Wideacre by Philippa Gregory

*** THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS***

Reviewed by: Brittany Morgan

Beatrice Lacey, the daughter of the Squire of Wideacre struggles with gender barriers in 18th century England. Her unable brother, Henry, is set to inherit the family estate upon their fathers death. However Beatrice believes that she is would make a better leader than Henry. Beatrice must decided how far she is willing to go to achieve her dream of being a Squire of Wideacre and if the ends justify the means.

I have read “Wideacre” by Philippa Gregory twice and still love it! It is one of my favorite books (hence it’s 6-star status!). Beatrice does a great job of narrating the book and it gives the reader a different perspective. Most books that are told from first person point of view are often told from a persons perspective who the reader likes and this is not the case. As a narrator, Beatrice explains all of her actions and the thought process behind them, which helps the reader stomach it is certain situations. For those who read the book and believe that the incest is an example of how sick Beatrice is I disagree with you. It shows how far she is willing to go to be Squire. I view it as a commentary on the time period and how society restricted women to household roles that they were forced to act like this. Beatrice stated on several occasions said that she did not like doing this but viewed it as ‘her rent’ for still living on Wideacre. 

Overall I loved this book, and the other ones in the series for that matter, and loved the depth of character that Gregory included.

RATING: 5 Stars

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Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare

Reviewed By: Brittany Morgan

The Roman war hero, Titus Andronicus, returns home from battle with the Queen of the Goths, her three sons and Aaron. After Titus kills one of Queen Tamora’s sons, he soon learns that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

This early Shakespearian play the the best revenge story that I have ever found. The lengths that Tamora went to in order to avenge her son’s death is amazing and slightly disturbing. Typical to other Shakespearian tragedies the action is intense in the first three acts, shows during the fourth and all hell brakes loose in the final act. I have been dying to read this play for a good six months now and I am very happy that it delivered!

In general I am a huge fan of Shakespeare. I think he is a genius. The images, symbols rich characters and inappropriate jokes always keep me entertained. “Titus Andronicus” is definitely one of my favorite Shakespearian plays!

RATING: 5 stars

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

Reviewed By: Brittany Morgan

Carrie, a 30-something author, is relocating to Scotland in order to write her new novel. As Carrie gets carried away (couldnt help myself!) writing her new story, she discovers that it might not be fiction but fact.

I was really into “The Winter Sea” for 90% of the book but the last 50 pages ruined it for me. It had the most predictably stupid ending that I could have ever imagined. I was extremely disappointed in how it ended. I loved Carrie, Stuart, Graham and the characters in Carrie’s story and felt the ending of the book did not do justice to these likable characters. Susanna Kearsley did do an amazing job historically. It novel was informative on a period of history that is not often taught in schools. I really wish the ending was better though!

RATING: 3 Stars

The Best of Me by: Nicholas Sparks

Reviewed By: Brittany Morgan

“The Best of Me” is Nicholas Sparks’ latest book. It follows the lives of Dawson and Amanda years after their high school romance ended. Amanda is now married with three children and Dawson is single working at the oil rig in New Orleans. When they both meet up for a funeral, they rekindle their once in a life time romance and think about their future together.

Over all I was extremely disappointed by this read. I found most of the story stating the action, rather than experiencing in it. It included complex outside stories that have little meaning to the overall plot. I never connected to Dawson and Amanda to like, or respect for that matter, as characters. And the ending, not to give it away, was predictable and at best.

This book has been made into a film that is scheduled to come out October 17, 2014. It stars James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan. 

RATING: 2 Stars

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Reviewed By: Brittany Morgan

This book lives up to the hype! Since I was in elementary school, people have been raving about Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of A Geisha and I could not have been less interested in picking up the novel. A few weeks ago something in me changed when I selected the text to be my next audio book venture. Memoirs of A Geisha has been of the the surprise reads of 2013 and also one of the best that I have read this year.

Golden adds different layers to the story of feeling, passion and literary features. The symbolism, similes, foreshadowing and irony is top notch and elevates the story from good to great. I loved the historical aspect of it and I was able to learn new things about Japan and the life a geisha through the text. This book has something for everyone in it: romance, rivalries, extreme happiness and sadness and more.

RATING: 5 stars