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Moragne

Hopewell, VA, United States

17
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 18 ratings
  • 59 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
3

  • Boleyn Inheritance

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Philippa Gregory
    • Narrated By Davina Porter, Bianca Amato, Charlotte Parry
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (354)
    Performance
    (317)
    Story
    (316)

    Anne of Cleves must literally save her neck in a court ruled by a deadly game of politics and the terror of an unpredictable and vengeful king. Her Boleyn Inheritance: accusations and false witnesses. Katherine Howard catches the king's eye within moments of arriving at court, setting in motion a dreadful machine of politics, intrigue, and treason that she does not understand. Her Boleyn Inheritance: the threat of the axe. Jane Rochford's name is a byword for malice, jealousy and twisted lust throughout Europe. Her Boleyn Inheritance: a fortune and a title in exchange for her soul.

    Teddy says: "Great Book"
    "Truly The Boleyn Inheritance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was really pleased with this book, I highly enjoyed the three person narrative. It wasn't confusing and it gave different POVs on the same situation, which was really interesting.

    I really felt for Anne of Cleves. Her home life was a shambles and she wanted out. But unfortunately she went from one mad house to another. She's the true voice in the novel. I think her lack of English made the court nervous because she could only speak the truth of what she saw.. I was really impressed with her decision to leave without a fight, and in doing so ended up with more than she would have elsewhere. Her decision to not go to court often saved her life.

    Katherine Howard. My goodness...poor girl. She was never given a chance and then shoved into Court and told what to do. Then when she follows her orders they ultimately end with her death. How fair is that?! Gregory said she wanted to portray her as not as stupid as everyone else said, but only succeded sometimes. Katherine wasn't a very bright girl, sweet, but stupid. Poor thing. She does grow on you though.

    Jane Parker, Boleyn, Rochford; Lady Rochford. I didn't like her in The Other Boleyn Girl at all. I found her nosy, simple and annoying. In this not so much. Most of the book she seemed sincere about being sorry for giving testimony against Anne and George Boleyn. But in her memories she stills holds on to the idea of them being lovers in a slight way. It wasn't until the end of the book when she truly showed her colours. No matter how much she may delude herself into think she's an OK person in the end she's not. She truly is a liar, schemer, malicious, evil person. I should mention she's also selfish. I truly think she has a touch of madness, but only because she brought it on herself.

    This is a really good book.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Helen of Troy: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Margaret George
    • Narrated By Justine Eyre
    Overall
    (109)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (49)

    Daughter of a god, wife of a king, prize of antiquity's bloodiest war, Helen of Troy has inspired artists for millennia. Now Margaret George, the highly acclaimed best-selling historical novelist, has turned her intelligent, perceptive eye to the myth that is Helen of Troy.

    Amazon Customer says: "A Very Different Take Than Homer"
    "The Iliad's Update"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read The Iliad twice before and love Greek mythology very much. So Mrs. George's book was just right up my alley. It's a modern telling of The Trojan War from the perspective of Helen, the woman who the war was fought over.

    I can't believe more people haven't taken this approach. Why is it that we only hear about it from the men's side? Even the movie Troy was more concerned with the men fighting it, Helen was an after thought.

    The story is a bit slow in the beginning. About her childhood and living in Sparta it's slow, but important to the story. We call her Helen of Troy, but she was really from Sparta, before the Spartans got all 300-y on us. I like that she explored her family life, what it was like to have to hide her face and her early beginnings.

    The telling of the actual war is what most people come to this book for and I'll say that she tells it like the war happens in a few days, not years. That part just tells itself. You'll forget it was years and years with no clear victor until the very end. Not only does she explain the battles, but what life was like in Troy. Something I've always wondered about previously.

    The ending is appropriate. We tend to forget what happened to Helen and go for the story of The Odyssey, but this obviously doesn't. She has an ending. An approppriate, but sadly happy ending. Anyone who reads Greek myth knows it rarely ends happily. This is a happy medium between our happy endings and their sad ones.

    Totally worth the read or listen. The narrator was perfect in my opinion. Her voice made Helen seem very alive.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Autobiography of Henry VIII

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Margaret George
    • Narrated By David Case
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (309)
    Performance
    (180)
    Story
    (179)

    Margaret George's novel brings into focus the larger-than-life King Henry VIII, monarch of prodigious appetites for wine, women, and song.

