Customer Review

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful author discovered through the recommendation of a friend., 6 Sept. 2009
This review is from: The Conquest (Paperback)
I have an Amazon Friend who has been telling me for almost a year that she thought I would enjoy the novels of this English author. I was reluctant because I've read (and been disappointed by) books set in medieval times before, albeit by different authors, and I was not much interested in the historical period. Gladly I can say that the writing of Elizabeth Chadwick is on an entirely different level from my previous experience with this genre.

This is a wonderful book which takes place over a space of 23 years, from 1065 to 1088. All of the main characters, and there are quite a few of them, are written as complete people. Not just the good traits, not just the bad. People are never one dimensional in real life, why should we accept them when written that way in a novel? This particular author has a wonderful talent for letting the reader see all sides of a character so that they fit naturally within the story. Her descriptions of daily living, war, birth and death are vivid and compelling even if sometimes difficult, for those of us who are squeamish, to read about. Yes, the descriptions for the Battle of Hastings were unsettling for me to read but I know they reflect reality. War was never clean and sterile. It still isn't. The good thing is that this is not a book about war, it is a book about what impact that war had on the lives of these characters before, during and after that war.

The book is divided into two sections. The first centers around Ailith and the second around her daughter Julitta. I found it extremely interesting that Elizabeth Chadwick allowed both mother and daughter to make the same mistake, namely to put themselves in a position to love a man who could not be their husband. And yet Chadwick used Julitta's father, Rolf, as the character who could understand her situation best since he had lived through those same kinds of situations with her mother. I didn't want to like Rolf, but after watching him mature over 23 years I just couldn't help myself. That is the sign of a truly good author from my standpoint. Someone who writes well enough to make me change my mind.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The history is there, the fully drawn characters, the complete immersion in the time period. I was sorry to see it end. Thank you Elizabeth Chadwick for sharing your talent in this way and thank you to my Amazon Friend for recommending this book. I think that is the wonderful part of this Amazon amateur reviewing/sharing community.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 Sep 2009 10:24:06 BDT
Julia Flyte says:
Hi Judy - I see your vote tally is growing!

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Sep 2009 21:47:52 BDT
Last edited by the author on 10 Sep 2009 17:26:12 BDT
J. Lesley says:
Hey Julia, somebody here must have blisters on their fingers just counting all of them up. If I knew who, I'd send flowers! Who cares, it's just fun.
Judy
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