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Pick-a-Shelf: Monthly -Archive > 2009-09 - Historical Fiction - Post September Reviews Here

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message 1: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (JenJen1221) | 61 comments Hey book friends!!! I figured we can post our book reviews here. Hope you all have fun reading HF this month!!!

HAPPY readings!!!


message 2: by BJ Rose (last edited Sep 02, 2009 06:58PM) (new)

BJ Rose (bjrose) | 234 comments A Light in the Storm the Civil War Diary of Amelia Martin is based on a real-life girl in the Civil War-era who took over her father's Lightkeeper duties when he became too ill to do them, and saved 22 people in the years of her career as Lightkeeper. Karen Hesse set this story in the border state of Delaware during the beginning of the Civil War, and shows how towns and even families were almost immediately divided over slavery and secession, and what could (and often did) happen to those in the minority. Amelia Martin, the writer of the diary, compares her task of trying to keep her parents together to that of Pres. Lincoln trying to keep a nation together. Very poignantly told - a strong 4*



message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 286 comments A Most Dangerous Woman
A quick easy read with an interesting murder mystery. Set in Victorian London the story is about Sarah Tanner, a woman with a colourful past. One day an old friend from her past turns up unexpectedly and is murdered shortly afterwards. Sarah decides to solve the mystery herself, getting herself in and out of all sorts of trouble in the process.
Not an amazing book but not bad either. There is one obvious plothole but it does not affect the overall story. Three stars.


message 4: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (michelle154) | 5 comments The Heretic's Daughter
This was a quick read book about a very interesting subject, the Salem witch trials. Although that was not the whole theme of the book. It is told from the perspective of young Sarah Carrier in regards to her mother being accused of being a witch. I would recommend this book and gave it four stars.


message 5: by Arlene (new)

Arlene | 145 comments The Other Queen A Novel
This story about Mary Queen of Scots is told from 3 viewpoints, that of Mary herself and her 2 jailers: George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, and his wife, Bess of Hardwick. The story covers the years that the queen is held while hoping to return to take her on the throne of Scotland. You have to wonder what would have happened if Mary or her cousin Elizabeth had been less jealous and more tolerant.


message 6: by Sunflower (last edited Sep 06, 2009 03:19AM) (new)

Sunflower | 174 comments I've just finished Snowflower and the Secret Fan and really enjoyed it. The author's restrained writing style really fits her subject matter, and brings the world of women in rural 18th Century China, with its many sorrows and customs that are strange to us, to life.


message 7: by Tara (new)

Tara | 742 comments I just finished The Poisonwood Bible. I really liked it. It was was interesting to read about their lives in each of the Price women's perspectives. Many of the events in Congo were new to me, since I do not know as much about that part of the world. It definitely made me want to know more. It also was an interesting commentary on religion and missionary work.


message 8: by Luann (new)

Luann (azbookgal) | 1006 comments The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King. 3.5 stars.

This is a mystery and historical fiction. I liked the premise a lot, and thought I would really like it. But it was much too slow in the beginning and read too much like a memoir. I wanted her to get on to the action/mystery portion of the story! Once that happened, the story started to move and I enjoyed it much more. It made me want to reread some Sherlock Holmes mysteries. It's been much too long since I read any.


message 9: by Melissa (new)

Melissa (macyboston) The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory is the story of Katherine of Aragon, who was Henry VIII's 1st wife.

This story begins with the Queen as a small girl and takes us through her childhood and really molds the character so that we gain a better perspective of who this woman truely was once she became his wife. I really didn't think too highly of her in The Other Boleyn Girl, but gained a new found respect for her.

I liked this book very much, but it felt rushed towards the end. I didn't feel like we really understood her as well in the end as in the beginning.


message 10: by Melissa (new)

Melissa (macyboston) The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory is the story of Henry VIII's 4th and 5th wives.

This book had a 3 protagonist view. At times I felt like I was re-reading the same part of the story but from a different perspective, which tended to make the book seem longer than it really needed to be.

This book also made me dislike certain character's as we delved further in the story line.

I like this book too, but I wasn't overly fascinated with his 5th wife like some of his others.


message 11: by BJ Rose (new)

BJ Rose (bjrose) | 234 comments Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik is part of an alternative-history series that has dragons assisting both sides during the Napoleonic Wars.

