Grim historical time. I'm past the half-century mark and read this in high school...didn't remember it at all except that I didn't do so well on my book report! I am living in Paris for a few years so I have been trying to listen to some European classics. I just didn't realize/appreciate the gravity of the French Revolution until I came to live here. As an American, I just don't have much appreciation for world history...I'm getting some! The opening lines of this novel are iconic...they are familiar even to me...if I was a contestant on Jeopardy I would not have put Dicken's poetry with this tale...I feel so much better prepared now for any future contests. The narration is outstanding. I tend to favor male narrators as I find very few women's voices do justice to male roles, and this novel is dominated by male characters. As with the few books I have read placed in this time period, it is a tale full of extreme sadness...at times...hopelessness. To my limited view, it captures the terror of the French revolution all too well. If time travel becomes possible at some point, avoid Paris during the French revolution because no one was safe from Madame Guillotine.Dickens is able to take a sad storyline and somewhat give us a happy ending. If you are a fan of Dickens, this is definitely a story you will want to hear as he takes this time in history and creates a timeless tale.
I highly recommend this book. It has been over a quarter of century since I have read a Georgette Heyer book. I decided to give this book a try since I definitely didn't remember any of her books that I had read previously. I sure hope I didn't start with the cream of the crop! The narration was spot on! I will be looking for more books narrated by Philpott. The supporting cast of characters was a treasure. A good, old fashioned romance, with a nice mystery that was predictable, but handled so well. I chuckled many times during the last scene. I had gotten to know the characters so well at that point it was funny to hear their performances to ensure the family name was spared any tarnishing. Just goes to show a well written book can stand the test of time!
I'm pretty sure Kinsale wrote this book just for me.
I have lived in Hawaii, Japan and now Europe. I loved how Kinsale brought all these cultures together in one story. It was a such a treat for me. I would love to discuss the book in great detail but I don't want to give any of the storyline away because I enjoyed every little twist and turn. There were despicable characters but the truly wonderful Lady Ashland consistently steered Samuel and Leda in the right direction for success. After listening to Boulton doing European accents in other Kinsale books it was fun to hear him do (very well) Japanese and American voices...and Hawaiian!
This is one of my favorite Kinsale audible books. I wouldn't want to read the text with the old English dialogue but listening to Boulton makes it so easy to place your mind in a different time. While there are similarities with Kinsale's characters and story lines she always amazes me with her tales. Like some of her other works, the characters go for many years with a nearness of the object of their love but no way to have a relationship. People lacked control over so much of their personal freedom even when they were noble born that it is hard to imagine how at one time it was unrealistic to find love and true happiness. Ruck starts out as such an ordinary man, plagued by his thoughts of lust that the church teaches him to constantly fight to put aside. Though ever honorable, it was wonderful to learn how a man without much bedroom experience has gained his knowledge...an ironic source of sexual information. And like a true knight, Ruck fights for what is right...period...no gray areas. He possess incredible faith. Melanthe is consumed with fear for most of her life. She is a real princess who is hopelessly trapped. Her freedom definitely requires a knight in shinning armor to rescue her...one who is always truthful to her as there is never anyone else she can ever trust. It was a great book to listen to despite what sounds like a typical fairy tale.
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