Publisher: Penguin Audio

Short & Sweet (Celebrity Memoirs) – Talking as Fast as I Can, The Princess Diarist, Seriously… I’m Kidding

March 3, 2017 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2017, Short & Sweet Reviews 3 Comments

Short & Sweet (Celebrity Memoirs) – Talking as Fast as I Can, The Princess Diarist, Seriously… I’m KiddingTalking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between by Lauren Graham
Published by Ballantine Books on November 29th 2016
Pages: 224
Genres: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Format: Hardcover
Source: Gifted
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three-stars

In this collection of personal essays, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood reveals stories about life, love, and working as a woman in Hollywood—along with behind-the-scenes dispatches from the set of the new Gilmore Girls, where she plays the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore once again.

In Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham hits pause for a moment and looks back on her life, sharing laugh-out-loud stories about growing up, starting out as an actress, and, years later, sitting in her trailer on the Parenthood set and asking herself, “Did you, um, make it?” She opens up about the challenges of being single in Hollywood (“Strangers were worried about me; that’s how long I was single!”), the time she was asked to audition her butt for a role, and her experience being a judge on Project Runway (“It’s like I had a fashion-induced blackout”).

In “What It Was Like, Part One,” Graham sits down for an epic Gilmore Girls marathon and reflects on being cast as the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore. The essay “What It Was Like, Part Two” reveals how it felt to pick up the role again nine years later, and what doing so has meant to her.

Some more things you will learn about Lauren: She once tried to go vegan just to bond with Ellen DeGeneres, she’s aware that meeting guys at awards shows has its pitfalls (“If you’re meeting someone for the first time after three hours of hair, makeup, and styling, you’ve already set the bar too high”), and she’s a card-carrying REI shopper (“My bungee cords now earn points!”).

Including photos and excerpts from the diary Graham kept during the filming of the recent Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, this book is like a cozy night in, catching up with your best friend, laughing and swapping stories, and—of course—talking as fast as you can.

“Life doesn’t often spell things out for you or give you what you want exactly when you want it, otherwise it wouldn’t be called life, it would be called a vending machine.”

My lovely friend got me this for Christmas but I waited to pick it up because I had heard that there were mild spoilers from the new season of Gilmore Girls. And then I finally watched the first episode. And I didn’t like it.

BLASPHEMY. I know, I know. I’m just as distraught as you. There was just something terribly forced about Lorelai’s sense of humor this go around and Rory’s poor boyfriend Paul View Spoiler » that she literally keeps overlooking (like when she leaves the diner completely forgetting that he had just gone to the bathroom real quick?) It’s a running joke that she’s been meaning to break up with him but she just keeps forgetting. Good grief, that’s not funny, that’s just wretched.

I understand this is supposed to be a review of the book, not the show, it’s just my opinion of the show definitely tarnishes my thoughts on the book because this is all about her glorious reprisal to the role of Lorelai Gilmore. She discusses in depth just how wonderful it was to be back in Stars Hollow alongside everyone once again and I wanted to happily reminiscence with her but I’m still full of self-loathing that I couldn’t love the new season.

Discussions related to Gilmore Girls took up the vast majority of this short book, but as indicated by the sub-title ‘From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between‘ Graham included various other anecdotes about her childhood and other assorted roles that make up her career. The non-Gilmore Girls additions left the story feeling slightly uneven and I almost felt this would have been best left as a long recollection of all things Gilmore Girls. In retrospect, I also felt that her recollections from the original seasons were a bit sloppy. She didn’t keep a journal of this time in her life, which is fine, but she describes how she sat down to actually watch the original seasons (for the first time ever) and took a bunch of notes when things jogged her memory. The more I discuss, the more it seems I didn’t like anything about this book, but that’s not exactly true because even if Lorelai didn’t possess much in the way of humor, Graham’s humor shines through even on page. And there’s always the original seasons for me to fondly remember.

