nowadays.

This was my review

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


Renata (rderis) | 234 comments Cool. The stand alone doesn't seem to be available in the US? I'll check the other...


message 4: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (last edited Oct 14, 2017 04:18PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Terri | 19571 comments How'd you go?

I have The Brothers Gwynedd which has the 4 books in one.


Renata (rderis) | 234 comments I found the 4 in one, and I've always meant to read them all, so that works - thanks Terri.


message 6: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new) - rated it 4 stars

Terri | 19571 comments Wonderful. She's a beautiful writer. I hope you like her.


message 7: by Jane (new)

Jane | 3467 comments Before, when I read this one I did NOT like it despite the subject, but I'll give it another shot; it's been awhile back since I read it originally.


message 8: by Ace (last edited Oct 15, 2017 06:54AM) (new) - added it

Ace (aceonroam) I grabbed the 4 in 1 also. I couldn't find the individuals on ebook.

Jane, I saw your review AFTER I purchased so fingers crossed. I have a high regard for your reviews, however you did about face on Song of Achilles which I started today. It's good so far ;)


message 9: by Jane (new)

Jane | 3467 comments Ace wrote: "I grabbed the 4 in 1 also. I couldn't find the individuals on ebook.

Jane, I saw your review AFTER I purchased so fingers crossed. I have a high regard for your reviews, however you did about face..."


Thank you. I hope this one is much better 2nd time around also. I really did like the author's The Heaven Tree Trilogy.


message 10: by Allie (new) - added it

Allie | 1684 comments Yay!! Another group read I’ll be looking forward to....must see if my “we stock thousands of YA books but not any really gritty HF much to Allie’s chagrin” library, carries this one!

I’ve FINALLY found our October read in some far off out of the way library and they are supposed to be sending it to me.


message 11: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (last edited Oct 17, 2017 04:30PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Terri | 19571 comments Yay! and Yay!
Good luck with Sunrise in the West...(or Brothers Gwynedd, which it is in and I think people will have more luck finding).

Thank goodness you've found Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae. I have been disappointed that more people aren't reading it as it is a Classic of the genre.


message 12: by Allie (new) - added it

Allie | 1684 comments I think most people have already read it :/

But I’m a little surprised too... I didn’t want to be the only one posting comments!!


Laura Tenfingers | 175 comments Looking forward to this one! Just requested The Brothers of Gwynedd from the library.

I really enjoyed Sharon Kay Penman's Welsh Princes series: Here be Dragons, Falls the Shadow and The Reckoning.


message 14: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new) - rated it 4 stars

Terri | 19571 comments If you guys like Sunrise in the West (or all the Brothers Gwynedd) I HIGHLY recommend Edith Pargeter's A Bloody Field by Shrewsbury by Edith Pargeter A Bloody Field by Shrewsbury

It is one of my favourite books.


message 15: by Simona (new)

Simona | 1452 comments Gates of Fire is too good a book not to be very vivid in my heart yet....probably the best one I read in the last 10 years.
I still remember it too well to reread it.


message 16: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new) - rated it 4 stars

Terri | 19571 comments I'm a bit the same. It is so memorable, I feel like I read it yesterday.


message 17: by Craig (new)

Craig (craigmason) | 6 comments The Brothers of Gwynedd is available for download on Hoopla for those who have access to that service through their library.

Lookin forward to reading this one.


message 18: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new) - rated it 4 stars

Terri | 19571 comments Look forward to your thoughts on it, Craig.


message 19: by Jean (new) - added it

Jean Gill (jeangill) | 227 comments I'm in :) Time to play again! The last time I joined in a group read, everybody else dropped out without finishing the book :( I did get to make a good friend of the person who left last-but-one but I am scarred! Is it me! Do my opinions smell? So, dipping toe in...

Like Renata, I've got the 4-in-1. NOT reading any reviews till I've read the book. **Confession** I have never read Ellis Peters /Edith Pargeter despite (or because of) being obsessed by the 12th century and Wales being my adopted country. So, this is a scary treat for me. I HAVE watched all the Cadfael series, twice.

