Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Door in the Hedge by Robin Mckinley

From the master storyteller of the award winning book "The Hero and the Crown", comes a collection of fairy tales which spin a web of magic and mystery around beautiful princesses and their kingdoms.

Here you will discover Princess Linadel whose country is at the very edge of the fairylands. On the eve of her seventeenth birthday she is stolen away from her home and finds she has a difficult choice to make. Princess Rana, courted by the evil prince Aliyander, must save herself and her kingdom with the help of a frog she finds when dropping an enchanted necklace into a pool of water. Meet Princess Korah, who must find the courage to lose everything to save her brother and the one he loves when she encounters the Gold Hind. And follow the twelve princesses who wear out their shoes with dancing each night. Will the soldier be able to see the evil in the beauty that surrounds him so he can bring their secret to light?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

William's Wife by Jean Plaidy

As someone who loves history, I was happy to find a novel by Jean Plaidy that was a fictionalized account of the lives of William and Mary who ruled England a little more than three hundred years ago. The book is well written and, through later research, I found the names and positions of all the key characters are accurate to history. Women’s rights and women’s attitudes have changed a lot in three hundred years. You would have trouble finding a woman today who would make the same life choices made by Queen Mary, II.

Mary and William married for foreign policy reasons and she was repulsed by the man twelve years older than her 15 years of age. She did, however, come to love him and his country, Holland, though she was very homesick for England. William, on the other hand, was cold and indifferent toward his wife their entire marriage. Mary’s lady-in-waiting, Elizabeth Villiers was William’s mistress, which made life difficult for Mary, who had to face the woman regularly at court. Mary never confronted William about Elizabeth. Her self-imposed subservience to her husband lead her to allow him to be king when she could have left him as prince consort and ruled solely as Queen of England. I kept waiting for her to finally stand up to him or at least win the battle over the mistress, but she seemed to cling to the belief that he would love her if she let him have his way. Maybe I am too modern to enjoy a story of someone who’s world and values seem so archaic, but “William’s Wife” left me frustrated.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass Aged 37 3/4

Saturday, December 14th.

Feel led to keep a diary. A sort of spiritual log for the benefit of others in the future. Each new divine insight and experience will shine like a beacon in the darkness! Can't think of anything to put in today. Still, tomorrow's Sunday. Must be something on a Sunday, surely?

So begins this funny, simple hearted piece of Christian literature. You will meet Anne, Adrian’s long suffering wife. Gerald, his son, who has a strange sense of humor and a fondness for anagrams. From coping with the roguish Uncle Ralph to the overly devout Flushpools, follow Adrian’s diary through the ups and downs of his life as he seeks to be a Christian in the world.

Adrian Plass will have you weeping with laughter, cringing with pain at the crazy, ridiculous things that people do and worry about but would never admit to anyone, not even themselves.

This book is serious laugh-out-loud comedy. Shamefully the Jefferson County Libraries do not own a copy, but you are welcome to borrow mine!