Short & Sweet (Celebrity Memoirs) – Talking as Fast as I Can, The Princess Diarist, Seriously… I’m KiddingThe Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
Narrator: Carrie Fisher, Billie Lourd
Published by Penguin Audio on November 22nd 2016
Length: 5 hrs and 10 mins
Genres: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
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four-stars

The Princess Diarist is Carrie Fisher’s intimate, hilarious and revealing recollection of what happened behind the scenes on one of the most famous film sets of all time, the first Star Wars movie. Named a PEOPLE Magazine Best Book of Fall 2016.

When Carrie Fisher recently discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she was astonished to see what they had preserved—plaintive love poems, unbridled musings with youthful naiveté, and a vulnerability that she barely recognized. Today, her fame as an author, actress, and pop-culture icon is indisputable, but in 1977, Carrie Fisher was just a teenager with an all-consuming crush on her costar, Harrison Ford.

With these excerpts from her handwritten notebooks, The Princess Diarist is Fisher’s intimate and revealing recollection of what happened on one of the most famous film sets of all time—and what developed behind the scenes. And today, as she reprises her most iconic role for the latest Star Wars trilogy, Fisher also ponders the joys and insanity of celebrity, and the absurdity of a life spawned by Hollywood royalty, only to be surpassed by her own outer-space royalty. Laugh-out-loud hilarious and endlessly quotable, The Princess Diarist brims with the candor and introspection of a diary while offering shrewd insight into the type of stardom that few will ever experience.

“I liked being Princess Leia. Or Princess Leia’s being me. Over time I thought that we’d melded into one. I don’t think you could think of Leia without my lurking in that thought somewhere.”

Carrie Fisher played the role of Princess Leia at just nineteen years old and it went on to define her entire life. The diary that she kept at this age is retold in snippets (narrated by her daughter, Billie Lourd) and showcases her delightful way with words. It feels invasive to be shown this time of her life, while her affair with Harrison Ford was going on, and it’s effortless to understand the intense adolescent love that she had for him. The Princess Diarist even goes beyond the retold tales of Fisher’s time on the Star Wars set and sets out to describe just how much playing Princess Leia came to be a part of her own personal identity. She describes how jarring stepping into the limelight was for her despite her belief that it was something she understood already, having grown up the daughter of Debbie Reynolds.

“The crew was mostly men. That’s how it was and that’s pretty much how it still is. It’s a man’s world & show business is a man’s meal with women generously sprinkled through it like over-qualified spice.”

Fisher was always outspoken about the mental health and addiction problems that she dealt with for most of her life but The Princess Diarist doesn’t delve into that aspect of her as much. Nonetheless, this was an unexpectedly emotional read for me even though I was a fan of Fisher’s.  She would make occasional references to when she passes as well as a mention of how her obituary would look like (with a picture of her as Princess Leia complete with buns) and it was a bit of a punch to the gut. Her sardonic sense of humor lightened the heartbreak but it was clear that Fisher believed she still had a lot of life to live. Listening to her raspy voice tell her final story was a treat and I can only hope that she got to say all that she wanted in the time she was given.

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Short & Sweet (Celebrity Memoirs) – Talking as Fast as I Can, The Princess Diarist, Seriously… I’m KiddingSeriously...I'm Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres
Narrator: Ellen DeGeneres
Published by Hachette Audio on October 4th, 2011
Length: 3 hours and 7 minutes
Genres: Non-Fiction, Memoir, Funny-ha-ha
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
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four-stars

I've experienced a whole lot the last few years and I have a lot to share. So I hope that you'll take a moment to sit back, relax and enjoy the words I've put together for you in this book. I think you'll find I've left no stone unturned, no door unopened, no window unbroken, no rug unvacuumed, no ivories untickled. What I'm saying is, let us begin, shall we?


“So be who you really are. Embrace who you are. Literally. Hug yourself. Accept who you are. Unless you’re a serial killer.”