His Majesty's Dragon, Book 1 in this series, ended with the information that Temeraire was a Celestial dragon that the Chinese now wanted back. They had earlier given the dragon egg to the French (and we learn the reason for this near the end of this book), but now state that a Celestial deserves a handler with royal blood, and Laurence definitely does not fit that standard. A compromise is reached to have Laurence and his crew travel to China with Temeraire to see what can be worked out. A great premise, but we then spend six months on board a sailing ship with them (at least, it seemed that long!) Just as I was getting mighty sick of being at sea with only boring ship tasks and illness, strange and dangerous things began happening on board, and a 250-foot sea serpent appeared, giving Temeraire something to do.

Once they arrived in China, the book took off again, and a treacherous event led to a surprise ending, with hints of what may happen in the next book.


message 12: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (JenJen1221) | 61 comments I finished A Northern Light today and really enjoyed it. I liked the whole idea of having a word of the day. That is something that I tried to do when I was in middle/high school. Also, Mattie was a character that I was really pulling for. She had been through so much and I wanted to keep reading to see if her dreams would come true. A great read with a true story as the background. You guys should read it!!! I gave it 4/5.


message 13: by Jenna (new)

Jenna | 6 comments The Reader - Bernhard Schlink

When he falls ill on his way home from school, fifteen-year-old Michael Berg is rescued by Hanna, a woman twice his age. In time she becomes his lover -- then she inexplicably disappears. When Michael next sees her, he is a young law student, and she is on trial for a hideous crime. As he watches her refuse to defend her innocence, Michael gradually realizes that Hanna may be guarding a secret she considers more shameful than murder.

I personally gave the book 3/5 Stars its decent to me but not exceptional, I like romance and can believe it better when it doesn't pertain to boy meets girl and immediately falls in love but maybe when you are a 15 yr old boy what you think is love comes quickly lol Going past that the middle (during trail) kinda lagged for me but I was glad I finished it and the ending picked up.


message 14: by Arlene (new)

Arlene | 145 comments Howards End is a view of the English society of 100 years ago. The characters are mostly people who have an "income" so are concerned with society and conventions. I found them tedious except for the heroine, Margaret, but even she isn't without faults.


message 15: by Sunflower (last edited Sep 13, 2009 02:54AM) (new)

Sunflower | 174 comments I didn't realise until I finished it that this one counts too- Property.by Valerie Martin. It's about the damage slavery does to people; both the owners and the slaves themselves. Realistically portrayed and not a happy read.


message 16: by Cam (new)

Cam Just finished Wish You Well By David Baldacci. This book was loaned to me recently, & to my delight discovered it met the criteria for a Historical Fiction read. Even more delightful was the fact that I thought it was extremely well done & extremely enjoyable. 4 Stars from me.
By all reports this book does not take the usual form of a Baldacci read. It's the first of his books that I've attempted so I'll have to take the word of others on that.
This tale is told in the voice & seen through the eye's of the eldest child of the Cardinal family - 12 year old girl, Louisa May. The family of four lives in New York city in the year 1940 & on a day trip & a picnic they encounter tragedy that will alter the family forever. For the family to survive they have to move to her Father's ancestral home in the hills of Virginia, to the kin they have never met & a home they've never seen.
The book has a lovely down homely feel, a comfortable style, that makes you imagine that if To Kill A Mocking Bird, Tom Sawyer & a sprinkling of The Secret Life Of Bee's were ever rolled into one, they would come out looking a little like this. I enjoyed this greatly & will be thinking of Lou & her brother Oz for a long time to come, not to mention the many other wonderful characters I met along the way.



Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) | 2812 comments Mod
My first one for the month is Innocent Traitor A Novel of Lady Jane Grey by Alison Weir. This book is about the woman that was Queen of England for nine days between Edward VI (son of Henry VIII & Jane Seymour) and Mary Tudor (daughter of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon). She was put on the throne by the reformists who did not want Mary to become Queen because they did not want the Catholic faith restored.

