Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop All Amazon Fashion Summer Savings Up to 25% Off Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Oasis Learn more Shop now Learn more

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars19
4.4 out of 5 stars
Format: Kindle Edition|Change
Price:£0.99
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 30 January 2012
This is the third novel of Melanie Clegg's I've read, and as I am writing this review at 1:21am, you may surmise I was thoroughly gripped by it and couldn't sleep until I finished reading it! Many historical novels set against such a huge backdrop of revolutionary France can lose their way, but Melanie's skill is to weave together the stories of the main protagonists while zooming in to focus on their intensely passionate (in every sense) relationships. I read a review elsewhere that this author's greatest achievement is to write so honestly about the way women treat eachother - I certainly agree. Here we see women as silly girls, blooming into women or becomming embittered by the vagaries life throws at them; women as sisters, friends and bitter rivals; women supporting or stabbing eachother in the back. I haven't read The Buccaneers (shockingly!) on which this book is based, so cannot comment on the similarities or otherwise between the two, but I can say that every character is beautifully sketched and you feel like you have known many of them for ages. My favourite character was Clementine, and I did literally gasp at several points in the novel, as she doesn't have an easy time of it, to say the least. That's a feature of Before the Storm - you find yourself so wrapped up in the story you are swept up in the trials and tribulations of the characters so much, you almost feel you are watching a play based around people you know. Dramatic it certainly is, but with a wry sense of humour, too. No stereotypical historical characters here, they are well drawn & leave you desperate to know more about them! I'd love to read Eliza's diary, to know more of Venetia's exotic background and hear all the nasty, gossipy conversations between the wonderfully awful Corisande and her maid. Just wonderful and a complete bargain - do yourself a favour & grab a copy, I've treasured the time I spent losing myself in the story.
0Comment|6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This is the first novel I've read by this author and definitely won't be my last! Oh I loved it, so eloquently written. It's completely restored my interest in this period in history.

Melanie Clegg manages to weave a whole plethora of interesting characters together which kept me hooked (and focused!). The women, whether ambitious mothers or the girls - daughters, sisters or friends growing into woman or servants with their own agendas were all believable.

The author clearly knows not just the time period but also the places and positively brings France to life.

I'm an avid reader, often finishing one book and ten minutes later starting the next. This novel made that difficult. O nce finished I dearly missed it and my next book took a little getting into although that also turned out to be first class.

Highly recommend both this book and the author, Melanie Clegg.
0Comment|5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 30 October 2013
I've now read all of Melanie's books which are all brilliant but this one is definitely my favourite. I love the characters, the desperate social climbing and the reality of these womens marriages over their dreams of how it will be. I am now wholly obssessed by Marie Antoinette and the Revolution and am spending a fortune on history books, thanks Melanie!
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 17 April 2012
Another wonderful book from Melanie Clegg - it grips you from the first page and holds onto you until the very end

Melanie's enthusiasm for the period shines through in the detail and carefully researched context and yet her characters are likeable and realistic

5 out of 5 and can't wait for the next book!
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 August 2013
Frocks & jewels are always a theme winner for me. However, the rapidly changing relationships between the characters lacked believability& character development was unsustained. Georgette Heyer fans would enjoy it.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 1 October 2013
Excellent extremely enjoyable . Like all of Clegg s books I could not bare to put it down. Can not wait to read more from this author.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 December 2012
Let me start of with saying: I think it's incredibly unfair that books like this are not famous, Melanie is a WONDERFUL writer and to be honest 50 shades of gray or any other rubbish book like that doesn't even stand to be compared/mentioned to a book like this. She engages with the audience so well, I'm not going to go on about the plot because I assume you've already read it but keep in mind, it has twists and they are subtle- they interlock nicely; it's never 'Oh my God it doesn't make sense', it's more like 'even If I didn't want this to happen, it's still amazing'. I think if a book brings out your emotions be it good or bad, thats when you know it's good, you're almost forming this bond with the characters, I genuinely felt sorry for some characters and after I finished I had this melancholy feeling, wanting to read more. It's realistic, not just some fairytale, and thats what makes this so real. Definitely read it, even if you think the price is low so it's going to be rubbish, it's not! Don't judge a book by it's cover...
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 December 2012
This book is an easy, languid read. There is a clear pastiche of Wharton's The Buccaneers, but with a very different setting, and a more contemporary tone. Don't expect any cod Regency speak within.

Given the book's obvious similarity to Wharton's is easy to make comparisons. Edith Wharton was a true mistress of language and had a remarkable knack for metaphor and description. I don't think the author of this book has the same style, and such comparisons are perhaps unfair. This book should be enjoyed for its own merits which are an ease of language and description, and detailed knowledge of the era it is set in.
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 31 January 2012
I really enjoyed this book. After reading so many historical romances that circle tightly around the hero and heroine, and where it's easy to tell who's going to have a happy ending with whom at the end of the first chapter, it was a breath of fresh air to read about the strong ensemble cast and not to know what was going to happen next. All the settings come to life so vividly, from Bath to London to Versailles to Paris (especially Paris!) I also loved the homages to Edith Wharton's The Buccaneers. Highly recommended!
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 January 2013
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book,finding it difficult to put down because of the detailed descriptions, meaning I could involve myself with the characters and situations.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.