First thoughts: reminds me of reading the Norse sagas, with a grand sweep of history and moments of destiny. I love that feeling of being part of historic events, very pleased to be rooting for the Welsh in a situation where 'the Welsh' are on both sides - lots of conflict.

Was surprised at how like non-fiction it is - long introductory narrative. I love non-fiction and the medieval period, and know the Welsh places so was enjoying myself but I did think, 'When does the story start?' I think it's beautifully written in the old-fashioned style and it made me think how nowadays writers are supposed to zap readers with an opening scene and keep zapping them. This is not a zapping book. I've slowed down to read it properly. Oh and I can say the Welsh names so that helps.


message 20: by Paula (new)

Paula Lofting (paulalofting) | 329 comments Terri wrote: "I've read this one. I love these books written under the Edith Pargeter. Her writing style is beautiful. A style you don't see nowadays.

Aye, its very classic isn't it?

This was my review

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/8..."



message 21: by Paula (new)

Paula Lofting (paulalofting) | 329 comments Jean wrote: "I'm in :) Time to play again! The last time I joined in a group read, everybody else dropped out without finishing the book :( I did get to make a good friend of the person who left last-but-one bu..."

Hi Jean!


message 22: by Jean (new) - added it

Jean Gill (jeangill) | 227 comments Hi Paula! Was soooooo tempted to read your review but Must Not Be Influenced :)


message 23: by A.R. (new)

A.R. Bredenberg (aroyking) Jean wrote: "I think it's beautifully written in the old-fashioned style and it made me think how nowadays writers are supposed to zap readers with an opening scene and keep zapping them. This is not a zapping book.."

That's a good way to put it! I was a bit put off at first by the antiquated style, but getting used to it now. Plus, I love Ellis Peters, so I I know enough to expect a good story!

ARK


message 24: by Jane (new)

Jane | 3467 comments Terri wrote: "If you guys like Sunrise in the West (or all the Brothers Gwynedd) I HIGHLY recommend Edith Pargeter's A Bloody Field by Shrewsbury by Edith PargeterA Bloody Field by Shrewsbury
I..."


Neither impressed me, though I'm not averse to that historical period. I got thru Brothers once but gave up on rereading. Gave up on Shrewsbury twice. I hate to be a dissenter.


Vicki Cline | 76 comments I read this a while ago, because I love the Brother Cadfael series. I couldn't really get into it - the battles and Welsh names were confusing.


message 26: by Renata (last edited Nov 03, 2017 08:59AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Renata (rderis) | 234 comments I began this yesterday and so far, I'm enjoying it. I've never read anything written by Ellis Peters/Edith Pargeter either. I'm finding that each time I start reading, as Jean said, I need to slow down, breath deep, and take time to "sink in" to the way she writes. Once I've done so, I can appreciate the way she uses classic, evocative language to tell the story of Wales in the 13th century. Definitely not a book to read with half an eye on the page, or a "light read", but I think she's lovely...

I'm looking forward to reading with everyone here :)

Note: I'm on Chaper VII


message 27: by Laura Tenfingers (last edited Nov 06, 2017 05:46AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Laura Tenfingers | 175 comments I just started this tonight and I'm loving it. I love the time period and the setting. From her descriptions I feel like I'm totally there.


message 28: by Jean (last edited Nov 03, 2017 08:50AM) (new) - added it

Jean Gill (jeangill) | 227 comments I'm up to Chapter V so you're ahead of me already, Renata!

Laura wrote: " From her descriptions I feel like I'm totally there."

Yes, me too. The author takes a lot of knowledge for granted though and I found myself clicking on the odd medieval word (hooray for kindle but it's no help with the Welsh words :( ) and I'm supposed to KNOW medieval history. I know nothing about the 13th Century though and was lost in Castille/ Sicily / Barbarossa / the Pope all thrown into a political discussion. Then I decided it didn't matter. All I needed to know was that there was a political discussion and that Edith Pargeter knows the big picture. It would have been nice if she eased in some of the info necessary to understand but those who know more about this period will get more out of it.