I was having a pretty bad day when I started this. There was a lot of driving involved that I wasn’t looking forward to and an unexpected blizzard to boot. I always like a good audiobook to keep me company I just didn’t think anything was going to be able to get me out of the funk I was in — but I underestimated Ellen.

I’m Kidding…Seriously aims at being a light-hearted advice manual with the main goal of just making you smile. She takes digs at her fellow celebrities and their hilarious lifestyles but becomes quickly somber when discussing the importance of being true to yourself and accepting who you are as a person. This isn’t your typical inspirational celebrity memoir on how to make it big in Hollywood but rather reads like an internal monologue with the author herself. If you’re an audiobook lover, do yourself a favor and listen to this one because Ellen’s tone and delivery make this all the more enjoyable an experience. If you’re a fan of her stand-up comedy routines, you’ll find much to laugh about in this. I know I did.

‘I feel bad for people December birthdays […] It’s not fair and I have a message for parents out there. Don’t do that to your kids. Plan your love. I’m not great at baby math, so I’m just gonna say in the early part of the year, maybe January until March, stay away from each other. It’s not gonna be easy. Those are winter months and you’re going to want to stay warm. But unfortunately one of you is going to have to sleep in a tent in the backyard.’

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Audiobook Review – The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

March 17, 2016 Bonnie Adult, Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Read in 2016 4 Comments

Audiobook Review – The Girl on the Train by Paula HawkinsThe Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Narrator: Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
Published by Penguin Audio on January 13th 2015
Length: 10 hours and 59 minutes
Genres: Mystery
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
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four-stars

A debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people’s lives.

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

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“They’re what I lost, they’re everything I want to be.”

Rachel Watson takes the train each day to London and each day she is reminded of her failed marriage. The train rides past her old house she shared with her ex-husband Tom, where him and his new wife Anna live with their new baby. A few doors door from her old house are a couple that Rachel has developed a mild fascination with, whom she names Jess and Jason. They’re the type of couple that her and Tom never were, seemingly perfect; at least they appear that way from the window of the train. Until the day that Rachel witnesses something that changes her whole perception of them and subsequently plunges her into a dreadful mystery.

“There’s something comforting about the sight of strangers safe at home.”

If you’re like me, you tend to stay far from the massively hyped stuff, or at least you put it on the back burner until it has died down a bit. The Girl on the Train came out early last year and in the aftermath has become the go-to comparison (in addition to Gone Girl) for any and all mystery novels being released these days. But honestly? This was superb. There’s nothing I love more than a book with an unreliable narrator and this story has three. Rachel is the bitter ex-wife with a nasty drinking problem who is prone to blacking out and having zero recollection of anything that occurred. Anna is the new wife and is blinded by her hatred of Rachel for her constant interference in her and Tom’s life. Megan is the unhappy housewife who is shrouded completely by her mysterious past. This story is far from your typical family drama mystery and is chock full of secret after secret that constantly kept me guessing.

“I am no longer just a girl on the train, going back and forth without point or purpose.”

The Girl on the Train is at first slightly complex and perplexing, however, once it gets its hooks in you the intriguing mystery possesses a palpable sense of dread that will keep you riveted until the shocking end.

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Audiobook Review – Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2) by Deborah Harkness

September 6, 2014 Bonnie Adult, Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Read in 2014 1 Comment

Audiobook Review – Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2) by Deborah HarknessShadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
Narrator: Jennifer Ikeda
Series: All Souls Trilogy #2
Published by Penguin Audio on July 10th 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Occult & Supernatural
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
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Also by this author: The Book of Life

two-half-stars

"Together we lifted our feet and stepped into the unknown"—the thrilling sequel to the New York Times bestseller A Discovery of Witches

Deborah Harkness exploded onto the literary scene with her debut novel, A Discovery of Witches, Book One of the magical All Souls Trilogy and an international publishing phenomenon. The novel introduced Diana Bishop, Oxford scholar and reluctant witch, and the handsome geneticist and vampire Matthew Clairmont; together they found themselves at the center of a supernatural battle over an enchanted manuscript known as Ashmole 782.

