By: Alessandro Manzoni
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase
‘I pity this house; the curse of God is hanging over it’.
Set in Lombardy during the Spanish occupation of the late 1620s, The Betrothed tells the story of two young lovers, Renzo and Lucia, prevented from marrying by the petty tyrant Don Rodrigo, who desires Lucia for himself. Forced to flee, they are then cruelly separated, and must face many dangers including plague, famine and imprisonment, and confront a variety of strange characters – the mysterious Nun of Monza, the fiery Father Cristoforo and the sinister ‘Unnamed’ – in their struggle to be reunited. With a vigorous portrayal of enduring passion, The Betrothed‘s exploration of love, power and faith presents a whirling panorama of seventeenth-century Italian life and is one of the greatest European historical novels.
Goodness, how long has this book been on my TBR pile? At least a good five or so years…I had the eBook sitting on my Kobo but it took a reprint through the new Pocket Penguins series and a scheduled flight to finally read this book.
By: Eleanor Catton
Format/Source: eBook; my copy
It is 1866, and young Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On the stormy night of his arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men who have met in secret to discuss a series of unexplained events: A wealthy man has vanished, a prostitute has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely ornate as the night sky.
Richly evoking a mid-nineteenth-century world of shipping, banking, and gold rush boom and bus, The Luminaries is a brilliantly constructed, fiendishly clever ghost story and a gripping page-turner. It is a thrilling achievement for someone still in her mid-twenties, and will confirm for critics and readers that Eleanor Catton is one of the brightest stars in the international writing firmament.
At long last I got around to picking this book up 😛 I had initially picked it up after reading that it had won the Man Booker prize but then it languished on my TBR pile for quite a while–and understandably so, the book is some 800 pages long, you need to carve out some time to read this book 😛
Goodness, it’s already the end of February and two months into 2017? Seems like yesterday I was just getting ready to celebrate another blogoversary! Anyway, I hope everyone had a lovely February; mine was fairly busy, a shock considering I was thinking it was going to be a quiet one, but anyhow, here’s what has been going on at my blog in the meantime:
- Books reviewed this month include: Vivienne Lorret’s When a Marquess Loves a Woman (review), J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun (review), and Elena Ferrante’s Troubling Love (review). You can check out all the books I’ve reviewed recently in the book review tag.
- One ARC was reviewed this month: Colleen Oakley’s Close Enough to Touch (review). You can check out all of the ARCs I’ve read and reviewed to date in this tag.
- For this month’s So You Want to Read…, I focused on Amanda Grange and her Jane Austen hero books (seemed like the perfect time of year to be showcasing her books, especially now that I have read all six Jane Austen hero novels) 🙂 You can check out that post over here. For all my previous recommendations under this feature, check out this tag.
- And finally, I celebrated my tenth blogoversary earlier this month (see post). I can’t believe it’s been ten years since I first started steadily book blogging. Thanks again to everyone who commented and celebrated with me, and congratulations again to Wattle in winning my wee book giveaway! I hope you enjoy the title you selected 🙂
And that’s about it from me and the blog for the month of February! How was your February? Wishing you all a wonderful March & that you’re having a great week 🙂
Only Beloved (The Survivors’ Club #7)
By: Mary Balogh
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
For the first time since the death of his wife, the Duke of Stanbrook is considering remarrying and finally embracing happiness for himself. With that thought comes the treasured image of a woman he met briefly a year ago and never saw again.
Dora Debbins relinquished all hope to marry when a family scandal left her in charge of her younger sister. Earning a modest living as a music teacher, she’s left with only an unfulfilled dream. Then one afternoon, an unexpected visitor makes it come true.
For both George and Dora that brief first encounter was as fleeting as it was unforgettable. Now is the time for a second chance. And while even true love comes with a risk, who are two dreamers to argue with destiny?
I first read a book from The Survivors’ Club, Only Enchanting (review), last year and liked it enough. I wasn’t in any particular rush to pick up the rest of the series but I was keen to pick up this book when I found out that it would feature Agnes’ sister, Dora, and the Duke of Stanbrook. I thought they had a lovely moment together in Only Enchanting and that they would make a good couple. So yay that that wish came true 😛
Stranglehold (Detective Greene #4)
By: Robert Rotenberg
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
It’s just after Labour Day and the city is kicking back into gear. All eyes are on the hotly contested election for Toronto’s next mayor and crime is the big issue. Greene is no stranger to the worst of what the city has to offer, but even he is unprepared for what happens next when he stumbles upon a horrific homicide.
In one nightmare moment his world is flipped upside down. Soon he is pitted against his young protégé, Daniel Kennicott, who arrests him for first-degree murder.
Tied down on house arrest as he awaits his trial, Greene has to find a way to not only clear his name but to face some very hard truths: that he didn’t really know the people he believed in most; that there are unseen forces at work prepared to see him take the fall; and most of all, that he should never underestimate the price people will pay for love.
Okay, ideally I would’ve read Stray Bullets, the third book in the Detective Greene series, but as I don’t have a copy of it on hand and I had picked up this book first, well now, here we are 😛 I’ve enjoyed the first two books in the series (see author tag) so naturally I was looking forward to reading this one. This book in particular came out at a very interesting time as it was during the time the Rob Ford scandal emerged in the news.