I love the Welsh bias :) I also noticed a North Walesian bias - and as someone from South Wales, I'm not so keen on that! At least the author refers to the 'Great Lord Rhys' (12th Century and one of my heroes, in South Wales)

I have a little problem with rugs. I don't believe precious bear and wolfskins would have been put on Welsh earthen floors. Now I'm living in Provence, I can see the idea of carpets and rugs as being very modern-British. Otherwise I feel right at home in the 13th Century Wales as portrayed.


message 29: by Jean (new) - added it

Jean Gill (jeangill) | 227 comments Forget the rugs. It just got very exciting and I know why Terri loves it - brilliant description of battle, weapons and strategic warfare. I love it too!


message 30: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (last edited Nov 04, 2017 03:07PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Terri | 19571 comments Glad that so far readers are taking the time to appreciate that Edith Pargeter writes in a style and with a prose that we simply do not see anymore.
This is a style that pre dates fast technology and digital ages. Where reading was a gentle past time done by fire or on a window seat or over a cup of tea, with no gadgets or even much tv (compared to today which gives us a glut of channels) to distract.

The beauty of the slow burn of her writing is like Dorothy Dunnett or even books which I didn't like such as The Count of Monte CristoThe Name of the Rose

These are authors and books you need to approach like an old fashioned gentle reader.


message 31: by Elizabeth (new) - added it

Elizabeth Corbett (elizbethjanecorbett) | 6 comments Renata wrote: "I began this yesterday and so far, I'm enjoying it. I've never read anything written by Ellis Peters/Edith Pargeter either. I'm finding that each time I start reading, as Jean said, I need to slow ..."

I adore Edith Pargetter. She was the beginning of falling in love with Wales for me. Her Cadfael Books written under the name Ellis Peters are a lighter read. But The Heaven Tree trilogy is sublime.


message 32: by Elizabeth (new) - added it

Elizabeth Corbett (elizbethjanecorbett) | 6 comments Jean wrote: "I love the Welsh bias :) I also noticed a North Walesian bias - and as someone from South Wales, I'm not so keen on that! At least the author refers to the 'Great Lord Rhys' (12th Century and one of my heroes, in South Wales)."

My mum was from SW so I love to hear about the South too. But this quartet is about The Brothers of Gwynedd when the house of Gwynedd was in ascendance. :-)


Laura Tenfingers | 175 comments Terri wrote: "This is a style that pre dates fast technology and digital ages. Where reading was a gentle past time done by fire or on a window seat or over a cup of tea, with no gadgets or even much tv (compared to today which gives us a glut of channels) to distract..."

Perfect description Terri. I'm finding that I'm loving this book when I read it after everyone's gone to bed but get really frustrated with it (poor innocent book) when I'm trying to read it amidst the hustle and bustle of a family on the weekend.


message 34: by Jean (new) - added it

Jean Gill (jeangill) | 227 comments Elizabeth wrote: this quartet is about The Brothers of Gwynedd when the house of Gwynedd was in ascendance. :-)

I'm dealing with it :) It's like watching the wrong football team win but hey, it's a great match.


Laura Tenfingers | 175 comments Jean, do you know of any historical fiction featuring Lord Rhys or South Wales?


message 36: by Jean (last edited Nov 06, 2017 12:45AM) (new) - added it

Jean Gill (jeangill) | 227 comments Laura wrote: "Jean, do you know of any historical fiction featuring Lord Rhys or South Wales?"

Hi Laura. If you message me I'll reply re Rhys so that I don't hijack the group read! Rhys and his brothers were very different from the Gwynedd brothers. Llewellyn, David and Owain really show the rivalries and power struggles between brothers because of the Welsh inheritance system and because usually noble Welsh children grew up in different foster-homes so they bonded more with the foster family than with siblings. What Edith Pargeter shows is the same consequence as fostering but with some siblings growing up in the English court, prisoners or semi-prisoners. A sort of Stockholm syndrome?