Now, picking up from A Discovery of Witches’ cliffhanger ending, Shadow of Night plunges Diana and Matthew into Elizabethan London, a world of spies, subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew’s old friends, the mysterious School of Night that includes Christopher Marlowe and Walter Raleigh. Here, Diana must locate a witch to tutor her in magic, Matthew is forced to confront a past he thought he had put to rest, and the mystery of Ashmole 782 deepens.

Deborah Harkness has crafted a gripping journey through a world of alchemy, time travel, and magical discoveries, delivering one of the most hotly anticipated novels of the season.

All Souls Trilogy

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A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) {Purchase}

Shadow of Night picks up immediately after A Discovery of Witches ends (and I do mean immediately with little to no refresher. This was my second attempt at reading and I attribute my success at completing it solely because of this recap I found online which was an immense help.) with Matthew and Diana traveling back into the past to search for Ashmole 782 and to seek Diana help with her powers. For those that don’t remember: Ashmole 782: the bewitched alchemical manuscript that Diana found in Oxford’s Bodleian library. After the local witches, daemons, and vampires begin targeting Diana in order to find out how an unskilled witch was able to obtain the manuscript that they believe contains important information about the creation and future of all supernatural creatures.

Considering the fact that I loved A Discovery of Witches I was beyond ecstatic when I snagged an ARC copy of Shadow of Night. Diving into it right away in hopes to devour it whole I realized immediately that that’s not how this was going to work. Positively rife with historical detail regarding the Elizabethan era and historical figures as well (Christopher Marlowe, Sir Walter Raleigh, John Dee, William Shakespeare and of course Queen Elizabeth I), this is one that will take some time to get through not just because of the amount of pages. The historical tidbits were interesting but I felt they lacked any sort of purpose and ultimately overpowered the true story making it much denser and longer than it should have been. The name dropping, while interesting, caused a bit of an eye-roll for me because did Matthew not have a single uncool friend that failed to make it into the history books? Apparently not. I can appreciate the obvious extent of the research the author conducted but including every interesting person from the time period felt a little like ‘everything but the kitchen sink’  and should have been scaled back a little to focus more on Matthew and Diana.

Shadow of Night definitely had a case of middle book syndrome. Add to that there’s a real non-ending that will likely cause some grumbles. There was progress in the storyline but mostly things of little consequence. My favorite aspects by far were the slight glimpses of the present day and how Matthew and Diana’s actions were inevitably changing the future. It was extremely interesting but those passages were so few and far between that I kept hoping for more. The evolution of Diana’s powers was the most fascinating. Going back in time only resulted in throwing them into chaos and the slight control she did have over them dissipated but discovering the full extent of her powers was truly shocking.

Shadow of Night was definitely my least favorite of the trilogy so far but I’m looking forward to some resolution and seeing how everything turns out. I plan on picking up The Book of Life soon in case Harkness continues her non-recap trend.

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Classic Curiosity – Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

July 5, 2014 Bonnie Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Classic Curiosity, Read in 2014 1 Comment

Classic Curiosity – Of Mice and Men by John SteinbeckOf Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Narrator: Gary Sinise
Published by Penguin Audio on 1937
Length: 3 hrs and 11 mins
Genres: Classics
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
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four-stars

Nobel Prize winning author John Steinbeck, one of the greatest American writers of the twentieth century, offers a powerful but tragic tale in "Of Mice and Men". 'Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don't belong no place'. George and his large, simple-minded friend Lennie are drifters, following wherever work leads them. Arriving in California's Salinas Valley, they get work on a ranch. If they can just stay out of trouble, George promises Lennie, then one day they might be able to get some land of their own and settle down some place. But kind-hearted, childlike Lennie is a victim of his own strength. Seen by others as a threat, he finds it impossible to control his emotions. And one day not even George will be able to save him from trouble. "Of Mice and Men" is a tragic and moving story of friendship, loneliness and the dispossessed. "A thriller, a gripping tale that you will not set down until it is finished. Steinbeck has touched the quick". ("New York Times"). Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck is remembered as one of the greatest and best-loved American writers of the twentieth century. His complete works are published by Penguin and include "Cannery Row", "The Pearl", "The Winter of Our Discontent" and "The Grapes of Wrath".

