#132 ~ The Conqueror

December 28, 2008 at 9:13 am | Posted in Books, Culture, Historical Fiction, Reading | 6 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

cover-of-the-conqueror1
The Conqueror by Georgette Heyer

The Conqueror tells the story of William the Conqueror, from his bastard birth, to his life as the Duke of Normandy, and finaly to his triumphant rise to the throne of England. Given the circumstances of William’s life and the political climate of both Normandy and England in the 11th century, this is quite an undertaking.

After reading The Reluctant Widow, I was very excited to start The Conqueror. My thinking was that if I loved her Regency Romances, I would really love her historical fiction. I was mistaken. Unlike The Reluctant Widow, this novel took me over a week to finish. This was mainly due to the slow and inconsistent pacing of the plot. While much time and energy was spent on William the Conqueror’s numerous battles, very little was spent on his relationship with Matilda or who he really was as a man. This lack of character development was true throughout, filling pages with numerous supporting characters between whom I could not readily distinguish. For me, they further bogged down the story and made it seem even that much longer than it really was.

There were flashes of Heyer’s brilliance when she tells of the circumstances of William’s birth, when she introduces Raoul, the fictional man through whom we meet William as a man and learn of his exploits, and when she tells of William’s “courting” of Lady Matilda. I also found it interesting to learn of ways in which William modernized the warfare of the day through strategy and the inclusion of archers. Clearly, William is a man capable of capturing the imagination of readers nearly a full century after his full and adventurous life. Unfortunately, this potential was lost to me amidst the superfluous characters and many of the battles in Normandy that did not add to the plot or provide any additional insight into William or, for that matter, Raoul or Matilda.

While The Conqueror did not engage me or take me away to time and places of William’s life, I am glad to have read it. This novel is best approached as one to read over a period of time. It would be interesting to read this in chapters or sections as a prelude to a thorough biography. I am curious to learn more about William, Matilda and and the lives of their children. In that way, this novel was a success. I hope to find a good book that focuses on the life that William and Matilda shared. If you have any suggestions, I would be most appreciative.

******
To buy this novel, click here.

We’re All Sick and/or Tired

December 15, 2008 at 4:23 pm | Posted in Books, Family, LIfe, My Life with Books, Reading | 12 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

christmas-sickness
Hello everyone.  I haven’t been very prolific in my blogging or my commenting this month because ever since Thanksgiving one or more of us have been sick.  Danny has been sick since Thanksgiving.  Allison has had a cold/congestion last week that kept Danny and I up a couple of hours a night for a few nights until we discovered that nasal spray helped her.  Then, I was off on Friday with Emma.  She had a temperature of 104, keeping us up a good part of the night Friday/Saturday.  Needless to say, I’m a bit exhausted and haven’t had much energy.  What time I do have I need to put into finishing my Christmas cards.  I make them by hand and I’m really under the gun to get them out by Wednesday.  Normally I have them out the first week of December…

I am currently reading The Conqueror by Georgette Heyer.  I’m enjoying it, but it’s not as compelling as The Reluctant Widow (although, it’s becoming more compelling as of what I read during my lunch break).  I was also able to finish The Jewel of Medina by Sherry Jones (I absolutely loved) and My Husband’s Sweethearts (enjoyable).  I’m hoping to have those reviews between now and Wednesday if I can.

I am feeling a whole lot better about my near fatal ARC pile up now that I’ve finished over half of those that I promised.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now and it feels good.  I’ve been peaking at what is ahead and I’m really excited.  The Triumph of Deborah is up next, followed by Tomato Girl.  Both of those novels read very well over the first few pages.

I recently found out about a fun Book Club application for Facebook.  I don’t know if any of you have Facebook accounts or not, but you might be interested in it, too.  I’ve been using it some over the weekend and enjoy it.  It allows users to create their own book clubs and I like how that is set up.  I think this might work a whole lot better than what we used for Immortal.  Check it out and let me know what you think.  I’m planning on starting a Historical Fiction book club.  I’ll post an update.  If anyone would like to add me as a friend on Facebook, my email address for that is speedhaven (at) gmail (dot) com.

As much as I love the holidays, I’m looking forward to the New Year and getting back into my blog and yours!

Mailbox Monday on Tuesday

November 18, 2008 at 5:18 pm | Posted in Books | 13 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Last week was a wonderful week for Literate Housewife’s mailbox (front porch, actually).  It was a bonanza of wonderful books and was by far the most exciting mail week I’ve had since I started my blog.  So, what was it that makes me so excited?  Take a look:

cover-of-reluctant-widow cover-of-the-conqueror1
The Reluctant Widow and The Conqueror by Georgette Heyer ~ sent by Sourcebooks
cover-of-twilight1 cover-of-new-moon-twilight
cover-of-eclipse-twilight cover-of-breaking-dawn-twilight
The ENTIRE Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer ~ won as part of Maw Books’ month long awareness campaign for Darfur and sent to me by Hatchette Book Group.  I cannot tell you how left out I’ve felt about this from day one.  Now I can hardly wait to make it through my existing ARCs so I can dive on in.  With the movie, I’m having a hard time not scrapping everything and reading Twilight

cover-of-bitter-and-sweet
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford and signed by the author (!) ~ won from Marcia’s contest (lucky, lucky me!!!).  Marcia’s review is wonderful and I cannot wait (again).

cover-of-jewel-of-medina
The Jewel of Medina by Sherry Jones ~ snagged as part October’s Early Reviewer from LibraryThing.  It’s been at least 5 months since I snagged my last book, but in October I hit the jackpot – and it was completely accidental.  Given the number of ARCs I have, I only picked a couple historical fiction looking books in October and almost didn’t.  When I requested The Jewel of Medina, I didn’t connect it at all to the controversy earlier this year when Random House decided to pull this book for fear of offending Muslims.  Now, published by Beaufort Books, I can see what the entire stir was about.  Yeah!

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. | The Pool Theme.
Entries and comments feeds.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.