Have any of you found that reading books written by authors you aren’t familiar with but recommended by others can be a bit of a hit and miss affair. This year going on what I’ve read on ‘book blogs’ I’ve been trying out some ‘new to me authors’ and recently discovered Pamela Hartshorne who is described as an historian as well as a novelist.
Her novel ‘The ‘Memory of Midnight’ was on display at the library, the name rang a bell so home it came. Set in York both in modern times as well as Elizabethan I wondered how the characters mentioned in the book blurb would be linked.
Book Blurb:- One hot day in Elizabethan York, young Nell Appleby is trapped in a wooden chest, and a horror of the stifling dark — and of the man who trapped her – dogs her for the rest of her life. Wed to the sadistic Ralph Maskewe, Nell must find joy where she can, until the return of her childhood sweetheart offers a chance of flight to the New World. Will Nell risk all to escape the dark at last? Four and a half centuries later, Tess and her small son Oscar move to York. Eager to start a new life, away from her overbearing and manipulative husband, Martin, Tess tries to put her marriage behind her.
Well it turned out the author used Time Slip – sort of like time travel but having the two different characters move from one era to another and have similar experiences to each other. Well at least I think that’s how its meant to be.
The book was readable even if I thought it a bit unlikely. I thought it was a book for those who like to escape – just like the characters in the book.
Then the day I returned it I notice her earlier novel Time’s Echo so not even looking at the back page blurb and hoping it was different brought it home. (Oh how easily led am I lol) I suppose if an author thinks they are on to a good thing they’ll stick with it – and thats what happened here. Not quite the same plot but similar circumstances.
Book blurb:- York , 1577: Hawise Aske smiles at a stranger in the market, and sets in train a story of obsession and sibling jealousy, of love and hate and warped desire. Drowned as a witch, Hawise pays a high price for that smile, but for a girl like her in Elizabethan York, there is nowhere to go and nowhere to hide. Four and a half centuries later, Grace Trewe, who has travelled the world, is trying to outrun the memories of being caught up in the Boxing Day tsunami. Her stay in York is meant to be a brief one. But in York Grace discovers that time can twist and turn in ways she never imagined
I did become engrossed in the storyline and given I didn’t give up on it when I realised it was written in the same style I will say it was not quite my cup of tea.
Pamela Hartshorne talks here on the appeal of the Time Slip genre
Lower down in this Wikipedia article there are supposedly true cases of time slip instances.
12 thoughts on “Recent reads……..”
Someone suggested ‘Outlander’ by Diana Gabaldon and lent me a copy…it was the most unadulterated balderdash and I thrust it from me. But apparently it is now a series and sells like hotcakes…I am clearly out of synch with my time.
Same here Helen, mind you I’m not even sure what ‘my time’ is these days. I’ll try anything once but if I know or have an idea it’s ‘weird’ sadly I won’t even look at it. Bit like music I suppose
Not aware of this time slip genre – there are so many different genres now. I’ve tried highly unlikely stories, and it never felt comfortable. It’s so difficult keeping up with what’s “in” – I just read what I can find that I like. Even my favorite author did seem to beat the same idea with a stick. Not a fan of series books – this said after I wrote my own – sorry, should have been one big fat book. I’m still reading Guy De Maupassant…
I think you did well to even attempt the writing you did – nothing ventured nothing gained etc etc . Will put Guy’s name on my try list for next year
There is very little I won’t read – once. And yes, I have been led a very long way down some garden paths this year. There have been some winners, a few failures and rather a lot of middle of the road dullness.
Sounds like my reading for this past year EC – except if I have an inkling I won’t like it I’m likely to not even try it.
Anything seems to go these days and sometimes the more unlikely, the better. I like a book that’s well written and a plot that I can follow easily without getting lost. Thank you for the two recommendations.
Maybe it’s just us getting older and having the idea times too precious to waste on things we won’t enjoy. Or too chicken to get out of our comfort zone lol
Plots and characters can be strange – like you did recently I had one where I had to make a note of the large cast and who they were ‘related’ to
This is the post I wrote when the ‘too many characters’ problem arose from a book I read https://cranethie.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/can-there-be-too-many-characters-in-a-book/
Ah ha! So you’ve had just the same problem Cathy. When I wrote my book, I started by publishing a chapter at a time for review. I then had to assume that people who read chapter number 10 may not have read chap, no, 1. Therefore I explained who the characters were each time e.g Mrs Smithers, the school secretary etc. etc. however that can annoy th people who read it all through and had become familiar with the characters one by one. Maybe the best way is to introduce the characters one at a time, maybe two per chapter ot to make a list, like we did recently.
Thanks for sharing!
I like your honest review. What is wonderful to some, is not-so-great to others, and that includes books. An honest reviewer gives the bad with the good. When I read what this book was about, I became interested. I love escapism mingled with well-researched history and some fantasy thrown in. But I didn’t hear enthusiasm from you for the WRITING. If the writing is good, I can go along with the genre, whether romance or high literary, sci fi or realism.
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