Let me just say, that I am a Tudor aficionado, so as you can guess, I really enjoyed this book. Alison Weir has written many non-fiction books about the Tudors, but this book is a fiction novel. Because of her extensive knowledge of the subject, this book is well researched and easy to read. I give the book 4 stars.


message 18: by Jenna (new)

Jenna | 6 comments Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

When Jacob Jankowski, recently orphaned and suddenly adrift, jumps onto a passing train, he enters a world of freaks, grifters, and misfits, a second-rate circus struggling to survive during the Great Depression, making one-night stands in town after endless town. A veterinary student who almost earned his degree, Jacob is put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It is there that he meets Marlena, the beautiful young star of the equestrian act, who is married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. He also meets Rosie, an elephant who seems untrainable until he discovers a way to reach her.

I personally gave this epic novel 5/5 Stars for me it had everything that I could of possibly needed in a circus tale. I went into this book not over expectant to find a gem but boy did I! I loved this novel and don't have enough good things to say about it!

Only thing I will say about this novel that "some" may not like who are animal lovers (I being one of them) it does have some scenes that may disturb those who are truly against animal abuse. Taking this in account I can understand if someone didnt want to read this novel for that particular reason. I do know that circus' esp in the depression era were not precisely known for their animal loving nature, hence why circus' everywhere now are being thoroughly investgated.

Knowing all this I can still say this has become a new favorite of mine and i truly reccomended to anyone who loves reading about the circus.




message 19: by Meghan (new)

Meghan The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

This charming story is set post-WWII England. The story is told through letters, by which we learn that writer, Juliet, discovers how the war effected other people, outside of London. A resident of Guernsey, which is one of the Channel Islands and occupied by Germany, wrote her a letter after finding her name and address in a book by a favorite author. Further correspondence allowed Juliet to learn that this man, Dawsey, was part of a literary society (the title of this book). Juliet is intrigued by the town, their experiences, and the people themselves, and sets out to learn more about them and ends up learning more about herself.

A heart-warming tale of love, pain, and hope. This is a perfect read to curl up with on your next rainy day.

I can't recommend it enough.


message 20: by Meghan (new)

Meghan When My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park

An extraordinary YA story told through the eyes of older brother Tae-yul and younger sister Sun-hee. Set in the mid-1930s (to mid-1940s) in Japanese-occupied Korea, you learn a different side to WWII--a story not often told in the West. Japan forced Korea to lose its identity and "become" Japanese. All citizens had to take new Japanese names. The Korean language--both verbal and written--became outlawed and everyone had to learn Japanese, write Japanese, and students had to study the history of Japan. The national flower--the rose of Sharon--was outlawed, dug up, burned, and replaced by the Japanese cherry tree. Girls were taken to serve as prostitutes "comfort women" for Japanese soldiers (this fact was not revealed until 1979 and it took another 20 years before the Japanese government apologized to those women). And at least 10 Korean men died as kamikaze pilots. Yet you see how these people through strength and pride in their heritage survived.

Whether you're a young adult or just young at heart, this is a story that you will never forget.

**A nice companion to the Guernsey Literary story.


message 21: by Colleen (new)

Colleen (ossycolly) Meghan wrote: "When My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park

An extraordinary YA story told through the eyes of older brother Tae-yul and younger sister Sun-hee. Set in the mid-1930s (t..."


Meghan - I want to read both books you reviewed now!



message 22: by Meghan (last edited Sep 14, 2009 12:48AM) (new)

Meghan Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

This is a book for anyone old enough to remember being excited that the circus was in town...or wanted to run away and join the circus. For the rest of you, this book is sure to please as well just because of how well-written it is.

An inside look on the life and times of a traveling circus in the early 1900s, recollected through the aged eyes of Jacob Jankowski--who now may be 90 or 93, he can't remember. This story is a warts and all look at how circuses were really run and how the acts and animals were "acquired".

The characters are compelling and the story moves at a fairly quick pace. You will laugh and perhaps cry at this touching story. But what I felt Gruen did best was when she wrote about Jacob now as an old man. Her handling of his confinement to a retirement home was done with truth but compassion, much like how my favorite character Rosemary handled Jacob. And the ending was satisfying with a surprisingly nice twist.

