Top critical review
6 people found this helpful
Good Light Reading Material
on 24 May 2014
This book follows the adventure of a modern antiques dealer/hunter who is transported back in time 900 years and is forced into marriage with a man who clearly hates her. I don't want to spoil it for anyone by mentioning what happens, but I thought the story was entertaining, although perhaps a little thin. (I skipped a few pages, I must admit.)
I read the majority of this book in one day, so it's quite an easy read. There were lots of spelling and punctuation mistakes, and there were also lots of grammatical errors, as well as a tendency to accidentally use the wrong word, which would have been easily avoided if the author had used a dictionary.
There were also lots of historical inaccuracies too. At one point the heroine is seen having a "companionable cup of tea" with her maid. They didn't drink tea in England, in 1102, because tea didn't arrive in England until 1662. It was an unlikely scenario anyway as maids, being servants, were subordinate to ladies of the house and would certainly never be invited to sit down to tea with their superiors.
Additionally, how the heroine and her husband, who was Norman (and so presumably spoke Norman French), were able to communicate, was never explained. It says that she speaks English and understands Old English, which is an interesting concept, given that Old English is a term given to many different dialects of early English and not just one language. The different dialects weren't always mutually intelligible. Someone from Cumbria would probably have spoken quite different English from someone who hailed from Sussex, for example.
The heroine's maid and the maid's mother were described as Welsh. How they were able to speak English and Norman is also never revealed. Furthermore, how the maid came to work for a Norman family is never explained, which is strange, given that the Normans were almost constantly at war with the Welsh during this period.
Americanisms crept into the text with annoying frequency, with words like 'pants' (to mean trousers) appearing. Normans didn't wear trousers as such, so another inaccuracy. American spellings also featured, which I found rather irritating, given that this was a historical tale, set in medieval England. Simply Googling a lot of this stuff would have been a quick and relatively painless way of avoiding many of the errors present.
I really don't want to seem overly critical, because ultimately I enjoyed the book and I thought the premise was an interesting one. I found the heroine genuinely likeable, although at times, I thought her restraint was a bit silly. My only intention in detailing the minus points above, is to give people some idea of the type of thing they can expect: a good, light, entertaining read, but not a serious historical novel. The story itself, particularly in the middle of the book, is a little thin, as I mentioned, but I do think this would be a good beach read, if you enjoy light historical romance stories.