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The Swan-Daughter (The Daughters of Hastings Book 2) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Once again, the reader is taken back to the period of the early Normans, which is exquisitely conveyed through the attention to detail that Carol McGrath, a highly skilled researcher, has paid to the period.
The political events of the times are brought alive for the reader, and are a backdrop for a vivid depiction of the lives of the people at that time, of the castles and houses in which they lived, rich and poor, of their food, their clothes, of childbirth and medical care, of the role that religion plays in society and especially of the position of women in the Middle Ages. The constraints and obligations placed upon women at that time, particularly those born to the nobility, are graphically captured in the pages of the novel, and will be of great interest, I'm sure, to women of today.
Gunnhild was brought up in Wilton Abbey, and not surprisingly since she is an heiress of importance, the church is keen for her to stay in the nunnery. Gunnhild, however, has no desire for a religious life, nor for any sort of life within the precincts of a nunnery. She longs to escape, and she longs for love. The possibility of escape comes in the attractive form of the slightly older Count Alan of Richmond and Brittany, the red-headed knight who had once been a suitor for her mother’s hand.
Count Alan’s path crosses Gunnhild's on more than one occasion, and each time they exchange friendly banter. He then proposes that they elope.Read more ›
What Ms McGrath excels at is bringing you into a Medieval household and making it feel as real and vital as one's own. The detail is extraordinary and vivid and so recognisable - people were no different to us, they still ate, drank and coveted clothes and sparkly things. Gunnhild's near obsession with a gown belonging to her aunt is touching and so very human, taking her from childhood to womanhood.
This novel can be read as a stand alone story and works well as such, but to fully appreciate the impact of the events that over-take the characters one really should read 'The Handfasted Wife' first. And why wouldn't you? It is just as brilliant as this novel.
It is a beautifully written story, the sentences rolled like 'honey' on the page and any story that has me in tears for most of it warrants a second and even third re-read. Just can't wait for the third book now!!
As in the Handfasted Wife, her first book in the series, this is a meticulously researched book. fortunately Carol has the gift of not letting this get in the way of telling a rollicking good story. Its a fascinating era to write about, and in Carol's capable hands, to read about as well.
Alternating between England and Brittany, in a time when the Doomsday Book was causing all of England to re-evalueate their lives, and with a cracking love story at its heart, this was a really good read.
Now I'm looking forward to the final book in the trilogy.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My own research, into land use in Suffolk in the 12thC, has often concerned the fate of Edith Swan-Neck's lands, and in particular that portion that passed to her daughter... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Nicola Moxey
as with part 3 a well written historical novel not far from its natural limitPublished 9 days ago by Mr D.J.Adams
I'm busy reading the third book in the trilogy, back to back, and have loved each one. Ms McGrath takes you on a journey through history, albeit partly fictional. Read morePublished 27 days ago by Geordie girl
Last in the trilogy. What's striking is how far these people travelled, from England to Flanders to Denmark and into Russia. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ms M. Waller
I have enjoyed this book thoroughly and will certainly read more of Carol McGrathPublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Another fabulous read by Carol McGrath. The book was interesting, informative about the life and times and a measure of romance to lift the spirits!! Thank you!Published 3 months ago by Gail Hardman-Carr
Haven't had time to read it yet, but I think I will like it - I have read such a lot of books about the Tudors recently that it will be good for me to go further back into history,... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Cynthia Rabet