    Amy M. Walts says: "Perfection!"
    "As if Henry wrote it himself"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a Henry VIII fan. I watched every episode of The Tudors: The Complete Series, and numerous movies about him. I've also read books, like The Lady in the Tower: The Wives of Henry VIII, Murder Most Royal: The Story of Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard and a few others that feature him. They all give a different side of him, but this was the best book if you want to read about Henry.

    Why? Because it's as if Henry wrote it himself. The other books were written from the outside looking in. You can only get their opinion of this monarch, but George, writing an "autobiography" was able to capture what he was probably like and really thought. One review said she failed at this, but Henry wouldn't have seen himself as wrong, scary, or anything, but the awesome man he thought he was. He wasn't to be crossed and in every way George achieves this outlook.

    It's a huge book. It covers from the time he was about 3 or so to his death. You'll read about all 6 wives, and none are treated like footnotes in this book. They're all given the respect and treatment they deserve. You're treated to snippets from his fool, Will Somers. Not as funny as I thought they'd be, but very insightful. Totally worth reading and not skipping over. They become fewer as the book goes on, which I didn't wish they did. There were some parts I'd like to have had him expound on.

    If you're a fan of Henry this has to be in your library.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Red Queen: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Philippa Gregory
    • Narrated By Bianca Amato
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (871)
    Performance
    (551)
    Story
    (561)

    Heiress to the red rose of Lancaster, Margaret Beaufort never surrenders her belief that her house is the true ruler of England and that she has a great destiny before her. Her ambitions are disappointed when her sainted cousin Henry VI fails to recognize her as a kindred spirit, and she is even more dismayed when he sinks into madness.

    Karin says: "Good book, unsympathetic heroine"
    "She would have made the field red with blood"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I came into this book expecting a little more than I got. I felt Margaret Beaufort was basically one note throughout the whole book, it just got shriller and shriller and shriller.

    She never really grows or changes through the book, she thinks she's better than everyone else, but she's just as bad, ruthless and as much a liar and deceiver as everyone else. And to be honest, she's a bit boring. While it's nice to know about the mother and grandmother of Henry VII and Henry VIII, when I heard there was to be a book about The Red Queen, I was thinking Margaret of Anjou, who would have made a very interesting book. Margaret is never truly queen, just a schemer behind the throne.

    The ending is just weird. You go from a first person narration to, what...a third? I was never good at that in school, but it switches and it just seems weird. Like you were suddenly reading another book.

    I greatly prefered The White Queen: A Novel (The Cousins' War) to this one. If it wasn't a part of a series, I'd almost say skip it.

    However, I felt this book was better listened to than read. It took me forever to read the book, but only a few days to listen to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Boleyn Inheritance

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Philippa Gregory
    • Narrated By Bianca Amato, Dagmara Dominczyk, Ruthie Henshall
    Overall
    (332)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (54)

    The Boleyn Inheritance is a novel drawn tight as a lute string about a court ruled by the gallows and three women whose positions brought them wealth, admiration, and power - as well as deceit, betrayal, and terror. Once again, Philippa Gregory has brought a vanished world to life: the whisper of a silk skirt on a stone stair, the yellow glow of candlelight illuminating a hastily written note, the murmurs of the crowd gathering on Tower Green below the newly built scaffold.

    Teddy says: "Simply Awed...."
    "Truly The Boleyn Inheritance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I highly enjoyed the three person narrative. It wasn't confusing and it gave different POVs on the same situation, which was really interesting.

    I really felt for Anne of Cleves. Her home life was a shambles and she wanted out. But unfortunately she went from one mad house to another. I don't think it was fair of Henry to call her stupid and ugly. She's the true voice in the novel. I was really impressed with her decision to leave without a fight, and in doing so ended up with more than she would have elsewhere. Her decision to not go to court often saved her life. Stupid she was not.

    Katherine Howard. My, my, my. She would be sweet if she wasn't so outwardly stupid, and 85% inwardly stupid. Though she could tell the truth about Henry, and kept it to herself, she was just...boring a bit to me. I think Gregory wanted to portray her as not as stupid as everyone says, but even the glimpses of intelligence were short lived by her pushing them out for shiny things.

    Jane Parker, Boleyn, Rochford; Lady Rochford. I didn't like her in The Other Boleyn Girl at all. I found her nosy, simple and annoying. In this not so much. Most of the book she seemed sincere about being sorry for giving testimony against Anne and George Boleyn. But in her memories she stills holds on to the idea of them being lovers in a slight way. It wasn't until the end of the book when she truly showed her colours. No matter how much she may delude herself into think she's an OK person in the end she's not. She truly is a liar, schemer, malicious, evil person. I should mention she's also selfish. I truly think she has a touch of madness, but only because she brought it on herself.

