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Posted January 20, 2013
My favorite novels not only tell a captivating story but also sw
My favorite novels not only tell a captivating story but also sweep me away to a time and place I've never seen. The Gilded Lily, a dark tale set in 17th century London, expertly does both. Part historical novel, part psychological thriller, this book touches on some of the most sinister and deplorable aspects of human nature and is by no means a light read.
It's clear the author did her homework, though the historical detail she weaves never feels heavy handed. Her vivid descriptions of the bitter cold, filthy living conditions and callous actions of many of the characters evoke strong emotions. I often felt frustrated, disgusted, depressed and uncomfortable as I read. Thankfully, there were also several scenes and characters that restored my hopes and lifted my spirits. I found the ending to be satisfying, though a bit too neatly drawn.
One historical element I found particularly fascinating was the Frost Fair, held during the bitter cold winters in which the Thames river actually froze solid; and I appreciated the author's note in the back of the book that listed sources for additional reading about the subject.
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Posted July 5, 2013
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