I LOVE the character of David. Samson has come alive for me too, now he has to fight harder to follow his conscience. Slow and beautiful.


message 37: by Laura Tenfingers (last edited Nov 06, 2017 03:54AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Laura Tenfingers | 175 comments Great book! I'm definitely going to read the next books in the quartet. I did get impatient at times and had to remind myself that there's no rush... I wasn't expecting it to take me 4 days to read 227 pages... but when I got myself in the right mindset and relaxed I was able to get into it and really enjoy myself. I can see why some people might not jive with it though.

The characters are beautifully developed and so real. Can't wait to see what they'll do next!


message 38: by Dar B (new)

Dar B (ruminatingbulls) | 137 comments I'm back after more than four years and so excited about this book! I've got the 4-in1, like so many, and I am not reading any reviews until I've read the entire book.

Sad to say that I have never read Edith Pargeter/ Elllis Peters, despite my love for historical fiction. I've now discovered another author who writes in the manner I prefer. LOVING it so far!

I used to never mind not knowing how to pronounce things, as in Welsh, Scottish, Native American languages, and sometimes Fantasy, but it is bothering me this time around. I have found myself sitting and staring, coming up with different ideas how the sound of each letter or letter combinations might translate into modern American English. Slightly beguiling but the story and writing style keep pulling me along.


message 39: by Dar B (new)

Dar B (ruminatingbulls) | 137 comments Terri wrote: "Glad that so far readers are taking the time to appreciate that Edith Pargeter writes in a style and with a prose that we simply do not see anymore.
This is a style that pre dates fast technology a..."


I adore your description of her writing style. I also equate it to Dickens.

But I am shocked of the mention that you do not like the Count of Monte Cristo. Egads, woman! It's one of my favorite..., but I do have so many "favorites". :D


message 40: by Jean (new) - added it

Jean Gill (jeangill) | 227 comments Dar B wrote: "I have found myself sitting and staring, coming up with different ideas how the sound of each letter or letter combinations might translate into modern American English.."
If there are one or two names bugging you, I can give an approx rendition (might be British English rather than US :) ) The lovely thing about reading Welsh is that it's pretty regular phonetically (unlike English) so once you've got the hang of it, you can fly!

I find these boxed ebook sets great value for money but so irritating because my kindle tells me I'm 40% through, not how many pages, not of which book. That's when I remembered it was 4 books and when I checked back, I missed the end of Bk 1 and was two-thirds through Book 2! Neither wonder there was some repetition - it was to remind readers at the start of Bk 2 as to who everybody was.

So, I've finished ... and carried on. I think the cameo descriptions of characters are superb, the language and events are heroic-saga style, the grand sweep of history is amazing and the battle/political strategies are outstanding. So glad I jumped in to read this one - thanks for the push!

I do understand readers who can't get into it - there's no quarter given re places or people. I know Wales so well, I could picture ever hill and dale, and it's so accurately depicted. I don't know 13th C history and found it really interesting but very demanding, with so many characters and such a broad canvas. I still LOVE the character of David - for me, he is the (flawed) hero, rather than Llewellyn (although Llewellyn's too-noble misjudgement of others is a flaw too) .

This book definitely shows up how historical novels have changed. One thing I noticed was that when I looked up archaic words, many were actually 16th, 17th and 18th C words, not medieval. A modern historical novelist would get criticised for that (though I'm not sure why, as the novel isn't written in middle English!)


