Lady Chatterley’s Lover by DH Lawrence, Penguin
I recently watched the BBC adaptation of Lady Chatterley’s Lover and really enjoyed it. Sometimes when well known stories are reinvented they often follow previous versions and explore similar themes and as such fail to engage a new audience. Thankfully, I can say this is not the case with Jed Mercurio’s adaptation. Richard Madden really encapsulated the character of Oliver Mellors, the downtrodden gamekeeper that embarks upon an affair with the lady of the house, Constance Chatterley, played excellently by Holliday Grainger. James Norton’s portrayal of Clifford Chatterley was equally fantastic and really evoked my sympathy for his character – a feeling I did not experience whilst reading the novel.
Published 2005, Cannongate, 221pp
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
The Penelopiad is a retelling of Homer’s Odyssey but instead of Odysseus, his wife is the protagonist . It is told from the perspective of Penelope who has long been existing (not living, obviously, as she is dead, a fact that she keeps reminding the reader) in the underworld and has decided to tell her own story after witnessing how much the tale of her and Odysseus has been adapted and changed over the years. It is written largely in prose and is interspersed with Choruses that offer a light interlude in the story in the form of saucy and fun verses. These are told from the viewpoint of twelve of Penelope’s maids and although they are a bit whimsical they were damning of Odysseus and Telemachus, the men who murdered them. The death of her maids is something that plays heavily on Penelope’s conscience and is part of the reason she feels the need to tell the truth.
I can’t believe we’re over half way through September already! Time is flying by. I’ve been a bit more reserved in my book buying recently, and in fact I only actually paid for four of these books as I managed to get the other two by using my Waterstones points. Every little helps! Anyway, here’s what I’ve got. Continue reading
This is a guest post by Ryan Webster. He has a blog focusing on Military History, you can check it out here. He’s been reading a wide variety of fiction lately and has very kindly agreed to write up some reviews for you lovely people.
Dominion by CJ Sansom, Macmillan, 608pp
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
I have been familiar with CJ Sansom’s Shardlake series for some time now, so I was surprised at the direction this novel took. It’s essentially an alternative history spy thriller which is set in Nazi controlled London in the 1950s.
The Second World War did not happen as we know it, and portrays how events might have unfolded if the Third Reich was appeased. The book starts in 1940, with Neville Chamberlain acknowledging his position as Prime Minister is untenable, and a choice has to be made as to who will replace him. The popular candidates are Winston Churchill, a firm believer in Empire and the opposition of Nazi aggression, and the appeaser Lord Halifax. In this story, Churchill grudgingly agrees to work under Halifax in the new cabinet. Fast forward 10 years, and Britain is under an authoritarian government lead by newspaper magnate and Nazi sympathiser Lord Beaverbrook, and Churchill is forced underground as the leader of the Resistance. The Jews are beginning to be deported, there is violence on the streets and there are no elections.
Published 2014, 486pp, Henry Holt
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
On the morning of her wedding, Princess Lia and her handmaiden Pauline run away. Forced into an arranged marriage with the Prince of Dalbreck intended to bridge the divide between the two Kingdoms, Lia wants to start a new life. A life where no one knows she is a Princess, a life where people can love her for her, not purely because she is the First Daughter of Morrighan. As a First Daughter, Lia is expected to have the sight, and it is abundantly clear she doesn’t, that is until she reaches Terravin, where life as a tavern maid shows her she is far more capable than she had thought.
So August was a great reading month for me, I managed to read seven books though I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep that rate up for the rest of the year! Continue reading
Published by Harper
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
NB: This picture is missing the first novel in this series, Heresy, but my review stands for all of them.
Set in Elizabethan England, Giordano Bruno is an ex-Dominican Monk who was excommunicated for reading Erasmus and his controversial beliefs such as stating that the Earth orbits the sun. Handsome and charming, Bruno is soon taken under Elizabeth I’s spycatcher Sir Francis Walsingham’s wing as he has a penchant for finding trouble, and discovering the gruesome truth behind it.
Published 2015, 388pp, Putnam Juvenile
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
The Wrath and the Dawn is a Young Adult retelling of A Thousand and One Nights and is packed full of political intrigue, secrets, a hint of magic and gorgeous food as well as the stories within the story. Khalid is the 18 year old Caliph of Khorasan, Shahrzad is the girl that’s going to kill him. The Caliph takes a new bride every evening, and at each dawn orders their death, hung by a silk cord. After her best friend is murdered by the King of Kings, Shazi decides to take his life. She volunteers to be the next bride with revenge clouding her judgement. She has a plan to escape the dread of the dawn, she will tell the Caliph a story all night so that when dawn comes, he will need to keep her alive to hear the end. Khalid had never visited one of his brides again after each marriage. It’s too painful for him, but this time, he is intrigued by the defiant girl who volunteered to marry him. He has to meet her, he has to find out how she could possibly face marrying him, and her certain death. He discovers she is not at all what he bargained for.
I came across this book tag here, and thought I’d give it a go!
- A hyped classic that you really didn’t enjoy:
I didn’t enjoy The Great Gatsby, I felt the narrator was just too dull. I know that was the point, to juxtapose the riches and adventure of the other characters but he was just too dry for me. I also really, really didn’t like Frankenstein.