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Search tags: British-history
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text 2017-10-16 20:31
The Last Lancastrian: A Story of Margaret Beaufort

SURPRISE! You can read my novella featuring Margaret Beaufort RIGHT NOW! No pre-ordering, no waiting. Get a peek of Margaret's life before she became known as the formidable king's mother.

 

Source: myBook.to/LastLancastrian
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review 2017-10-15 20:21
Edith Cavell: Faith Before the Firing Squad by Catherine Butcher
Edith Cavell: Faith Before the Firing Squad - Catherine Butcher

This biography is concise and inspiring. It features a woman who would not have expected to have her life story interest others, but that is part of what makes Edith Cavell so compelling. She is the sort of woman we all hope we would be if circumstances challenged us the way they did her.

 

Edith's faith was a significant element of her life and story, and it is included appropriately in this book. From the day she was born until the day she died, the love of God and promise of heaven guided Edith's actions. She did not wish for recognition, only to help others. "When Reverend Gahan said, 'We shall always remember you as a heroine and a martyr,' she replied, 'Don't think of me like that, think of me only as a nurse who tried to do her duty.'"

 

The author demonstrates how Edith became the kind of woman who would selflessly assist others, even when she knew she was endangering herself. This vicar's daughter, governess, and nurse grew up with the desire to serve a vital part of her character. Not that she is portrayed as unbelievably perfect. Mistakes and faults of character are also explored to give readers a comprehensive picture of who the real Edith Cavell was.

 

She was an intelligent woman with a servant's heart who willingly gave up her lives for others. Even when Edith knew she was being spied upon by Germans, she continued to help those trying to escape. When she knew the next person she helped might be preparing to betray her, she wouldn't take the chance of turning away someone who truly needed her. Once she was convicted of her 'crimes' she worried only about those she was leaving behind.

 

The recent 100th anniversary of Edith's execution has stirred up renewed interest in her, and she is a woman worthy of remembering. Her strength and courage in the face of deceit and violence is an inspiration to us all.

 

I received this book through NetGalley. Opinions are my own.

 

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review 2017-10-10 14:26
The Gods Divided by Richard Sotnick
The Gods Divided - Richard Sotnick

This is the story of Ben and Olive, a couple mismatched in faith but united in love as war breaks out across Europe. There was potential for it to be the haunting story that it promises to be, but it never quite gets to that point.

 

There is no question that the author did his research. The facts of the couple's story are clearly presented, but that is the novel's most significant problem. It reads like a list of facts, a retelling of events lacking the emotions that must have been a part of them. The reader is told that Olive spent three miserable months looking for a job, but we are not there with her enduring it. We are told that she worked herself to the point that she had to be hospitalized, but we never experience her weariness or despair. Even the romance comes across much more like a torrid affair than an enduring love story.

 

The title of this book led me to believe that there would be themes of faith involved, but Ben asks early on 'what relevance is religion in today's world?' While Ben is Jewish and Olive is Catholic, their faiths do not seem to impact their worldview beyond putting up barriers to their marriage. Neither really practices their faith, but it is repeated multiple times that if it weren't for their differing faiths (and the fact that Olive is already married) that they would get married.

 

Dialog is stilted and repetitive as the author seems to be trying to tell everything just as it happened - including the chain of communication that means the reader hears everything multiple times as different people talk about it. A storyteller's skill would relate the sharing of information without restating it for every character that becomes involved.

 

In the end, a true story that should be an emotive tale was bland. I never felt any connection to Olive or any suspense involving her search for Ben (which, again, we are just told she is doing, the reader is never involved). This novel could be reworked to be so much more than it is, drawing the reader into Olive's trials and heartbreaks, but as it is written we are never fully invited in.

 

I received this book through NetGalley. Opinions are my own.

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text 2017-10-09 13:45
The Heroines of Plantagenet Embers

I am a guest blogger today at Tudors Dynasty with a post about what drew me to the leading ladies in my novels.

 

Source: www.tudorsdynasty.com/heroines-plantagenet-embers-guest-post
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review 2017-09-28 05:38
Podcast #72 is up!
The Royal Navy in the Age of Austerity 1919-22 Naval and Foreign Policy under Lloyd George - G.H. Bennett

My seventy-second podcast -- an interview with Harry Bennett about the shifts in British naval policy after the First World War -- is up on the New Books Network website! This one was a long time in coming, as I had originally recorded it in December; unfortunately, technical issues delayed the post-production process until now. I hope you enjoy the results!

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