Friday, May 21, 2010

Book Review: The Brothers of Gwynedd by Edith Pargeter

Danielle at Sourcebooks has come up with something that I love-a book club. The book club is made up of bloggers that will all read the same book and post reviews of it over the summer. The book selection was originally published in the 1970's as four separate novels and is now being republished as one novel broken up into four sections. The book club will read one section each month over the summer and post on their blogs what they thought of it. May is the first month for postings, so be sure to check back throughout the summer for each part. My review of part two will be posted on June 25 and be sure to check below after my review of part one to see the other participating blogs to get different perspectives on this book club selection.

Synopsis from the back cover of the book:
A Burning Desire For One Country, One Love, and One Legacy That Will Last Forever. Llewelyn, prince of Gwynedd, dreams of a Wales united against the English. But first he must combat enemies nearer home. His brothers vie with him for power among themselves, and their infighting threatens the very soil of their fathers. David, brought up in the English court of King Henry III and torn between two loyalties, may be Llewelyn's most dangerous foe-especially since Llewelyn has no sons. Simon de Montfort promises his daughter to Llewelyn, but the quest to give Wales an heir may not be enough to prevent tragedy for the country and the prince.

My review:
The book starts out with Samson, who has named himself the chronicler of Lord Llewlyn, setting the stage for what will take place throughout the entire book. I must say I was captured by the first paragraph and it tempted me to want more. In fact, I would like to share the first paragraph here.

"My name is Samson. I tell what I know, what I have seen with my own eyes and heard with my own ears. And if it should come to pass that I must tell also what I have not seen, that, too, shall be made plain, and how I came to know it so certainly that I tell it as though I had been present. And I say now that there is no man living has a better right to be my lord's chronicler, for there is none ever knew him better than I, and God He knows there is none, man or woman, ever loved him better."

I felt like I was sitting down next to Samson on the front porch; on a cool spring day and listening to his lifetime of adventures. I admit that the book was difficult at times in trying to keep all the details straight. But have you ever listened to someone tell you a story and they were so excited that you didn't quite catch it all or were confused about the details? That is the impression that I got from the writing in this section-the narrator seems to not be able to wait to let the reader know the story of Lord Llewelyn. I did have to re-read sections to make sure that I got it all but I was still caught up in the story and began to want to read on to find out what will happen. I think that some readers will stop reading this book early on due to the fact of having to pay such close attention to detail, as many read for fun and pleasure and don't want a book to make them work to get the story. Yet there is something there for me and although I did have to work at this one, I think at this point that it is worth the extra effort to read on. I am hoping you don't disappoint me Edith Pargeter!

Check out these blogs that are participating in the summer book club to get their thoughts on the book.

May 17 Reviews
The Burton Review
The Bibliophilic Book Blog
A Reader's Respite
History Undressed
Linda Banche Blog
A Hoyden's Look at Literature
Renee's Reads

May 18 Reviews
Between the Pages
The Broken Teepee
Books and Coffee
Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell
Tanzanite's Shelf and Stuff
Passages to the Past
The Book Faery
A Girl Walks Into a Bookstore
Martha's Bookshelf

May 19 Reviews
Beth Fish
Deb's Book Bag
Book Tumbling
A Work in Progress
Stiletto Storytime
Queen of Happy Endings

May 20 Reviews
The Literate Housewife
Reading Adventures
Books Like Breathing
Kailana's Written World
Confessions of a Muse in the Fog
Wendy's Minding Spot
Mrs. Q Book Addict
The Life and Lies of a Flying Inanimate Object
Starting Fresh

May 21 Reviews
Loving Heart Mommy
Peeking Between the Pages
Celtic Lady's Ramblings
One Literature Nut
The Book Tree
My Reading Room

May 23 Reviews
Carla Nayland's Blog

No comments:

Post a Comment