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Customer Reviews for

Burning Bright

Average Rating 3.5
( 35 )
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5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(16)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(2)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Must love poetry

This is about William Blake, and young people who live around him. It is very realistic historically, however, I didn't care for the poetry within the story. A very good story though, if you can skip the poetry.

posted by just-a-thot on June 5, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Misses the Mark

Although I am very much a Chevalier fan, this book misses the mark. I couldn't tell what the point of the book was until about three quarters of the way through. And, even at the end, it left me feeling like the entire read was a waste of time. However, I highly reco...
Although I am very much a Chevalier fan, this book misses the mark. I couldn't tell what the point of the book was until about three quarters of the way through. And, even at the end, it left me feeling like the entire read was a waste of time. However, I highly recommend all Chevalier's other books!

posted by BeenToBaliToo on February 6, 2011

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  • Posted February 6, 2011

    Misses the Mark

    Although I am very much a Chevalier fan, this book misses the mark. I couldn't tell what the point of the book was until about three quarters of the way through. And, even at the end, it left me feeling like the entire read was a waste of time. However, I highly recommend all Chevalier's other books!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 5, 2010

    Must love poetry

    This is about William Blake, and young people who live around him. It is very realistic historically, however, I didn't care for the poetry within the story. A very good story though, if you can skip the poetry.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2010

    Queen Elizabeth...

    Elizabeth I (7 September 1533 - 24 March 1603) <>> I havent even read this book yet, was reading reviews trying to decide if I want to read it... when I saw the "Queen Elizabeth I" comment I had to say something... Dont trash a book if you cant even read it... Intelligent comments help people like me decide if they want to read a book... that one single comment about the dates of Queen Elizabeth made me want to read this book all the more...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    NOT TRACY CHEVALIER BEST

    For a writer I truly like, this book was rather dissapointing.
    So the real rating is two and half stars.
    There's something lacking in this book.
    I didn't totally dislike it but didn't like it that much either.
    As for the other reviews, you can notice some praise it and some say it's not a good piece of fiction. Personally, I think it is in between. It has some good things but, all in all, it doesn't satisfy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2008

    Very Disappointed

    After reading Girl with a Pearl Earring, I bough up following novels by Chevalier. Loved them. Did not hesitate to buy Burning Bright without even reviewing it. I am very disappointed in this one. Will not even finish it. Nowhere near the complex, rich stories in former novels. She relies on all the sounds and smells of this old world to give color and atmosphere. However, the story and characters just do not matter. The whole thing seems very amateurish to me. Sorry. Hope Chevalier redeems herself with next novel. Please !

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2007

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book

    I was a bit skeptical reading this book after i read the reviews, but after reading it I loved it. I think it was one of her best novels, she gave life to all the characters and the time frame. I couldn't put it down. It reminded me of my favorite novel by her (Girl with a Pearl Earring), the way she used some part of history as a back drop of the story. This time using a person, William Blake, in Girl with a Pearl Earring using the picture. I recomend any Tracy Chevalier fan to read this, her flawless style comes alive in this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent Read Especially for Chevalier Fans! Of all Tracy Cheva

    Excellent Read Especially for Chevalier Fans!
    Of all Tracy Chevalier's novels this is probably my favorite. The plot, which weaves several very interesting story lines together, follows a smalltown working class family's adjustment to London in the late 18th century. It is filled with adventure and excitement. Each family member has his or her own colorful and unique experiences as well as their own share of pain and transforming life lessons. Romance is a major theme, particularly for the eldest son, Jem, who shares innocent young love with the sassy, spit fire Maggie. As usual, Chevalier provides exquisitely vivid details throughout, and the period was clearly well-researched.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2012

    Good historical fiction

    I am a Tracy Chevalier fan - love her attention to time period detail. This was not my favorite of her works, but it is well-researched.

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  • Posted August 31, 2012

    The cover copy on the book talked about how these children influ

    The cover copy on the book talked about how these children influenced William Blake. He's at best a minor supporting character in the book. Even with that disappointment this title was far less engaging and interesting than her other books like Remarkable Creatures.

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  • Posted May 31, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Touching Read

    I really enjoyed this book and it made me interested in the works of William Blake.

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  • Posted July 18, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Queen Elizabeth I (clarification)

    Queen Elizabeth I ruled as Queen regnant of England and Queen regnant of Ireland from 1558 to 1603. Quenn Elizabeth II is the current Queen of England and has been since 1952; her father reigned as King of Enland before her. I just obtained a copy of Burning Bright and have not yet read it, however, I have enjoyed reading other books by Tracy Chevalier and now I'm curious to see how Queen Elizabeth I figures into 1792 history.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 27, 2009

    Tripe

    This book was without doubt sheer dirge. I hope I am not alone in this evaluation, please some feedback either way. The reason his book is dirge is because of a very thin plot line, silly names for characters and places which left me thinking after reading it...so what? The editing was appalling did it not occur to somebody who rights historical novels to check historical content? Elizabeth I in 1792, no sir! Not until 1953!