    This is a really good book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sacred Hearts: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs)
    • By Sarah Dunant
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    Overall
    (129)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (62)

    The year is 1570, and in the convent of Santa Caterina, in the Italian city of Ferrara, noblewomen find space to pursue their lives under God's protection. But any community, however smoothly run, suffers tremors when it takes in someone by force. And the arrival of Santa Caterina's new novice sets in motion a chain of events that will shake the convent to its core.

    connie says: "Don't expect Ken Follett"
    "Blessed Love"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the third book by Sarah Dunant set in Italy during the Renaissance and this doesn't disappoint. I joke about little girls becoming nuns because their fathers don't want them to date or something, and this book was right up my alley concerning that(which is partially why I enjoyed it so.)

    I took my time reading this because I wanted to savour the detail and get a good feel for convent life. I felt the closeness, the harshness, the love, the hate, the alien-ness of being locked away from the world and yet still expected to serve in it on some level.

    The books starts out how I feel many women would respond if put into that situation. Screaming. This book made me glad that I'm a woman of the 21st century and can choose. I don't know what I would do if I were Serafina and forced into a place I didn't want to be. I don't believe I'd have her courage.

    I really liked all the of people Dunant placed in the convent to give it depth and movement. I'll be honest I'd made a horrible nun being surrounded by women and this book just confirmed it took strong women not to kill each other. There are factions and alliances to make Survivor seem like kindergarten recess. There's lying, gossip, back-talk and all done under a veil of "silence."

    Dunant takes you into a world that you hope to never experience, but almost want to try out even if just for a day.

    There were a few problems though. Sometimes I felt things were too overly explained. I also felt that the ending was a bit abrupt. I mean it ended well, but I felt like there could have been more closure. I also wish that one of the characters had a much bigger part in the book overall.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • In the Company of the Courtesan

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Sarah Dunant
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (265)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (81)

    Escaping the sack of Rome in 1527, with their stomachs churning on the jewels they have swallowed, the courtesan Fiammetta and her dwarf companion, Bucino, head for Venice, the shimmering city born out of water to become a miracle of east-west trade: rich and rancid, pious and profitable, beautiful and squalid.

    Moragne says: "A Good Coimpanion for a Weekend"
    "A Good Coimpanion for a Weekend"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I highly enjoyed this book. I actually liked this one more than the first one by this author because I felt the characters were a bit more developed than in her other book.

    This story begins with the 1527 sack of Rome. The courtesan, Fiammetta Bianchini, is gathering together her forces to combat the soldiers that will flood into the streets at any moment. But instead of guns and ammo she will be using charm, grace and her servants to help her. She succeeds with the Spanish, but fails with the Germans. The hated Lutheran women cut her hair and disfigure her. She, along with her dwarf Bucino, are forced to flee and return to beautiful Venice.

    Only Venice isn't so beautiful. In fact the underbelly of Venice is rancid. But because she has little left Fiammetta is forced to live in squalor and rely on others to help her gain what she has lost. Through the months she gains back her beauty and finds that she is robbed by a servant and forced to look elsewhere for help.

    In walks her adversary Aretino; a plan is hatched to help the both of them. It's successful and they both rise to a life to which they both don't want to loose. In fact Fiammetta becomes the Muse of Titian for a painting. But as is everything the high life can easily be lost. Fiammetta begins to fall in love, and in her profession that is extremely dangerous. Bucino is angry that it will ruin her, and in doing so ruin everyone around her.

    There is also the mysterious person of La Draga, a blind healer who is feared, as well as respected. But is she everything she makes herself out to be? That's the mystery of the book and the conclusion is one that is greatly unexpected and makes for a very good twist for the book.

    This book is pretty straight forward in nearly everything. Because it's told from Bucino's point of view, and he is a dwarf, he has no choice but to tell it like it is because his lot in life has forced others to do the same for him.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Birth of Venus: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Sarah Dunant
    • Narrated By Kathe Mazur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (337)
    Performance
    (94)
    Story
    (93)

    Alessandra Cecchi is not quite fifteen when her father, a prosperous cloth merchant, brings a young painter back from northern Europe to decorate the chapel walls in the family's Florentine palazzo. A child of the Renaissance, with a precocious mind and a talent for drawing, Alessandra is intoxicated by the painter's abilities.

