Customer Reviews


 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


4.0 out of 5 stars Far better than the other reviews here might lead you to think
I picked this up from the library and when I checked the other reviews here my heart sank: another dud 'historical' I feared. However I was pleasantly surprised. While the Rossetti letter does indeed indulge both in cliches of plot as well as structure (interspersed sections set in past and present) the author does manage to pull it off. I'm not for a moment suggesting...
Published on 15 Feb. 2009 by Roman Clodia

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars half way there
I picked this book up from the library as the idea for the story line intrigued me. I love a history/romance/political thriller so this seemed my perfect book. Id reccommend the book purely for the assesandra/historical storyline. Whilst reading it i couldnt put the book down, not so much for the modern storyline but for alessandra. essentialy shes just a noraml girl...
Published on 20 Mar. 2011 by jasmpi


Most Helpful First | Newest First

3.0 out of 5 stars half way there, 20 Mar. 2011
This review is from: The Rossetti Letter (Paperback)
I picked this book up from the library as the idea for the story line intrigued me. I love a history/romance/political thriller so this seemed my perfect book. Id reccommend the book purely for the assesandra/historical storyline. Whilst reading it i couldnt put the book down, not so much for the modern storyline but for alessandra. essentialy shes just a noraml girl trying to make the best life for herself that she possibly can. her story is believable and I got a real sense of life in 17th century venice. As a history lover I like books and films to remain roughly true to the period and I feel the author has made an effort to keep her fiction tied closly to fact. christi phillips also paints venice, old and new, beautifuly. the moden storyline isnt quite as good. it was obvious what was going to happen between claire and andrew. as another reviewer has pointed out the part where all british people "would be speaking german" was offensive and pointless and nobody in england prounounces rats ass "rotts oss". sorry but i dont see the point in offending your readers if you want them to enjoy your book. as i said earlier, i still couldnt put the book down but after finishing it just felt let down. the concept was brilliant and it should have been a brilliant book but something is missing. how did alessandra and antonia become so in love? (yeah he's a handsome perfect man) but the passion never made it past a couple of pages. i dont feel i understand their relationship enough and the moden day stuff is cheesy. a good try but could abd should have been better.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Far better than the other reviews here might lead you to think, 15 Feb. 2009
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Rossetti Letter (Paperback)
I picked this up from the library and when I checked the other reviews here my heart sank: another dud 'historical' I feared. However I was pleasantly surprised. While the Rossetti letter does indeed indulge both in cliches of plot as well as structure (interspersed sections set in past and present) the author does manage to pull it off. I'm not for a moment suggesting that this is great literature in any sense, but it is a well-written, suspenseful and quite intriguing novel in its own right.

The rather irritating Claire is writing her PhD on the Rossetti letter (rather oddly she's never been to Venice, the site of her thesis, and never seems to have consulted any primary sources...) a letter written to the Venice council by the courtesan Alessandra Rossetti revealing a Spanish conspiracy to invade Venice. But Rossetti disappears from history after the letter and no-one has ever understood the context in which the letter is written. Claire hears that a Cambridge academic is writing a book debunking her view of the conspiracy and so finally gets to go to Venice to prove him wrong.

Interspersed with this is the story of the rather lovely Alessandra Rossetti caught up in the margins of the conspiracy, and so we find out the true story of what happened alongside the modern day investigations.

I've never been to Venice (sadly) and so can't say whether the descriptions are accurate or not, but they certainly came over as magical and made we want to go. I agree with previous reviewers that characters are rather cliched but for me they worked. This is a fairly baroque novel (assassins, sword-fights, torture scenes, hangings) but accepted on that level it works far better than many other historical novels.

