Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Barrowfields

Book Summary:

Just before Henry Astor is born, his father who has literary ambitions, and his pregnant wife reluctantly return to the small Appalachian town where Henry grew up. Henry grew up watching his brilliant father begin to unravel after a tragedy. Henry flees his family and small town, and as his father before him, does not return until forced to.

My Thoughts:

I was surprised how much this story drew me in. I think the descriptions of place and character are what initially grab the reader's attention. After that you want to know what is going to happen to these characters who are faced with a reality more mundane than they planned for themselves. I think the despair and desire for more resonate with many and is also part of the greatness of this book.

I also like the gothic feel of the story when it describes the house the family lives in and how it almost seems to influence the family and their lives. It appeals to part of me that loves gothic stories. There are parts of the book that do not have this feeling, so I do not want to mislead, but I like the way the author is able to draw on different elements to create feelings in the reader.

I think this book will appeal to many who enjoy literary fiction and something that is different from the typical story. I think you have to like this sort of book to really get into, but if you allow yourself to just go with the flow of the story you will be surprised by how you feel while reading it.

**I received a free copy of this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review.**

*Receiving a free copy of this book does not change my review. It simply provides me with a copy of a book I would not have gotten to as soon or heard about otherwise.

Maid Of The King's Court

Book Summary:

Elizabeth Rose Camperdowne is an heiress to an old impoverished noble family. Her duty is to marry a man of wealth and standing. She ends up in the royal court as a maid of honour to Anne of Cleves. Eliza must quickly learn to distinguish friend from foe if she is to survive in Henry the VIII's court. She is drawn to her glamorous cousin Katherine Howard, but must learn if she is a true friend or not. Eliza is also drawn to the unsuitable Ned Barsby, a handsome page at court.

My Thoughts:

This is an historical fiction book meant for young adult readers. I start with that because I have read some complaints about the writing or implausibility of the love interest. I think it is important to remember the target audience and getting them interested in history. That being said, adults who are fans of stories about the Tudors will find this an interesting perspective. I liked learning about court and Katherine from a cousin who is learning her place in the world. Yes, Eliza is immature, but that is to be expected in a young girl brought up to expect great things of herself and who has been taught her own importance. We get to watch Eliza grow and change as she develops more awareness of the world and herself.

This was an easy to read book about life in the Tudor court. It could have had a little more depth, but it was still a good novel to read. The story flowed well, and I am looking forward to reading the author's historical works. I liked that you could tell the author had done plenty of research, and still made an interesting tale for young readers.

I think fans of Tudor historical fiction will want to read this and introduce young readers to the topic with this book.

* I won a free copy of this book from LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review.

*Receiving a free copy of this book does not change my review. It simply provides me with a book I would not have gotten to as soon, or heard about otherwise.