“We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us. We don’t have to sit in no bar room blowin’ in our jack jus’ because we got no place else to go. […] But not us.”
Lennie broke in. “But not us! An’ why? Because… because I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you, and that’s why.”

Of Mice and Men is the prominent classic set during the Great Depression about the friendship between two men, George and Lennie. Lennie has a big heart but doesn’t possess the mind of a mature adult and after an incident in the last town they lived in where he was accused of rape after touching a woman’s dress, the two have to travel to find new work.

George and Lennie share big dreams of one day owning their own land and from the very beginning the reader is painted a despairing picture despite their constant optimism. It’s a simplistic and saddening story of day-to-day survival; of individuals forever hoping to achieve their unattainable dreams. The novel, published in 1937, showcases the mindset and struggles of people during this period in history. It explores in depth yet with few pages how the Great Depression affected society and also the prejudices, sexism and rampant racism. The end of George and Lennie’s story brings a loss of hope, a loss of purpose and an abandoning of dreams that is nothing short of a tragedy.

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Audiobook Review – Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson

February 13, 2014 Bonnie Adult, Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Read in 2014 9 Comments

Audiobook Review – Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny LawsonLet's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson
Published by Penguin Audio on April 17th 2012
Length: 8 hours and 41 minutes
Genres: Funny-ha-ha, Memoir, Non-Fiction
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Amazon
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five-stars

Internet star Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, makes her literary debut, and narrates this audio version.

Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives - the ones we'd like to pretend never happened - are in fact the ones that define us. In Let's Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor.

Chapters include: "Stanley the Magical, Talking Squirrel", "A Series of Angry Post-It Notes to My Husband", "My Vagina Is Fine. Thanks for Asking", and "And Then I Snuck a Dead Cuban Alligator on an Airplane".

“I told my boss that I had a book inside of me, and that I needed to get it out even if I had to squeeze it through my vagina. Because that’s exactly what the world needs. A book squeezed from my vagina.”

Jenny Lawson, also known as The Bloggess, is an internet sensation that I only recently became aware of. I’m not quite sure how I survived in life without her hilarious stories to be quite honest. I guess it should be mentioned for those with delicate sensibilities that Jenny cusses a lot, but considering you’re visiting my blog I would expect you’re used to that from me by now.

This book is absolutely fucking hilarious but it’s that type of funny that is only funny when it doesn’t happen to you. Like when Jenny talks about that time she walks into a deer carcass. Or when her dad brought home a talking squirrel only to find it was actually a squirrel puppet and her dads hand was shoved up inside its dead body. Or when Jenny brought home her future in-laws to meet her folks and her dad was out back boiling animal skulls. Or when she practically overdosed on laxatives and a burglar was shoving notes to her from under the bathroom door except it ended up being her cat. (I literally almost fell off the treadmill at the gym laughing at that scene. People were looking at me with serious concern.) But seriously. What horrible things to have to live through. But since I didn’t they were some of the funniest fucking things I have ever heard.

“Oh my God, calm down, Darwin. Don’t get all crazy just ’cause I threw a vampire monkey wrench in your faulty Jesus-zombie logic.”

All of the back and forth verbal sparring between Jenny and Victor was the absolute freaking best but I could go on and on with my favorite scenes. So what the fuck, I will! Like when she asked the nurse if they could make her cesarean scar the shape of a lightning bolt so whenever she had menstrual cramps she could pretend Voldemort was close. Or when she purchased a giant metal chicken (named it Beyonce), put it in front of her front door, rang the doorbell and ran so that she could scare her husband. You cannot make up funnier shit.

“It’s an anniversary gift for you, asshole. Two whole weeks early. FIFTEEN YEARS IS BIG METAL CHICKENS.”

