Perhaps we could dub this ‘the bookclub member’s syndrome’ or ‘the bookseller’s bonus’. It is when we start reading a book because we feel obliged to and then find ourselves immersed in a wonderful discovery.
My recent ‘bookseller’s bonus’ is ‘The Lady of the Rivers’ an historical novel set in England and France in the 1400’s. It is a new novel from Philippa Gregory who is the hugely successful author of ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ and ‘The White Queen’ among others.
I decided it was time I read one of Philippa’s books even though they ‘weren’t really me’. How wrong I was – I couldn’t put it down!
The story is narrated by Jacquetta who marries first the elderly Duke of Bedford the English Regent of France and then his squire Richard Woodville. Jacquetta and Richard become part of the English court and the story traverses a tumultuous time in the history of England and France. Within the sweep of history there are many personal stories and reminders of what life was like in those days.
There is clearly immense research behind this book but Gregory’s great skill is in never allowing the history, fascinating as it is, to overwhelm the remarkable story of Jacquetta, The Lady of the rivers.
Available in hardback at just $36.