**Note: For animal enthusiasts or those who may be squeemish at the thought of abuse, there are a few graphic details of the circus' unsavory side. It was less depressing as I first had been given the impression, but horrifying nonetheless. Proceed with caution.


message 23: by Meghan (new)

Meghan Colleen wrote: "Meghan - I want to read both books you reviewed now!"

Thanks ladies! I really enjoyed them and both are really quick reads.

Guernsey is exactly what you hope for and wonderfully executed in the style of a story through letters. I've read other books using that approach, namely Ella Minnow Pea A Novel in Letters, which was a charmingly fun idea but poorly (stiffly) executed.

Both books give a lot of interesting tidbits of trivia from that era that makes historical-fiction my favorite genre.


message 24: by Meghan (new)

Meghan Sunflower wrote: "I've just finished Snowflower and the Secret Fan and really enjoyed it. The author's restrained writing style really fits her subject matter, and brings the world of women in rural 1..."

Sunflower - if you enjoyed Snowflower, I highly recommend Peony in Love. It is a beautiful story and See does another wonderful job at describing a time and place long gone.


message 25: by Meghan (new)

Meghan Melissa wrote: "The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory is the story of Henry VIII's 4th and 5th wives.

This book had a 3 protagonist view. At times I felt like I was re-reading the..."


I haven't read many of Gregory's books, but I did enjoy The Queen's Fool. I never really knew much about what happened before Elizabeth took the throne. I found it quite interesting, if not so historically accurate.


message 26: by Meghan (new)

Meghan Lyn wrote: "My first one for the month is Innocent Traitor A Novel of Lady Jane Grey by Alison Weir. This book is about the woman that was Queen of England for nine days between E..."

The English (or maybe all royals) have such complicated histories! I just may have to pick this one up.


message 27: by Luann (new)

Luann (azbookgal) | 1006 comments Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin. 4 stars.

If Temperance Brennan lived in medieval England, this would be her story. I thought this was a fascinating yet also horrifying murder mystery since most of the victims were young children.

I enjoyed the writing style, even though it did feel a bit modern. I even found one "darn" that felt a bit out of place. The author's note at the end says she used some modern names and terms to avoid confusion. Not sure if she includes the "darn" in that. :)

All in all, though, I enjoyed the story a lot. I will certainly read another by Ariana Franklin sometime in the future.


message 28: by Sunflower (new)

Sunflower | 174 comments Meghan wrote: "Sunflower wrote: "I've just finished Snowflower and the Secret Fan and really enjoyed it. The author's restrained writing style really fits her subject matter, and brings the world o..."
Thanks! I'll keep my eye out for it at the library.



Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) | 2812 comments Mod
Meghan - Innocent Traitor was excellent. I would highly recommend it.


message 30: by Tara (new)

Tara | 742 comments I just finished The Heretic's Daughter. I really enjoyed this story and learned a lot about Martha Carrier and her family. There was a lot about the Salem Witch Trials that I did not know.


Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) | 2812 comments Mod
Natasha wrote: "A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, #1) by Libba Bray. 2 stars.

This book didn't make too much sense. First off, the girls hearing about magic and the order and suddenly deciding to practice..."


Natasha - this is the first book in a series, and a lot more gets explained, plus Kartik plays a bigger role in later books. Although, it seems to me, if you want to pull people into your series, maybe it isn't good to save a lot of basic explaining for later books.



message 32: by Melissa (last edited Sep 16, 2009 05:07AM) (new)

Melissa (macyboston) Lyn wrote: "Natasha wrote: "A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, #1) by Libba Bray. 2 stars.

This book didn't make too much sense. First off, the girls hearing about magic and the order and suddenly deci..."


Natasha is absolutely right. So much more gets explained in the second book. I adore this series. I looked at these books as completely fantasy. I didn't even give too much thought into the time era.




message 33: by Arlene (last edited Sep 16, 2009 09:39PM) (new)

Arlene | 145 comments PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by By Jane Austen
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE I was happy with the outcome of this book but was disturbed by the prejudices that Jane Austin talks about. How tedious it must have been to live in those times where society was so important (if you could afford it!)


message 34: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (jennifertudor) Voyager Diana Gabaldon

Voyager is the third book in the Outlander series and better, in my opinion, than the second book, Dragonfly in Amber. Jamie and Clare are reunited after 20 years apart and it's so wonderful to be back to reading about them and learning everything that has happened to them during their separation.