This is a book made for the sole purpose of enjoyment. Because you will laugh, I guaran-fucking-tee it. But the bottom line is this book only goes to show that those crazy moments in life are the character building moments that make us who we are, for better or worse, so you might as well embrace it.

If I’ve (hopefully) convinced any of you to read this, I’ll let you know right now that you absolutely MUST listen to the audio. You’re totally missing out if you don’t. The sound effects were the freaking best and I can’t imagine reading this book without them. There was the cocking shotguns, the crazy clucking chickens and Jenny’s singing introductions and an odd assortment of other sound effects that had me non-stop rolling with laughter. Whenever I finish an audiobook I immediately delete it from my phone and move right on to the next one. But this one stayed put because whenever I’m in need of a gut-busting laugh I’ll always have this on hand to get the job done.

“In short? It is exhausting being me. Pretending to be normal is draining and requires amazing amounts of energy and Xanax.”

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Audiobook Review – Shadow on the Crown by Patricia Bracewell

May 9, 2013 Bonnie Adult, Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Read in 2013 2 Comments

I received this book free from Edelweiss, Library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Audiobook Review – Shadow on the Crown by Patricia BracewellShadow on the Crown by Patricia Bracewell
Published by Penguin Audio on February 7th 2013
Length: 13 hours and 40 minutes
Genres: Historical Fiction
Format: Audiobook
Source: Edelweiss, Library
Amazon
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four-half-stars

A rich tale of power and forbidden love revolving around a young medieval queen

In 1002, fifteen­-year-old Emma of Normandy crosses the Narrow Sea to wed the much older King Athelred of England, whom she meets for the first time at the church door. Thrust into an unfamiliar and treacherous court, with a husband who mistrusts her, stepsons who resent her and a bewitching rival who covets her crown, Emma must defend herself against her enemies and secure her status as queen by bearing a son.

Determined to outmaneuver her adversaries, Emma forges alliances with influential men at court and wins the affection of the English people. But her growing love for a man who is not her husband and the imminent threat of a Viking invasion jeopardize both her crown and her life.

Based on real events recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Shadow on the Crown introduces readers to a fascinating, overlooked period of history and an unforgettable heroine whose quest to find her place in the world will resonate with modern readers.

“You must ever be prepared within yourself to face what trials may lay in store for you. let this be your first lesson: No one else must see you like this, Emma. Do you hear me? However great the provocation you must never allow anyone to see your fear.”

I’m a huge fan of historical fiction novels but to be honest, I don’t branch out enough outside of my comfortable safe-zone known as the Tudor time period. This one caught my eye primarily because it is still set in England, however, it’s in a very, very early England. After this one, I do believe I have learned my lesson and I need to take more chances with my historical fiction picks. Shadow on the Crown was superbly done.

‘Their destinies were like two rivers that flowed ever in the same direction, within sight of each other but never meant to meet, to touch, to join as one.’

What worked incredibly well was the evidence of research that was done in preparation for this novel. The author has stated that Shadow on the Crown is based on real events recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, but it’s evident the author has the ability to take pieces of history and create a truly stirring story. Also, I really appreciated her interpretation of the romances. In most historical fiction novels the romances are portrayed similarly to a historical romance (bodice ripper) and just comes off as corny rather than genuine.

Each character was given their own unique voice and even though they were not a main character their bits in the story still shown. Emma was an amazingly strong character and it was a joy to read (the majority of) this story through her eyes. The POV does occasionally switch up but is not overdone and provides additional and necessary facets of this story.

What truly blows me away about this novel is that it’s a debut novel. The few historical fiction debut novels I’ve read in the past have all read like the author is re-wording their history books. Patricia Bracewell managed to re-tell a piece of history and imbue something vibrant into it. It’s quite obvious that the author is passionate about history and this time period in general but her passion is addicting and made it a true joy to read. Shadow on the Crown does not tell all of Emma’s story so I’m very much looking forward to future books.

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