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A Secret Alchemy by Emma Darwin

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Joined: February 2010
Location: Adelaide, Australia

Post by Jemidar » Sat July 10th, 2010, 11:44 pm

Adding my two cents worth here...

I just finished it this morning and loved it! It was beautifully written and well researched, and a nice change from the usual popular HF.

I must admit I wasn't that taken by the modern story at first but by about halfway through I wasn't able to put it down no matter which part I was reading. The ways the stories interwove was subtle and complex, and multi-layered. And so different from the simplistic, in-your-face style of a lot of current HF. The historical bits felt authentic and definitely captured the medieval mindset...loved the way both Elizabeth and Anthony were portrayed.

I found it had so many layers that you could take away from it what you wanted. There was a simple story, a historical story, a romance, or a bigger comment on family, class, belonging, history, writing and life changing journeys. It leaves you with a lot to think about, and I'm sure it will stay with me for a good long while.

"Well-behaved women rarely make history."
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

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Location: Nottingham UK

Post by EC2 » Sun July 11th, 2010, 9:57 am

Thanks Jemidar,
You have inspired me to pick it up again. I borrowed it from the library, read the first page and thought 'No, not for me.' Which tells me it was my mood and not the book because you need longer than a page to know if a book's for you or not. It just wasn't the right time obviously. I did the same thing with Girl With A Pearl Earring. I had no affinity the first time I picked it up, but loved it the second. So I'll have another go at this one and make sure that I'm in the right frame of mind!
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal


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