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Lady of Hay

Lady of Hay

3.8 98
by Barbara Erskine

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Jo Clifford, a successful journalist, is all set to disprove hypnosis and past-life regression, until she submits to a simple hypnotic session and finds herself reliving the experiences of Matilda, Lady of Hay, the wife of a baron at the time of King John.

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Lady of Hay 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 98 reviews.
KimberlyWrites More than 1 year ago
Hmmm. Interesting how most really loved this book. Because I am a lover of historical fiction, Lady of Hay has been on my reading list for some time. I recalled that it was a big bestseller back in the 80s when it was first published. I'm giving it 3 stars for potential, but it's really a 2-star. I guess I just don't like time travel, although I love Diana Gabaldon's books. I despised The Time Traveler's Wife and I was greatly disappointed in Lady of Hay. It was just too long, too repetitive, and all the characters, who were supposed to be highly successful, "hard-hitting" professionals, were so weak-minded they could be thrown into trances in a split second by just looking at a brick wall! Not only that, they drank themselves into blithering idiots. I don't think they were entranced - they were besotted with booze. There were no surprises and the only time I was moved by the modern-day people or the 12th Century characters, was when I was moved to lay the book down and hope it got better. I hate to be a spoil sport but if you want to read a great historical romance, read The Fatal Crown by Ellen Jones, or The Canterbury Papers by Judith Koll Healy - I assure you Lady of Hay will be pure tripe.
LASR_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Absorbing and hypnotic, Lady of Hay seethes and sizzles with emotions that often erupt out of control. Whether in twentieth century or twelfth century, the volatile personalities love, hate, connive, and preserve with intensity as they work out theirs destinies. The feeling "I've-been-here-before" takes on a whole new meaning when Joanna starts researching regression by hypnosis. Skeptical and expecting to uncover information well suited for her often-vitriolic style of writing, she agrees to be hypnotized to see if she regresses to an earlier time in history. Wow! What a past emerges-an 800-year-old past. While in a trance, Joanna seems to become Matilda, the lady of Hay in twelfth-century Wales. She takes the reader on a journey full of treachery and passion that mesmerizes. Both Joanna and Matilda are strong women who strive for control of their own lives while navigating through a maze of ambitious, egocentric men whose jealousies and territorial attitudes play havoc with lives. Matilda's husband William, ambitious and a user; King John, the cruel royal who feels entitled in every way; and Richard de Clare, who loves and understands Matilda make life a minefield ready to explode with a single misstep on her part. Joanna is not married but the men in her life begin to take on different personalities from time to time. Nick, Sam, Tim, and Pete make Joanna's twentieth-century life a tangled mess of emotions and danger. Knowing who the bad guys are and who the good guys are is indeed a guessing game. Barbara Erskine's writing style with layers of plots, strong characters, exquisite imagery, and graphic descriptions, plops the reader down right in the middle of events happening 800 years apart. The supernatural, historical, and the modern day (replete with promiscuity) blend to make LADY OF HAY captivating. The tale gives one pause for thought. Do people work out their own destinies or does some unknown force propel people along? SUPERB READING! originally posted at: longandshortreviews.blogspot.com
Ladybrat More than 1 year ago
Great Read, i couldn't put the book down.The charators are very real the author did a great job with creating the story line that was taken from history. If you love history and want to feel as if you are there read this book.
amy lisek More than 1 year ago
Amazing bbok! Well researched, loosely based on fact. Did get a bit tedious, its 600 pgs long...loved it nontheless!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A nice idea and good narration.. however got me on the looong stretch of story in the present.. cannot recommend it if you are not already familiar with the resume and think it's for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very well written. The historical portion flowed very well. The modern portion was a little staid at times. The parallel of characters and the question of whether they are reincarnated is very intriguing.
Jessie Bryer More than 1 year ago
The story line seems to be getting a little carried away but its an interesting concept and a readable book overall.
Colleen Hepler More than 1 year ago
Interesting, but a little hard to follow. The amount of drinking, and lack of eating and sleeping was distracting. I would give it a 3.5 for the historical story telling.
