Looking for some Family Saga? Check below for reviews of items that are available in our collections to borrow.
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‘Three Sisters, Three Queens’
by Philippa Gregory
"This book isn't really the stories of three Queens, but instead focuses on the life of Margaret Tudor and her consuming jealousy of her sister Mary and sister in law Katherine of Aragon. This is unfortunate as it would be difficult to find a less sympathetic heroine than Margaret. It's hard, being so far removed, to understand the all-encompassing sense of entitlement that came with being a Tudor princess, and while I did try to suspend modern ideas of monarchy while reading this book, I found that I was developing a deep rooted and increasingly militant case of republicanism as it progressed. Two stars."
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‘This Must Be the Place’
by Maggie O'Farrell
"I have often thought of Maggie O'Farrell's writing as surprisingly original. Surprising in that the words she uses are so carefully and exactly chosen, placed just where they need to be without feeling self-conscious. Surprising in that the way she describes landscapes and people are so vivid, so perfectly conjured that it is like learning a word in another language that expresses an instantly recognisable feeling you have no word for and leaves you wondering that something so common could have been overlooked, that it could feel so original and obvious at once. Surprising in that almost every character who makes an appearance slots into fully realised view, one by one, leaving disconcerting questions about why the two or three who were never given a say or chance to defend themselves were left out of such a deliberately crafted narrative. The main criticism of this book is that the main crises of the protagonist life are used as a means to examine the conflict in his relationships, which is what O'Farrell does best, but it leaves the events themselves feeling a little rushed over and anaemic. It is how they make him feel and his response to them that matters, they have little dramatic tension and weight in their own right, seeming off kilter given the inherent drama of the events themselves.
"This is a compelling read, but take some time over it, it requires some pause for thought."