It's been a few months since I read the first two books and I had somehow forgotten just how fabulously Diana Gabaldon writes, weaving heartwrenching scenes together with moments that make me burst out laughing. These moments almost always include Jamie.

There are so many new characters to meet in this book including Young Ian, Marsali, Willie and Mr. Willoughby. Equally wonderful are the returning characters from the previous books such as Jenny, Geillis, Laoghaire, John Grey, Brianna and Roger.

A couple of things were annoyingly left unanswered by this book but all in all, it was a fantastic book and one I'd highly recommend! Of course, if you haven't done so yet, I'd suggest reading the first two books of the series before this one :D


message 35: by Sara (new)

Sara (hoot31) | 196 comments So, I am reading all different books from originally planned, but things workout in the end. I just finished A Light in the Storm the Civil War Diary of Amelia Martin and it was a wonderful little book about a female lighthouse keeper during the war. I have always been fascinated by lighthouses and really enjoyed this one.


message 36: by Amy (new)

Amy | 2140 comments As part of the 12 days of summer challenge I read The Alienist by Caleb Carr, which fits this category too. I wanted to like this book more than I did. A quick synopsis: Theodore Roosevelt is the Police Commissioner who has a task force working incognito using profiling to solve serial murders. The premise was good, but the problem was with the pacing of the story; it was just way too slow. I normally can't put a mystery down, but this one was a chore to read.

I listened to the audiobook of The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen a few weeks ago, and it too dealt with murders that took place in the 1800's (Oliver Wendell Holmes was one of the characters in this story). I found myself engrossed in the book and just had to see how it turned out. That was the feeling that was lacking with The Alienist.

I read Water for Elephants when it first came out and loved it. Definitely add my recommendation to those above.


message 37: by Sara (new)

Sara (hoot31) | 196 comments I also just finished Island of the Blue Dolphins. I had forgotten how much I had enjoyed this many, many years ago. Great quick read!!


message 38: by Meghan (new)

Meghan Jennifer wrote: "Voyager Diana Gabaldon

Voyager is the third book in the Outlander series and better, in my opinion, than the second book, Dragonfly in Amber. Jamie and Clare are reunited after 20 y..."


I didn't finish your review as I am currently reading Outlander. But I'm glad to hear that the third book is good. I'm debating whether or not I want to go any further in this series (beyond Book 1).


message 39: by Jennifer (last edited Sep 19, 2009 06:14AM) (new)

Jennifer (jennifertudor) Meghan, I think you should. I've really enjoyed all three so far but the third one is almost as good as Voyager. The 2nd isn't quite as strong but still well worth the read :)

PS - I tried to make my review spoiler-free for everyone who is still reading them :)


message 40: by Meghan (new)

Meghan Jennifer wrote: "Meghan, I think you should. I've really enjoyed all three so far but the third one is almost as good as Voyager. The 2nd isn't quite as strong but still well worth the read :)

PS - I tried to ma..."


Are there any more than the three? I don't know anything beyond what I'm reading, so other than I now know Claire goes back (presumedly to her own era or maybe not...) or at least leaves the one she's in, I'm in the dark. BUT...you've sold me on reading the next two. But it'll have to wait until at least November. sigh. I really need more reading eyes.


message 41: by Meghan (new)

Meghan Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

A time-traveling story set in post-WWII Scotland, sends our married heroine, Claire back 200 years to 18th century Scotland. A nurse by trade, Claire must now get by on her wits and her war-training in these most dangerous of times--many Scots are active "Jacobites," a group trying to restore the Stuart line back to the English throne--as well as dealing with a forced marriage in the 18th century as well as one in the 20th.

This a long book, but it reads fairly quickly. I found it most enjoyable, even though I know little of this period of time for England/Scotland. There were a few moments though where I found myself thinking "get on with it" and felt Gabaldon "talked" too much. But overall, I found this to have plenty of action amid a sweeping romance, with a few interesting conundrums to ponder (like, how does one reconcile being marrying to two different men of different centuries? Or what are the effects of your choices in the past to the future you once held?).