Amanda Nichols More than 1 year ago
Definitely one of those stories you can't put down! Absolutely recommended if you like historical fiction.
SpyderRyder More than 1 year ago
This is one of the most compelling books I hve read to date. I would recommend it to anyone. It is a very long read.
micheleky More than 1 year ago
I throughly enjoyed reading this book. I wouldnt hesitate to buy another by the same author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The plot has many turns and twists to keep you guessing. It is a mystery and romantic adventure. I think it would be great as a movie.
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LetsBookIt More than 1 year ago
I confess that I have a love of books that explore past lives of the characters. I'm not sure I believe in reincarnation but I wouold like to. In the Lady of Hay, the possible past life/possible possesion of journalist Jo Clifford as the Lady of Hay is explored. Jo begins her exploration of past life regression as research for an article she plans on writing. Soon she is totally immersed in her past life: being drawn back to her past at inconvenient times, in inconvenient ways. A smattering of darkness, evil and insanity invades 'both'of her lives as she struggles to make sense of what is real and what isn't. I have to say that, while I loved the story and the author's style, I really did not like Jo. She struck me as wimpy and weak in both lives. That said, my feelings for the main character did not take away my total enjoyment of the book. Definitely recommended reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story. Very suspenseful, kelpt me on the edge till the very end.
ToManyBooksNotEnoughTime More than 1 year ago
This is a rather convoluted story given that you must keep track of both past and present story lines for multiple characters. The characters are compelling by themselves, but when placed into this particular story they become entrancing. Ms. Erskine was very thorough in researching the material for this book, and the descriptive details were wonderfully enchanting. The only place I feel she slipped a bit was in the way the historical characters spoke, occasionally using the word "hey," which was not introduced into common language until several hundred years after the historical portion of the story took place. And for all that Lady de Baorse was a trailblazer, I still found it a bit challenging to reconcile her attitude and how on the one hand she spoke to men - particularly the king - as if they were equals, and on the other hand she would talk about the duties of women being to submit to their husbands and acknowledging that they were owned by their husbands just like a horse or an item of clothing. But much of that can be forgiven and understood since the Lady de Baorse was being channeled by a modern-day woman who wouldn't be afraid of men as women of the 1200's would be, since women were chattel and only used to gain necessary alliances and such. That hiccup aside, the story is riveting. All the main characters are strong forces on their own and combined together they become a volatile mix. Even the secondary characters have a surprising depth not often seen in a character that may only be in two or three scenes in the entire book. Just when you feel that the story arc is beginning to drag, you are whisked back in time to relive the extraordinary life of Matilda, otherwise known as the Lady de Baorse. However for the majority of the book the story moves right along at a lovely clip. If you have an issue with wanton alcohol consumption be forewarned, as I'm not sure if there is a single scene in which either alcohol or coffee is not consumed - and often the coffee contains alcohol. Also, Jo comes across as having a rather loose moral code when it comes to sex, but I much of that is driven by the historical portions of the book oddly enough. This book is perfect for those who enjoyed such books as 'The Other Boleyn Girl,' 'The Virgin's Lover,' and other books that take historical periods and their more well-known people and try to recreate what their lives might have been like. While that may sound like a simple romance novel it is clear the hundreds of hours of research that goes into the creation of the top-shelf books of this genre. And there is no doubt in my mind that this book belongs up near the top-shelf with the others, though it is not in the same league as the Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series. Definitely a challenge to put the book down and get anything else done until I finished reading it. Thankfully it is a fairly quick read, regardless of its size.
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lcecelia More than 1 year ago
Well written interesting and a very good mystery kept me guessing til the end about the fate of the heroine!
cleotaylormobley More than 1 year ago
Highly recommended. I loved the regression into the past. Especially the fact that the people were real but the book was fiction.
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