Renata (rderis) | 234 comments Jean,

I also kept reading right through to book 2 but since I’m enjoying the story and writing so much, that disturbs me not at all! We’ve had an early cold snap here in Maryland, and these books, as Terri mentioned are the perfect thing to curl up with over a cup of tea with a cozy blanket. I found your description “slow and beautiful” particularly apt...


message 42: by Jean (new) - added it

Jean Gill (jeangill) | 227 comments It's good to be taken back to that style, Renata! In fact, I started reading something 'modern' in short sentences, zapping from one action-packed moment to the next and it just seemed childish. I wonder whether blockbusting films have had an (adverse) effect on historical fiction?


message 43: by A.R. (new)

A.R. Bredenberg (aroyking) Jean wrote: "I started reading something 'modern' in short sentences, zapping from one action-packed moment to the next and it just seemed childish. I wonder whether blockbusting films have had an (adverse) effect on historical fiction?"

I'm about 60 pages into the book and really liking the style, now that I've gotten used to it. I think you might be onto something about the effect of films in recent years.

ARK


message 44: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (last edited Nov 12, 2017 02:39PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Terri | 19571 comments Dar B wrote: "Terri wrote: "Glad that so far readers are taking the time to appreciate that Edith Pargeter writes in a style and with a prose that we simply do not see anymore.
This is a style that pre dates fas..."


I am used to this shock response. Hehe. :-)
I thought it (Monte Cristo) could have lost a few hundred pages and been a better read for it. I am in the minority though! And wells I know it too. Lol


message 45: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new) - rated it 4 stars

Terri | 19571 comments Oh and Darla! Welcome back, girl!


message 46: by Margaret, Sherlockian Sheila (new)

Margaret (margyw) | 3325 comments Terri wrote: "Dar B wrote: "Terri wrote: "Glad that so far readers are taking the time to appreciate that Edith Pargeter writes in a style and with a prose that we simply do not see anymore.
This is a style that..."

I don't like The Count of Monte Cristo either. In fact, I consider Dumas over-rated in general. Which is odd, because the acknowledged best adaptation of the Three Musketeers is one of my favourite movies.


message 47: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new) - rated it 4 stars

Terri | 19571 comments I thought I was the only one! Not so lonely now. :-)


message 48: by Betsy (new)

Betsy Hoek | 14 comments Hi, I'm new to the group and had never participated in a group read before. This one appealed because I've enjoyed the Brother Cadfael books so much. Just a few observations:
Pargeter uses some vivid similes and metaphors. King Henry, wearing cloth of gold, is described as 'a pale candle in a heavy golden sconce.' Owen is 'a kind of engine of war on two legs, an expensive but hopefully valuable weapon...'. David argues for his release from prison with 'a seemingly artless bleeding of words.'
Whether this is Samson's 'voice' or just Pargeter being herself I don't know, but it's not hard to find (gramatically complete) sentences with eight or ten phrases and clauses strung together with commas.
Finally, did anyone else see a little bit of Garden of Eden/Cain and Abel in the scene with Samson and Godred ap Ivor?
I enjoyed the book very much and it was fun to think of others reading it at the same time.


message 49: by A.R. (new)

A.R. Bredenberg (aroyking) Betsy wrote: "Hi, I'm new to the group and had never participated in a group read before. This one appealed because I've enjoyed the Brother Cadfael books so much. Just a few observations:
Pargeter uses some viv..."


I loved the writing in this book and greatly enjoyed reading it. Very glad it was chosen for a group read, and I plan to read the other three in the series.

I'm a Yank, and several generations away from my British forebears. I'm wondering how the events in these books resonate with Welsh and English today. How do these events of the 13th century affect the feelings of people living today?

ARK


message 50: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (last edited Jan 03, 2018 06:34PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Terri | 19571 comments Betsy wrote: "Hi, I'm new to the group and had never participated in a group read before. This one appealed because I've enjoyed the Brother Cadfael books so much. Just a few observations:
Pargeter uses some viv..."



Missed your post, Betsy! I had a very hectic December.

Those examples quoted in your post are fantastic. I mean, seriously, who can write like this now? I'm not sure. Maybe Robyn Young at times, but truly, Pargeter's bountiful grasp of the English language is unsurpassed. Not many writers of current times can match her.


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