    Giovanna says: "Excellent"
    "The Birth of a Passion"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Everyone learns of the Italian Renaissance in school, but only of certain people. This book is about a family, like many, who help the Renaissance painters on to greatness.

    The Cecchi family is one such family that gets to experience the Renaissance first hand. The youngest daughter, Alessandra, is the main character. Smart, strong willed and talented she want to break away from the place life has set for her. She feels she may be lucky when her father brings a painter into the house to work on their family's chapel. Of course, fate plays a dirty trick on her. When the French invade, she's forced to choose between a life in a convent or marriage. She chooses marriage and ends up being married, hastily, to a man who promises to give her everything she wants provided she keeps his secret. His secret, he's a sodomite. During this time Florence is being ruled by Savonarola, a monk who feels everything is wrong. Well, almost everything. The book goes through what it's like to live under a fanatic and tells about the original Bonfire of the Vanities, a time where everyone had to give up their most precious possessions that could be deemed unholy, flashy etc. The books ending is very different from the meat of the book and was a little bit of a let down for me.

    I rate this a 7.75 out of 10. The beginning starts off very well. The book is set up in a sort of flashback way. I do like it when I can know what happens and then find out how it happens. I do like Alessandra for the most part. A product of her time I can't blame her for being naive when it comes to certain things.

    There is an element of mystery in the book though. A murder mystery that is solved very near the end of the book. I do feel that it was a bit...odd because it had only a small connection with the rest of the book and could have been left out, or could have been expanded upon in my opinion.

    Despite the books problems it's well worth the read. It's cemeted my love affair with historical fiction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Captive Queen of Scots

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Jean Plaidy
    • Narrated By Jilly Bond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (19)

    Scotland has been torn apart by civil war, and the young and passionate Catholic Mary Queen of Scots is in the hands of her enemies. Under duress, Mary abdicates in favour of her son, James VI, and flees to England for safety, boldly seeking refuge with her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I. But Elizabeth has never trusted the ambitious Catholic queen and has Mary imprisoned.

    Moragne says: "And Her Soul Yearned to be Free"
    "And Her Soul Yearned to be Free"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book tells the story of Mary's life during her exile in England. She expected to be treated like a queen by her cousin, Elizabeth I, and was, instead, treated like an incompetent invader in need of watching.

    The book is chaptered by castles. While one might think this would be very boring it is not. Every move, and thus chapter, contains something new in Mary's life. Yes, her life was dull after a while, her health and beauty suffering from the damp and cold, but there is no end to the intrigue that happens while Mary is in England. From plots to marry her off to different men, to those wanting her on the throne of England, and those concerning just getting her back to Scotland. You find out the fate of her son, James, and her third husband the Earl of Bothwell.

    Again Plaidy keeps you on the edge of your seat from the beginning to end. I couldn't stop listening to this. I loved how even though I knew what was going to happen I still cried at the end. You know the ending, but Plaidy makes you lament this even if you didn't always like her, and I'll admit at times she was stubborn and foolish. Very worth while bit of your time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The King's Secret Matter

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Jean Plaidy
    • Narrated By Anne Flosnik
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    The 12-year marriage of Henry and Katharine has declined from an idyllic union into an uneasy stalemate. The king's love for his aging queen has grown cold, and he is angry with her failure to give him the heir to the throne he desperately wants. When the seductive Anne Boleyn arrives at court, the king is captivated by her dark beauty and bold spirit and becomes obsessed by the desire to possess her.

    Moragne says: "Not much of a secret"
    "Not much of a secret"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the last book in Jean Plaidy's trio of books about Henry's first wife Katherine of Aragon. This book goes over the bit of her life that we all know pretty well, his disillusion with her for not bearing sons, his infatuation with Anne Boleyn, the political and religious intrigue.

    But Plaidy does it in her characteristic style. You're not subject to too much of Anne Boleyn here, but see her in a chess piece kind of way. She's not unimportant, but she's not the focus of the novel and that is just right. I also liked that Plaidy does spend time on Katherine's exile from Court, something many books and movies don't seem to worry about. You also get to feel a bit of what Katherine is feeling too when it comes to missing her daughter, Mary.

    Again the narrator's accent isn't great, but it grated on me less here than it did in the three previous books with her reading them.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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