Sunday, 27 December 2009

The Brightest Star in the Sky by Marian Keyes

At 66, Star Street in Dublin, someone is watching over the lives of the people living in its flats. But no one is aware of it – yet... One of them is ready to take the plunge and fall in love; another is torn between two very different lovers. For some, secrets they want to stay buried will come to light and for others, the unveiling of those secrets will have tragic consequences. Fate is on its way to Star Street, bringing with it love and tragedy, friendship and heartbreak, and the power to change their lives in the most unexpected of ways.

This book was so different to anything Marian has written before and has quite a feel of Cecelia Aherne about it. There are lots of people written about and it would ordinarily be a tad confusing but, this was well written as is the norm with Marian.

Now this is no Watermelon (nothing will ever compare to that!) and it was almost like I wasn't even reading a Marian book, there aren't as many funnies slipped in as in her other books the characters at first glance seem very normal but, the more you read the more you realise actually they are not that normal at all and rather complex I think Maeve and Matt are the two people this applies to the most and I loved reading about them the most.

It was fun, entertaining but, I hope Marian writes a book on the Walshes next I miss them :-)

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

The Queen's Mistake by Diane Haeger

When young and beautiful Catherine Howard becomes the fifth wife of fifty year old king Henry VIII, she seems to be on top of the world. Yet her reign is destined to be brief and heartbreaking, as she is forced to do battle with enemies far more powerful and calculating than she could have ever anticipated in a court where one wrong move could mean her destruction. Wanting only love, Catherine is compelled to deny her heart's desire in favor of her family's ambition. But in so doing, she unwittingly gives those who seek to bring her down a most effective weapon, her own romantic past.

The Queen's Mistake is the tragic tale of one passionate and idealistic woman who struggles to negotiate the intrigues of the court and the yearnings of her own heart.

Of Henry VIII's six queens Catherine Howards story is my second favourite to Anne Boleyns story so I jumped on this as soon as I found it and seeing as it was Diane Haeger as I loved her story of Nell Gwynne and Diane De Poitiers and this was fairly OK, not the best story of Catherine Howards but, far from bad!

The story is told from the third person so seeing this story from other peoples perspectives was interesting. Comparisons cannot but, held to be made with Philippa Gregorys The Boleyn Inheritance (which is my favourote of Philippa's Tudor novels) and I would say this does fall far far short as a comparison but, Philippa's was written from three peoples perspective, I always find third p[erson narratives less engrossing but, that is just a personal preference.

This wouldn't be the first book I'd recommend if looking for a novel on catherine Howard, Jean Plaidy's Murder Most Royal is probably one of the best but, worth considering if you've read all the others on Catherine.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

The Book of Tomorrow by Cecilia Aherne

The magical new novel from number one bestseller Cecelia Ahern. Tamara Goodwin has always got everything she's ever wanted. Born into a family of wealth, she grew up in a mansion with its own private beach, a wardrobe full of designer clothes and all that a girl could ever wish for. She's always lived in the here and now, never giving a second thought to tomorrow. But then suddenly her dad is gone and life for Tamara and her mother changes forever. Left with a mountain of debt, they have no choice but to sell everything they own and move to the country. Nestled next to Kilsaney Castle, their gatehouse is a world away from Tamara's childhood. With her mother shut away with grief, and her aunt busy tending to her, Tamara is lonely and bored and longs to return to Dublin. When a travelling library passes through Kilsaney Demesne, Tamara is intrigued. Her eyes rest on a mysterious large leather bound tome locked with a gold clasp and padlock. What she discovers within the pages takes her breath away and shakes her world to its' core.

I have found the last 3 or so books of Cecelia's to be just so I absolutely loved her first two books PS I Love You and Where Rainbows End but, found the books to come after to be seriously lacking. However, I find this to be a return to form although not as good as the two aforementioned books, not sure those will ever be matched.

The main character Tamara is really quite spoiled and lives a life most of us could only ever probably dream of that is until her father is found lying dead after committing suicide due to debt which is left she has gone from having everything anow has absolutely nothing.

When they go to the country to live with family after haviong lost their home Tamara is so bored until the day the travelling library drives through and when she discovers a large leather book which is locked she has to, of course break into it and what she finds changes her.

A brilliantly written book that draws you in, yes I guess this is chick-lit but, I don't think Cecelia is a chick-lit author per se and this sometimes is a tiny bit reminiscent of A Place Called Here only better!

Friday, 4 December 2009

The Kings Fool by Margaret Campbell Barnes

A Remarkably Intimate Tale of the Intrigue, Ruthlessness, and Majesty of Henry VIII's Court

When country lad Will Somers lands himself the plum position of jester to the mercurial King Henry VIII, he has no idea that he's just been handed a front-row seat to history.

With a seat near the throne and an ear to the floor, Somers witnesses firsthand the dizzying power struggles and sly scheming that marked the reign of the fiery Tudor king. Somers watches the rise and fall of some of the most enigmatic women in history, including the tragic Katherine of Aragon, the doomed Anne Boleyn, and Mary Tudor, who confided in the jester as she made the best of the fragile life of a princess whom everyone wished was a prince.

Based on the life of the real Will Somers, King's Fool is infused with Margaret Campbell Barnes' trademark rich detail and historical accuracy. This intimate peek into the royal chambers gives readers a unique view on one of the most tumultuous periods in English history.

First published in 1959 by world-renowned historical novelist Margaret Campbell Barnes, King's Fool is a remarkable insider tale of the intrigue, ruthlessness, and majesty of the Tudor court. When country lad Will Somers lands himself the plum position of jester to the mercurial King Henry VIII, he has no idea that he';s just been handed a front-row seat to history.

This book was fantastic! The closest I have come to reading about Will Somers was his little notes in the Autobiography of Henry VIII by Margaret George so it was great to have a book dedicated to him. I have read a few of MCB's books and this is easily the best.

It was good to see a different side to Henry too, although I love reading of the period of Henry I'm not HIS greatest fan but, he came cross quite different here my only criticism is I wished the book was longer. I have sen some comments state that the narrative is a little old fashioned well firsty seeing as the book is set in the 16th century may contribute to that and although only recently-ish released this book was originally written in 1959.

If your someone who is not a big fan of Henry VIII definitely read this it may even make you change your mind, if you love Margaret Georges Autibiography of Henry VIII I think you will like this too, brilliant!