The modern day part was less successful (the girl who hadn't heard of the war was a 14 year old... not so surprising, unfortunately), and the neatly tied-up ending was irritating but overall this was a far more enjoyable novel than I expected. Great for a bit of historical romance before bed or on the tube with minor shades of Possession Possession: A Romance.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully atmospheric but spoiled by prose, 21 Aug. 2009
By 
Amelia L. Quirk (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Rossetti Letter (Paperback)
This is exactly the sort of book I like to get stuck into but from the start I was struck by the almost embarrassing dialogue between the wholly unlikeable history student woman and the churlish teenager (only needed for one bit where diaries get mixed up really), followed by the (as one other reviewer has pointed out) totally predictable story line with the grumpy love interest - had all this modern day drivvle been omitted it would have made for a great read as the place and the period were very well evoked, I almost felt I could smell the dank canal and I was totally engaged in the fates of the courtesan and her lover - just not that of their modern day pursuers!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars its ok, 22 July 2009
By 
Lindymck (Falkirk, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Rossetti Letter (Paperback)
mix of fact and fiction, although slightly more fiction. alesandra rossetti didnt actually exist but many of the characters did. there was a spanish conspiracy during 1618 but the focus for this books is the lives of the 2 women. both been unlucky in love and this is how they carry on. bit cliche and found it hard going to begin with but once it picked up some pace and interest was flying over the pages, now im dying to visit venice.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely and enjoyable story, 21 Oct. 2009
By 
Charmian "Glass Bead" (Farnham, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Rossetti Letter (Paperback)
I really enjoyed reading this book, the story was well told. As a first novel maybe it did have some formula tick boxes but they were not obtrusive. I'm looking forward to the next one, the scenes with Andrew - who is obviously going to become the love interest - made me laugh, funny and touching. Also the teenage Gwen, a very good character. Also, it really captured the beauty and the sinister aspects of the wonderful city of Venice.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Truly dreadful!, 13 Nov. 2007
By 
This review is from: The Rossetti Letter (Paperback)
This book could have had so much going for it. History, a glamorous location - Venice, Venetian Courtesans, political intrigue, but oh dear what a disappointment. It was poorly, sloppily,written, with stereotypical characters, cliche ridden and evil baddies. One almost expected Monty Python to appear with " no one expects the Spanish ( whoops Venetian!) Inquisition"!

When books like this are published it makes one despair. It is written by an American author, clearly for an undiscerning American market. At one point the modern history graduate heroine, turns to her history(!) student travelling companion, on landing in Italy, (the student had not heard of the 2nd World War - one wonders do they have an education system?), and instructs her that without the Americans, Europeans would all be speaking German! It is this crass, lack of respect that typifies this novel. If I had been in a gondola the book would have been confined to the watery depths!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars zero stars, 8 Feb. 2008
This review is from: The Rossetti Letter (Paperback)
I was given this book for Christmas, by someone who knows that I like historical novels. Unfortunately, this is exactly the kind of historical fiction I loathe, where the author is labouring under the delusion that just by setting the plot in the past, and cutting and pasting from various history books, they are going to create a realistic and convincing sense of the period, place and personality. As The Rossetti Letter is merely written by numbers (sex scene, tick; strong yet vulnerable and beautiful heroines, tick; ugly and reptilian villains, tick; gorgeous and wealthy fake love interest masquerading as a waiter, tick; gorgeous and real love interest hiding under a grumpy and ugly facade, tick), the plot might as well have been set in 21st-century America, and anybody interested in learning more about Venice (and finding a better plot, frankly) would be better off picking up a Rough Guide. I begrudge being obliged to give even one star to this turgid collection of badly-written cliches and stereotypes, but if it's enough to prevent anybody else from reading it, then so be it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely a womans book, 25 Jun. 2011
By 
Mrs. A. B. Dunbebin "Babsie D" (Cheshire, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Rossetti Letter (Paperback)
I bought this book on recommendation from a female friend. I bought it for a male friend,as a gift, but unfortunately after reading a couple of chapters, he decided that it was definitely a womans book,so didnt read any further.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Rossetti Letter
The Rossetti Letter by Christi Phillips (Paperback - 6 Aug. 2007)
Used & New from: £1.49
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews