January 14, 2008
Preface: I have to admit that the uppity snobby bits of my reading psyche are not quick to confess to reading this book. It’s Oprah. It’s shamelessly smutty, it’s 973 pages long and it’s set in medieval England. But still.
I didn’t read this for the descriptive genius (snicker) or the subtle eloquence (hee) of Follett. Nope. I read it because I’m interested in the historical period and the quotidian life of the High Middle Ages. And for that, it was decent.
It reads like a soap opera (though the flip side is that it’s definitely not hard to get through), so don’t expect delicate intricacies or elegant metaphors. You know. It’s for readin’. For enjoyment.
Oh, and it’s trashy. Sometimes I found this gleeful, other times just trying. Sex, gore and cliffhangers. Follett’s day job as a thriller writer is starkly apparent.
And don’t expect any stunning plot twists, really. If you look at the state of things about a quarter of the way through the book, you’ll most likely guess the general way everything comes out.
I’m leaving something out, though: this book is fun to read. It’s a good beach or travel grab, and, even though it’s 973 pages long, it goes by quickly enough. And if you’re as into Medieval European history as I am, you’ll enjoy the well-researched elements of it.
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