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Lady of Hay Paperback – 3 Feb 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 313 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 848 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Re-issue edition (3 Feb. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 000725086X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007250868
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (313 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

‘The author's storytelling talent is undeniable. Barbara Erskine can make us feel the cold, smell the filth and experience some of the fear of the power of evil men.' The Times

'Unusual, intriguing, cleverly handled and gripping.' The Good Book Guide

'Fascinating, absorbing, original – all such praise comes easily when describing Barbara Erskine's Lady of Hay. But perhaps the most suitable world is hypnotic.' SHE

'Convincing and extremely colourful.' The Mail

From the Publisher

Barbara Erskine's amazing first international bestseller
'Barbara Erskine can make us feel the cold, smell the filth, and experience some of the fear of the power of evil men... The author's storytelling talent is undeniable' The Times

Jo Clifford, successful journalist, is all set to debunk the idea of past-life regression in her next magazine series. But when she herself submits to a simple hypnotic session, she suddenly finds herself reliving the experiences of Matilda, Lady of Hay, the wife of a baron at the time of King John.

As she learns of Matilda's unhappy marriage, her love for the handsome Richard de Clare and the brutal threats of death at the hands of King John, it becomes clear that Jo's past and present are hopelessly entwined and that, eight hundred years on, a story of secret passion and unspeakable treachery is about to begin again...

'Fascinating, absorbing, original - and hypnotic' She

**Look for Barbara Erskine's new bestseller, ON THE EDGE OF DARKNESS, out in paperback.** --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I love this book - a time slip novel - of which it was one of the first when it was published 25 years ago. It has stood the test of time. ( Daphne Du Maurier's The House on the Strand (Virago Modern Classics) pre dates it. A great read which you will enjoy if you like Barbara Erskine )
I prefer the historical parts, and could have read these as a stand alone novel. Her writing notches up a gear when dealing with the past. I feel she immerses herself in period and relaxes into it. The depth of her research and love of our early history seems to be a foundation which makes the historical sections sure and confident and better paced than the sections dealing with the present. I found the latter a little over-blown dramatically.
However - this novel falls into the category of books I must own, and I enjoy re-reading it.
Try Kingdom of Shadows and Child of the Phoenix. Child of the Poenix is purely historical, and the better for it.
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By laineyf TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 April 2002
Format: Paperback
This was the first Barbara Erskine book I ever read, and I totally enjoyed it, and have read it many times since. It is a very romantic and gripping story, and I found it compulsive reading. As the story unfolded, I became completely drawn into the book, and I found the characters totally believable, and the whole concept of two lives entwining throughout history totally captivated me. I found myself longing for the climax of the story, and yet not wanting it to end. A perfect book to read in front of the fire on a dark winters night!
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By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the quintessential time slip book for those who like the genre. I read it first back in the nineteen eighties – not long after it was first published and was hooked from the first page and recommended it to countless other readers. I have only recently re-read it having just read the latest novel by Barbara Erskine – ‘The Darkest Hour’. ‘Lady of Hay’ is every bit as good as I’d remembered it to be and I can see why it started my fascination with time slip stories.

Jo Clifford is regressed to a past life when she is a student as part of a research project. Fifteen years later – now a hard hitting journalist – regression to past lives is a subject she decides to examine in a series of articles. Can she stay objective and analytical about a subject which could affect her very strongly? In the present Jo must decide which of the in her life can be trusted and she is not someone who responds very well to warnings or good advice.

This is a tension filled story with many ramifications in the present and the past. Old enmities have survived eight hundred years and need to be worked out in the present once and for all. It is a long book – over eight hundred pages – but the story is so compelling it will keep you reading. It is not a book to be read in the house on your own late at night as it will makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end.

If you enjoy mysteries with a difference then try this – or any of Barbara Erskine’s other novels and short stories.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really had to force myself to finish this utter tripe. I am at a loss as to how many good reviews it has. The writing was no more than average and the book could have been half the length without suffering. It's dated terribly - somehow if a book is well written you don't notice the lack of mobile phones or sat nav if it's set before the current time but this book is like a hammer in the shape of the 80s bashing you on the head over and over again.

The modern characters were unrealistic - what 34 year old in the 80s listened to Bach and Edith Piaf for goodness sake? And allows herself to be raped before then merrily going out for dinner with her rapist? Jo was possibly the most irritating, whinging character I've ever forced myself to read. Sam is a caricature of a villain. Nick is a violent, chauvinistic bully. At least 400 pages consisted of he and Jo having the exact same conversations over and over. "Nick you're hurting me." "I have to get away from you Jo, I'm going to London/New York/The Moon." "I'm going to stop regressing now, it's too frightening." "I have to regress again, I need to know what happened." Gaaaaaah! So annoying!

The past wasn't much better - the modern colloquialisms grated, Matilda was far too feisty for the time. There was a massive cast of utterly interchangeable characters, half of whom had the same names and all of whom were totally inconsitent. Nothing much happened.

The final section, tagged on for this 25th anniversary edition, was in keeping. I read a lot of fantasy so am used to the suspension of disbelief, but this really does veer into the ridiculous. Once again we are treated to weak, whinging women and violent misogyny on the part of the men.
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Format: Paperback
I enjoyed reading this book; it was interesting how she created a link between the past and present using hypnotism. I must admit though that what I liked best was Matilda's story and I would have been happier with less of Jo's story.

I don't know if perhaps it is because I am new to this book and am reading it in the 21st century but I did not like how weak Jo was in the "modern" era. It would have been better if she was a stronger character in the 20th century to compare against Matilda who was stuck in a parochial era of male dominance over women.

Obviously domination of women was rife in the 12th century but I was surprised at how complacent Jo was in the 20th century. She was raped and beaten yet she still continued to seek Nick out! I mean, what the hell?! He should have been thrown in prison at the very least! Regardless if it "wasn't really him" (a week position if you ask me considering he beat and raped Jo without being hypnotised which was very odd).

Also Judy seemed to think nothing of Nick slapping her across the face because she shouted at him; she should have chucked him out and never seen him again, not then let him stroke her cheek as if he was sorry! Was this normal in the 1980s?! My mum was born in the 1940s and she has read the book too and said that she would have chucked out any man that treated her that way. It is very strange considering how the author set up Jo as a strong and confident career woman.

Despite this being written by a female author it seems to advocate a lot of violence against women in the 20th century, which I found very uncomfortable. I also didn't like how evil Sam became when it was set up in the prologue that he was a nice guy looking out for a young girl. It didn't really sit very well with me.
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