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Jules Asch

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When We Were Sisters
When We Were Sisters
by Beth Miller
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful from start to finish, 28 Jun. 2016
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This review is from: When We Were Sisters (Paperback)
This is an absolutely gorgeous, funny, compelling book, I was so drawn in that I read it in one day, I just could not stop turning the pages! The characters are beautifully observed and instantly recognisable as people any of us have met in our own lives, and if you were a girl in the late 70's/80's this will definitely bring back memories. The story explores the relationships between friends, families, step families and the terrible effects of secrets and betrayal. The story is told from two viewpoints, that of best friends and step sisters Melissa and Laura, I liked both main characters immensely in spite of their character flaws and also very much like the way the story is structured alternating between the girls' childhood and the present day when they are in their late 30's, each girls voice remains distinctive and it is interesting to see their different perspectives on the same defining events in this way. It is also an interesting investigation of the difference between how children and adults experience the same events. Altogether it is a charming and absorbing story which will keep you intrigued as to if and how everything will be resolved to the very end.

The Real Middle-Earth: Magic and Mystery in the Dark Ages
The Real Middle-Earth: Magic and Mystery in the Dark Ages
by Brian Bates
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.08

21 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accurate history, awesome concept!, 2 Aug. 2006
This is a wonderful, thought-provoking book that will not only open your mind to a new way of seeing the world but also fill it with a huge amount of knowledge! The author has a delightful style that manages to convey so much information in such an easily digestible, unpretentious and evocative way in a book that is beautifully crafted, with rich descriptions that bring the Dark Ages and ancient Pagan practices to life. The references to Tolkien make an excellent device for weaving the concept of our need for a return to the more imaginative ways of our ancestors with factual historical detail throughout the book.

Whether your primary interest is in Anglo-Saxon history, Norse mythology or in ancient pagan practice, each chapter is a feast of information and ideas which keep the reader enthralled and learning right to the last page.

I find it somewhat bizarre that previous reviewers question the historical accuracy of this book. Aside from the vast (and very well laid out) bibliography which should give some idea of the awesome amount of research that went in to this, I suggest anyone in doubt should refer to the very first page of the book which has the following quote from Professor Ronald Hutton:

`This is the only book I have ever read that manages literally to evoke the magic of Anglo-Saxon England, rooting the medieval texts firmly in a landscape, a people and a sense of experience. It situates the English in one corner of a vast enchanted world'

If you are in any doubt as to Professor Hutton's authority on these matters then I suggest you try google and see for yourself.

The fact that those querying the accuracy of this book have over-looked the endorsement of one of this country's leading authorities on ancient paganism and magic casts some doubt over their own `expertise' in this field.

I was looking for an engaging and ultimately authoritative read on this period in our history with particular reference to Paganism and spirituality, which is exactly what Bates delivers in spades. No need to take my word for it, but Professor Hutton's might be worth considering!
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 26, 2011 3:53 AM GMT

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