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Publisher's Summary

The Handfasted Wife is the story of the Norman Conquest from the perspective of Edith (Elditha) Swanneck, Harold's common-law wife. She is set aside for a political marriage when Harold becomes king in 1066. Determined to protect her children's destinies and control her economic future, she is taken to William's camp when her estate is sacked on the eve of the Battle of Hastings. She later identifies Harold's body on the battlefield, and her youngest son becomes a Norman hostage.

This is an adventure story of love, loss, survival, and reconciliation.

©2013 Carol McGrath (P)2015 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Moving, and vastly informative, a real page-turner of a historical novel." (Fay Weldon)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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  • LLH
  • boston MA
  • 10-02-15

Review more on performance

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

No, the book Subject was very interesting. But the reader was terrible. Inflections were very odd. I don't know who speaks thatway. You never knew when a sentence ended. Very difficult to enjoy the book I'm going to put it on my kindle and read it myself!

What didn’t you like about Heather Wilds’s performance?

Terrible

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Yes

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

beautiful feminine history

engrossing and beautifully told. It's nice to have been able to journey to this time in history thru the eyes if a very brave woman

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Comment on Audible Availability

Sorry to find that at this time (May 2016) the remaining two books of this trilogy are not on audible.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

More history than fiction

What disappointed you about The Handfasted Wife?

This is a story of a woman who is buffeted by forces beyond her control. She meekly consents to her husband marrying another woman. Then, after he is dead, she runs around a war-torn country making dumb decisions that put others in danger without achieving any of her goals.

What could Carol McGrath have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Probably chosen a different historical heroine. The few know facts about Edith the Fair constrained the shaping of the story.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator has an odd way of accenting syllables that I found consistently annoying. Plus, she sounds as if she is speaking over a mouth filled with cotton.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The period details of everyday life were well researched.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

did not grab my attention

I struggled to finish this book. I thought it would've been better. Some parts were good and interesting.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Sneer and snooze

Would you try another book from Carol McGrath and/or Heather Wilds?

No

Would you recommend The Handfasted Wife to your friends? Why or why not?

No

How could the performance have been better?

Change narrators

Could you see The Handfasted Wife being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

No

Any additional comments?

Boring and the narrator sounded so condescending I couldn't listen past the 3 chapter or so. I believe if I read it instead of audiobooks I may have continued but I def would've skipped ahead...a lot.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs. J. Slade
  • 10-05-15

Abandoned Audio to read on Kindle

Any additional comments?

I bought this book for Kindle and Audible, but I abandoned the audio version before the end of the prologue. The narrator's voice was monotonous and without any feeling for the content. I rely on audiobooks for company while I do routine jobs, but I'll read the rest of this one on Kindle. I can't comment on the story or give a meaningful overall review yet, but I wouldn't advise any reader sensitive to vocal performance to buy this audiobook.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Glitzy Goose
  • 06-20-15

Spoilt by narration

I enjoyed this authentic story based on the life of Elditha, Edith Swan Neck, and would like to read the second book in this series. However, I shall be purchasing the book to read myself. I'm afraid that for me this audio book was ruined by the narration. Perfect though the enunciation was, the reading lacked any expression - at times it sounded like the recitation of a shopping list. The attempts at regional accents were ridiculous. I found this so irritating at times that I almost abandoned the book!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-06-17

A shame about the narration.

The story was of historical interest and was well written.
However, I couldn't listen after chapter 12 because of the dreadful performance.



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  • Highlight
  • 03-12-17

IS THE NARRATOR RETARDED

Absolutely appalling narrator, how does she manage to pass interviews for jobs in this profession & she gets the work? Her vowels are abominable repeatedly ending her sentences on an upward tilt. She has no feelings nor change of depth, nor power. Her manner of speech is banal. i

  • Overall
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-18-16

Ruined by narrator.

What did you like best about The Handfasted Wife? What did you like least?

The story is well written and researched. My enjoyment was totally ruined by the style of the narrator. Her presentation was totally inappropriate for this story. Irritating style and phrasing.

What did you like best about this story?

The story covered a period in history which I find particularly fascinating. Two, if not three strong women who were queen consorts are beautifully drawn by the author as they live to protect their family and country in the face of the Norman Conquest and deaths of their husband sovereigns.

What didn’t you like about Heather Wilds’s performance?

Totally ruined my enjoyment of the book. I just hope she is not involved with the second and third books in this trilogy .... that would be a catastrophe.

Could you see The Handfasted Wife being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

Interesting as a TV series. Can't think of actors I can nominate.

Any additional comments?

I hate to criticise anything about this fascinating book which was well researched and written, but the reading of an audio book is fundamental to its presentation to the audience, and this is a criminal act.

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  • Mrs
  • 04-27-15

Good read

A good read - would have liked a bit more of the story of the meeting & life with Harald before the Conquest but exciting none the less.

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