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Showing posts from January, 2017

Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte and Wuthering Heights Emily Bronte (the book that wasn’t reviewed!)

We had a choice of two books to kick off 2017. Wuthering Heights, as one of the group really wanted to read it and Agnes Grey the alternative as most of the group had already read Wuthering Heights and weren’t bothered about reading it again.

Turns out only one person read Wuthering Heights for the meeting and was bitterly disappointed by a) the lack of anything happening and (mostly) b) Heathcliff. I think visions of a brooding Aidan Turner were expected. Poldark Heathcliff is not!

Wuthering Heights was therefore swiftly glossed over and Agnes Grey was put forward. It’s a very thin book which was refreshing given that most books of this era I believe are too wordy. Pretty much all of the group were able to read it quickly which always gets bonus points from me.

I read Grey off the back of David Copperfield and Bess of Hardwick so was slightly put off at the thought of having to read another similar book but the lack of pages really helped. I enjoyed the book, it was gentile if pre…

Bess of Hardwick: First Lady of Chatsworth - Mary S Lovell

I read this straight after David Copperfield and although I enjoyed David Copperfield I was concerned that going from one doorstop to another with a notes section amounting to about 50 pages might be too much. As a biography it certainly was the most factual book I had read in a while however where many biographers fail Lovell succeeded in presenting dates and facts without being tedious or dry.

Lovell was clearly on Bess's side showing her as a caring, generous, shrewd business woman and why not? Evidence was presented to back this viewpoint which opposes the perhaps more established portrait of a hard hearted, calculated, money grabbing woman who only married for financial gain.

Even though I consider myself relatively well read on the Tudors I learnt so much both about the era and of Bess herself. I want to see Chatsworth House and Hardwick Hall and I'm not a 'visit old houses owned once upon a time by a now dead person' sort of girl (I'm turning an old person…

Big Review of the Year 2016

Sorry, sorry, sorry its 13th January already and this far in people couldn't care less about what happened last year but a Big Review we have always had and a big review we will always have (13 little days and only a lunch hour to squeeze in 12 books will get in my way.)

We kicked off with A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Taylor. 7 out of 10
I have to confess I had forgotten all about this one and before I read back my review the words 'house, family and American' were all that jumped out at me. The characters lacked inner monologue which whilst being very true to life left the reader feeling like they were reading without a purpose as nothing ever went further than skimming the surface.

Februarys book was For Whom The Bell Tolls - Ernest Hemmingway. 3 out of 10
This was chosen following on from Mrs Hemmingway being reviewed the previous year. The difficult language (I obscenity in the milk of your____ ) made it hard to follow and very little actually happened. Looking back…