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Elswyth Thane

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Michy
Bibliophile
Location: California

Elswyth Thane

Postby Michy » Wed July 21st, 2010, 8:53 pm

I didn't see a thread for this author on here anywhere, so thought I'd start one.

I recently discovered this author via a brief mention in a post of Misfit's -- I think it was "what I'm reading right now." I decided to give her a try, and picked up "Dawn's Early Light", the first of her Williamsburg series. I am enjoying it immensely. I am only about 1/3 of the way through, so starting this thread may be premature, but I can't imagine she could construct a train wreck in the remaining 2/3 of the book bad enough to make me end up not liking it.

The book centers on Julian Day, a young man who emigrates from England to Virginia on the very eve of the Revolutionary War. As I understand it, the series continues with the same characters and their descendants up to the time of WWII.

The only thing so far that gave me pause was her depiction of "happy slaves." And yes, she actually uses those exact words. But I've read enough pre-Civil Rights books to take such things in context and not be offended.

I am looking forward to reading more by this author, and hope her other books are as well-written and entertaining as this one. Fortunately, my library has this entire series as well as many other of her books. However, if I continue to love her writing I may just resort to buying some to have for keeps and re-reads.

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Wed July 21st, 2010, 9:11 pm

I liked this as well. She lost me a bit in the middle with the battle dumps, but I loooooved the ending (not telling).

I've had to wait for book #2 in this series as someone else already had it checked out.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

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Michy
Bibliophile
Location: California

Postby Michy » Thu July 22nd, 2010, 1:04 am

I know from reading the family tree in the endpapers that St. John will end up married to Regina (natch), and Julian will end up marrying Tibby. And Dorothea will marry some other guy who hasn't made an appearance, yet. I like having the geneaology -- I'm sure it will be useful as the series continues -- but it is kind of a drag that it gives things like that away.

Most of the reviews I've read say that the first three books in the series are the best. I hope they don't seriously drop off after that. Oh, well, I guess we'll find out.

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Michy
Bibliophile
Location: California

Postby Michy » Sat July 24th, 2010, 3:00 am

I just finished the book -- I loved it! I didn't even mind the battle section; I felt it added depth to the story.

I highly recommend this book. I haven't written my review, yet, but this is definitely getting 5 stars.

I hope the second in the series is as good. Misfit, you'll probably get to it before I do, because there are a few other books I'm going to read first before I submit my library request for it. Including another one by Thane, not part of this series, obviously. It was the first book she published, written about 20 years earlier, so it will be interesting to see how it compares stylistically.
Last edited by Michy on Sat July 24th, 2010, 3:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Sat July 24th, 2010, 11:33 am

Didn't you just love that finish with Julian and -----? And Lafeyette?

Argh, I should have Yankee Stranger now, it was due 7/21 but it doesn't appear the last borrower has returned it yet :mad:
At home with a good book and the cat...

...is the only place I want to be

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Michy
Bibliophile
Location: California

Postby Michy » Sat July 24th, 2010, 4:38 pm

Yes, I liked the last part of the book. I was actually thinking, you know, something like this could have happened! We don't know! For me, that is one of the characteristics of a really good writer -- when they can throw something into their plot that is so unlikely but make it so plausible that they actually have me believing it might just have happened, as opposed to rolling my eyes saying, oh, brother, this is SO contrived......

And I loved Tibby, of course. She is the variety of heroine that you just have to love -- the delicate-but-tough, thrives-in-spite-of-neglect type of heroine. I think of them as a fragile little flower growing out of a crack in the asphalt.

I'm really looking forward to book #2. Sounds like you got stuck in line behind a slow reader. ha ha

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Tanzanite
Bibliophile
Location: Northern Virginia
Contact:

Postby Tanzanite » Sat July 24th, 2010, 7:37 pm

I have her book on Elizabeth I (The Tudor Wench) but haven't gotten to it yet.

Celia Hayes
Reader
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Contact:

Postby Celia Hayes » Sun July 25th, 2010, 2:00 pm

I read all of the Williamsburg cycle when in my late teens, IIRC they were all pretty good; she did write very nice and memorable heroines, like Tibby. The books which cover the WWI-WWII come much closer together, and are much more continuous, than the 19th century books. But they were all pretty good, or at least they seemed to me to be so!
WRT to the family tree in the endpapers - oh, I hated to put in family trees in my own trilogy. It does give away certain plot elements - who marries whom and when characters die ... but I simply had to include it as a reference for readers, like my father :D who kept asking me to do so, just so he could keep all the characters straight.
Celia Hayes
www.celiahayes.com

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Sun July 25th, 2010, 3:19 pm

*drums fingers on table*

Yankee Stranger has still not been returned by the previous borrower :mad:
At home with a good book and the cat...

...is the only place I want to be

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Michy
Bibliophile
Location: California

Postby Michy » Mon July 26th, 2010, 8:49 pm

St. John and Regina reminded me just a bit of Rhett and Scarlett. Did anyone else feel that way?


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