    My advice is this book is at best, a bathroom book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    terrific historical fiction

    In 1792 following a tragedy, the Kellaway family leaves their Dorsetshire village Piddletrenthide for London at the encouragement of Philip Astley, owner of Astley¿s Circus. The city seems initially overwhelming compared to where they lived, but the Kellaway brood begins to adapt although they struggle to earn enough to keep food on the table and everyone under one roof. The youngest child Jem quickly makes friends with street urchin Maggie. Together they explore the city and meet the Kellaway next door neighbor renowned radical poet William Blake at a time when the French Revolution has people either frightened that the zealots will cross the Channel or excited about a chance to reform the excesses of the royals and the aristocracy. Meanwhile Blake finds motivation with the adventures of Maggie and Jem in London as he begins to write a coming of age poems, Songs of Innocence and Experience. --- BURNING BRIGHT is a terrific historical fiction that brings to life the expectations and fears of Londoners during the French Revolution. The Kellaway family (especially Jem) and Maggie are fully developed so that the audience obtains a strong sense of how they see things especially the fears that the family will have to break up to survive. Blake is an interesting addition to the mix, but forcing the Songs of Innocence and Experience as being inspired by the preadolescent stars seems unlikely. Still this is a strong look at London knowing Paris is burning. --- Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2007

    A Flickering Flame

    I just recently finished reading Burning Bright, the latest novel by Tracy Chevalier. This is her mostly recent novel and to be honest the only reason that I read it is because it was chosen for my next book club. I have read other books by Chevalier in the past and have have mixed reactions on them. So, I wasn't super enthused to read this book...and while it didn't suck. I wasn't in love with it either. This novel primarily takes place in London, England in the year 1792, focusing around 3 teenagers: Jem, Maggie and Jem's sister Maisie. Jem & Maisie have recently moved from to quiet life in the country to the bustling city of London with their parents and are learning how to adjust. One thier first day in the city they meet Maggie, a street wise girl who likes to be the one who knows everything and tend to delight in the mistakes that Jem and his sister make while they are learning to adapt to city life. Thrown into this group in none other than Willima Blake. Who has got to be one of the most aloof, vaguley written characters that I have ever met in a book. In some ways Mr Blake is always there for the teenagers idolize him and his beliefs. Yet, even when he is in the prescence of the teens he seems to be off somewhere else. He speaks in metaphors and doesn't seem to be bothered by anything. Even when there is a mob outside his door he just stands there limply and only reacts after Maisie starts to recite one of his poems.....or songs as they are refered to in the book. Even then his reaction isn't quite what the reader expects. There are times in which I think that Blake's character is more of an after thought. Someone famous that the author tosses into the mix in an attempt at trying to accomplish......something. What exactly I am not sure. The characters of Jem, Maggie and Maisie are all pretty underdeveloped as well. There seems to be no real purpose to any of them and I found it hard to care what happened to them. I initally struggled to get through this book. Its not a hard read I just found it to be boring and lacking in plot. I was often more drawn to the various descriptions more then what was going on with the main characters. Where the major events of their lives seem to be swept aside and barely discussed while pages and pages are spent on them watching a circus procession going by. I finally had to give myself a shake and force myself to read the novel any time I had a chance because I just wanted it done.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2007

    Not Burning Bright

    I too am an avid fan of Tracy Chevalier and had finished her last book about a year ago, and was anxiously waiting another. I got so involved in all her other books-The Virgin Blue being my favorite. You actually really felt for the characters and got transported back into whatever time she was writing. I think the main problems with this book are that the main characters were just too young or inexperienced. She has put so much passion into her other charcters--and truthfully I miss all the sex scenes. They truly made the book page turners. Still a good read, but frankly I just wasn't that interested in any of the story lines.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2007

    Impressive historical fiction

    Believe it or not this is the first of Ms Chevalier's books I've read, having only seen the movie of 'Girl with the Pearl Earring'. The inclusion of William Blake as a character attracted me to 'Burning Bright' and though he is really one of the 'supporting cast' of this novel, he is important in the lives of the main characters to the forefront of the story. Chevalier's ability to re-create time, place and social conditions without pages and pages of unnecessary padding is a joy in this era of huge doorstop novels - many of which fail to deliver. In this beautifully told tale of eighteen century London, that certainly isn't the case. This won't be the last Tracy Chevalier novel I'll read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2007

    Huge Tracy Chavalier Fan

    Tracy Chavalier is one of my most beloved authors. I have been waiting for this book anxiously and was greatly disappointed. Not her best work. None of the characters, surroundings, or plot seem to be developed or even interesting for that matter. The voice of the book was so shallow and hollow compared to her other books. I felt like I was reading a book by an amateur who happened to use her name. Very disappointing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2010

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