I do enjoy historical fiction, but this one was very heavy on the details of the history of the period. I found my mind wandering and simply had trouble staying interested in all the details. I was more interested in Katherine and the other people in the story, but much of the book focused on the political and historical aspects of the time period. I am more interested in the personal side of the story.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
I have not listened to any other books narrated by Wanda McCaddon. She was wonderful! I will definitely look for her as a narrator in the future.
The narration was terrific and it was well researched. It also made me interested in learning more about the lives of Katherine and the other main characters in the story.
While I didn't love this book, it was well written, well researched and well narrated. For lovers of historical fiction who like the emphasis to be on the history and not on the personal, this one is a winner!
Audiobooks have literally changed my life. I now actually ENJOY doing mindless chores because they give me plenty of listening time!
The Katherine of the title is Katherine Swynford (1350-1403), an important figure in English history as she is the ancestress of many royal figures, and also, incidentally, sister-in-law to Geoffrey Chaucer, who married her sister Philippa. There are few known facts about what kind of woman Katherine was, which gave Seton plenty of leeway to turn her into a beautiful, strong-willed woman. Married off at a young age to a knight she actively disliked, she nonetheless caught the eye of John of Gaunt, of the House of Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Lancaster, the third son of King Edward III. They were lovers over a great number of years and had 4 bastard children, named Beaufort, and eventually married in 1396, three years before the passing of the duke. While their relationship is at the heart of the novel, it is much more than a romance novel, as Seton did a wonderful job of bringing the 14th century vividly to life with rich detail, and putting the story firmly in the context of important historical events. Strongly recommended for fans of historical fiction and solid narration by Wanda McCaddon, aka Nadia May.
I read Katherine in the 70's, but I think audio in general is better than the print. Biased a bit here.
The historical relevance of Katherine's life to the monarchy. This is faithful historical fiction, and detail was paramount to believably.
When John kissed Katherine after her wedding, and thought, "Oh,my!"
Probably Katherine herself. She and I have a lot in common, so our dialogue would be relaxed.
This was my first Anya Seton book. I got it on a lark, and I'm so very glad I did. What a great writer. I really enjoyed the love story of Katherine and Robert. It was well told.
Say something about yourself!
Not possible; her complex journey from child to death is riveting
Vivid counterpoint plots of Chaucer, Katherine, John of Gaunt, Tyler's rebellion
Katherine; however her rendition of peasants to nobility is flawless
No; to be savored a couple of chapters at a time
Author and narrator offer the reader a 5 star experience; you'll reread often
Ive read and reread this story since I was in high school back in the 60's....its a wonderful story albeit not entirely accurate....I dont think you will be disappointed...Anya Seton is a great author. I will be re-listening to this again and again, too....
I first read this book nearly 50 years ago and have just listened to it for the second time in the last year or so. It is neither a bodice ripper, nor an adventure story, nor is it fast paced.
It is, to me, a richly textured, deeply researched, historical novel which also happens to be one of the great romances of all time. It is a book which needs to be read quietly, with minimal distractions, in order to keep the complex interrelationships of both people and politics sorted out, and to appreciate and enjoy the cultural and literary subtexts which have made the book an enduring pleasure.
I'd really like to hear some more Anya Setons - I read most if not all of them many years ago, and would enjoy the opportunity to "read" them again.
The narrator does a very creditable job and I only wish that there were more like her.
I would listen again because the characters and story are so compelling, and the narrator was stupendous!
Yes - I could not stop listening!
If you like historical fiction, buy this book now!
I do enjoy novels about the middle ages and how an author can make the people, places and situations seem very much like modern times with the characters going about their daily activities. It helps to have some historical facts as background, and these characters were supposed to have been the start of the Tudors. The story was just nice, with a few twists and turns but nothing to get your teeth into. I stopped and started several times and never felt like I couldn't wait to find out what was happening next. The reader however, was excellent! She did so many voices, all different with much perfect French and varied English accents. Her own voice was quite a pleasant listen and probably one of the few reasons I finished the book.. All in all, not bad, but not great!