This is Book 1 in a series and I look forward to reading what happens next.


message 42: by Arlene (new)

Arlene | 145 comments Jane and the Man of the Cloth Being the Second Jane Austen Mystery by Stephanie Barron 63 Jane and the Man of the Cloth Being the Second Jane Austen Mystery
This was an interesting look into the world of Jane Austin.


Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) | 2812 comments Mod
Jennifer wrote: "Meghan, I think you should. I've really enjoyed all three so far but the third one is almost as good as Voyager. The 2nd isn't quite as strong but still well worth the read :)

PS - I tried to ma..."


ya, because she knows I would yell at her if she gave anything away, since I am behind her LOL. Jennifer - when I get home from my trip, I am definitely starting Dragonfly.


message 44: by Lyn (Readinghearts) (last edited Sep 19, 2009 05:46PM) (new)

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) | 2812 comments Mod
Meghan - there are either 5 or 6 in the series at this point.

Outlander
Dragonfly in Amber
Voyager
Drums of Autumn
The Fiery Cross
A Breath of Snow and Ashes


I gotta catch Jennifer so we can discuss in detail!


message 45: by Lyn (Readinghearts) (last edited Sep 19, 2009 10:06PM) (new)

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) | 2812 comments Mod
I just finished Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. I know a lot of people consider this a 5 star read, but it wasn't for me. Not that I didn't like it. It was quite good, especially after Rosie joined the cast. I'm just not a circus person, so reading about the circus did not really draw me in. It definitely picked up after they got the elephant, but it took the author too long to get to that point, in my opinion. Also - I found the whole August and Marlena story profoundly disturbing. Talk about controlling and abusive, this guy has it all over Edward from Twilight. I have a friend who lived for years in this type of situation, and I guess that makes it hard for me to take. Between that and the animal cruelty, I just couldn't enjoy it as much as I wanted to.

My favorite parts of the story were the chapters that dealt with Jacob in the Assisted Living facility. I thought the author did a really good job of describing the frustrations of the elderly in this type of situation. I actually got choked up at certain points. These chapters were too short, though. All told I would give the book 3.5 stars.

Now on to The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent, which I am reading for a group read.


message 46: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 286 comments I've just finished Three Men in a Boat and Three Men on the Bummel by Jerome K Jerome.
I've heard a lot about Three Men in a Boat and was interested to see if it was as funny as I've been told. It was amusing although I didn't laugh out loud until I started the second one. People around the uni may have noticed a slightly crazed chemistry tutor giggling to herself during lunch over last week so I would probably not recommend reading it in a public place.
The books don't describe the trips taken by Jerome and his friends so much as recording a stream of his thoughts, memories and observations which were triggered during the trips. Some very funny stories sprinkled throughout with some very beautiful descriptive passages.
Four stars


message 47: by Meghan (new)

Meghan Lyn wrote: "I'm just not a circus person..."

Neither am I, which is why it took me so long to get around to reading it (and I had a lot of pressure to read it from friends who just loved it). The writing about life in assisted living was superb though.


message 48: by Meghan (new)

Meghan World Without End by Ken Follett

This is a sequel to the medival times novel, The Pillars of the Earth, set 200 years later in the same town of Kingsbridge, England. Full of murder, intrigue, and a lot more sex (than Pillars), this is a great follow up to one of my all-time favorite books. However, it is no where near as good as Pillars. I did ocassionally feel like I was reading a similar situation, however, Follett kept it fresh by inserting a twist or changing an outcome. For being over 1,000 pages long, I was able to read this one fairly quickly, which is one of the reasons why I enjoy Follett's writing style.

This could be read as a stand-alone novel, however, I think as a reader, there is greater enjoyment if you read it after Pillars. It's like visiting a memorable vacation spot.


message 49: by Lauren (new)

Lauren | 247 comments I read 4 on my vacation...

Everlasting
Kings Daughter
The Other Queen A Novel
The Book of Negroes (for some reason I can't get it to link)


message 50: by Sara (last edited Sep 20, 2009 04:34PM) (new)

Sara (hoot31) | 196 comments I just finished Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See and gave it 4 stars. What a wonderful book! I can't wait to read some of her other books. I learned a lot about the old Chinese culture. I can't believe I had waited so long to read it.


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