Monday, December 26, 2016

Random Readings: So Many Kinds of Novels...

"The Copper Beech" by Maeve Binchy; awhile back, I read her "The Lilac Bus" and didn't care for it. But a friend advised that it was her least favorite of Binchy's novels. So I tried this one; it was more enjoyable, light, cozy reading.

Anne Perry's "Death in the Devil's Acre" seemed a contrived Victorian detective plot starring an unlikely pair of young lady sleuths. Meh. Plus, if reports are true, the author took part (as a teenager) in the murder of a friend's mother.
She and the friend served time as juveniles and were freed. Still, I can only consider the profound sense of terror and betrayal suffered by the victim.

I'm late to "The DaVinci Code"-party. The book, by Dan Brown was published at the turn of the current century. I heard so much about the book and the plot that by now, I was underwhelmed. But I enjoyed "google-researching" the many paintings, ideas and sites mentioned in the iconic novel. It was not as well-crafted as I expected.

"Earthly Joys" by Philippa Gregory is the best of the latest batch of books, in my opinion. The plot centers on the famous Tudor/Jacobean gardener and collector, John Tradescent (the Elder). Complicated relationships are explored, between husband and wife, father and son, master and servant, king and country people.
Tradescent believes in the old feudal system, with loyalty to king and master. His family is more progressive, but there is consistent tension. His loyalty to is master, the Duke of Buckingham could have gotten him killed. There is an uncomfortable encounter, when the servant is seduced by the master. You feel for the Gardener: he is caught in the turbulent world leading up the the English Civil War. There is a companion novel "Virgin Earth" about The Younger John Tradescent, the son.

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