Not A Pink Girl

Portrait of an Unknown Woman by Vanora Bennett

October 18, 2009
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Portrait of an Unknown Woman Portrait of an Unknown Woman by Vanora Bennett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A fascinating piece of historical fiction. I enjoyed this book from start to finish. Believable & engrossing, the story begins just before Henry VIII kicks his first wife to the proverbial curb. It’s a story of Thomas More, his fanatical religious fervor & passions, & his family & hangers-on, one of which was Hans Holbein, the German painter. The characters are deftly sketched which pulled me right into the plot. I highly recommend this if you enjoy biographies of the Tudors & the players in all the intrigues they caused.

The reader of this book is Josephine Bailey. I found her narration to be sublime. I would love to have a voice like hers! She handled the various nationalities & ages of the characters with stunning effect. I’ll look for other audiobooks she reads. One small issue I had with her narration was that I wish she’d spoken a bit slower. I rewound the audiobook to catch what I couldn’t on the first listen.

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Book review: Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor: Being the First Jane Austen Mystery by Stephanie Barron

May 3, 2009
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Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor: Being the First Jane Austen Mystery Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor: Being the First Jane Austen Mystery by Stephanie Barron

My review

rating: 2 of 5 stars
I would give this 2 1/2 stars I think. It was a slog. I adore Jane Austen. This book was fun & interesting because Jane Austen was the protagonist. I found the way Ms. Barron wrote the book to be distracting (too many “of a sudden”s & “I was all astonishment”s). I thought it was neat that she was trying to use colloquialisms of Jane Austen’s day, but sometimes I found this device to be self-conscious. This is Ms. Barron’s first book in the “Jane Austen” series, so perhaps things smooth out with the succeeding novels. It just didn’t catch my interest. I had to force myself to sit down & read a chapter or two at a sitting.

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