Time again for another Weekly TBR! This week didn’t went as well as planned and I only managed to read one book from my list:
- Mistress of the Revolution by Catherine Delors
- Masques by Patricia Briggs
- La Rose d’Anjou: Le Crépuscule des Rois by Catherine Hermary-Vieille
- Claude and Camille by Stephanie Cowell (currently reading)
Masques is certainly a must-read for all Patricia Briggs fans, but it’s still a little bit far from her Mercedes Thompson style, which is understandable since she wrote this almost 20 years ago and it was her first book. I’m very curious to know what will happen next to Aralorn and her friend Wolf.
Right now I’m reading Claude and Camille but I got a little bit distracted last Friday by Janicu’s fantastic review of Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews. I knew I had to reread it this weekend, there was no possible excuse! I spend all my free time glued to the book and grinning like a fool during all the Kate-Curran scenes. If you’re into urban fantasy and you didn’t read Kate Daniel’s series, you are missing something.
My choices for this week:
Sometimes he dreamt he held her; that he would turn in bed and she would be there. But she was gone and he was old. Nearly seventy. Only cool paint met his fingers. ‘Ma très chère . . .’ Darkness started to fall, dimming the paintings. He felt the crumpled letter in his pocket. ‘I loved you so,’ he said. ‘I never would have had it turn out as it did. You were with all of us when we began, you gave us courage. These gardens at Giverny are for you but I’m old and you’re forever young and will never see them. . . .’
In the mid-nineteenth century, a young man named Claude Monet decided that he would rather endure a difficult life painting landscapes than take over his father’s nautical supplies business in a French seaside town. Against his father’s will, and with nothing but a dream and an insatiable urge to create a new style of art that repudiated the Classical Realism of the time, he set off for Paris.
But once there he is confronted with obstacles: an art world that refused to validate his style, extreme poverty, and a war that led him away from his home and friends. But there were bright spots as well: his deep, enduring friendships with men named Renoir, Cézanne, Pissarro, Manet – a group that together would come to be known as the Impressionists, and that supported each other through the difficult years. But even more illuminating was his lifelong love, Camille Doncieux, a beautiful, upper-class Parisian girl who threw away her privileged life to be by the side of the defiant painter and embrace the lively Bohemian life of their time.
His muse, his best friend, his passionate lover, and the mother to his two children, Camille stayed with Monet – and believed in his work – even as they lived in wretched rooms, were sometimes kicked out of those, and often suffered the indignities of destitution. She comforted him during his frequent emotional torments, even when he would leave her for long periods to go off on his own to paint in the countryside.
But Camille had her own demons – secrets that Monet could never penetrate, including one that when eventually revealed would pain him so deeply that he would never fully recover from its impact. For though Camille never once stopped loving the painter with her entire being, she was not immune to the loneliness that often came with being his partner.
A vividly-rendered portrait of both the rise of Impressionism and of the artist at the center of the movement, Claude and Camille is above all a love story of the highest romantic order.
- Mr and Mrs Fitzwilliam Darcy by Sharon Lathan (watched P&P again a couple of days ago and I needed some Mr Darcy)
It’s Darcy and Elizabeth’s wedding day, and the journey is just beginning as Jane Austen’s beloved Pride and Prejudice characters embark on the greatest adventure of all: marriage and a life together filled with surprising passion, tender self-discovery, and the simple joys of every day.
As their love story unfolds in this most romantic of Jane Austen sequels, Darcy and Elizabeth reveal to each other how their relationship blossomed. From misunderstanding to perfect understanding and harmony, theirs is a marriage filled with romance, sensuality, and the beauty of a deep, abiding love.
- Having the Builders In by Reay Tannahill (if my memory is correct, this was highly recommended by one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Chadwick, so obviously I need to read it)
An entertaining departure for this acclaimed historical novelist , this is set in the late13th century – a period of great castle building.
When Dame Constance decides it is time to upgrade her rather basic fortress, she ushers in a period of upheaval which sets the normally smooth running institution into turmoil. Added to which there is the arrival of her son’s new bride-to-be who turns out to be rather more feisty than she had bargained for. Finally, a mysterious number of accidents look set to impede the builders’ progress….
A delightful novel with memorable characters and it will have resonance for anyone who has ever had the builders in; an experience as disruptive back then as it is today.
- La Rose d’Anjou: Le Crépuscule des Rois by Catherine Hermary-Vieille (I need to read more in French and quick!)
Mariée à quinze ans, Marguerite d’Anjou doit défendre la lignée des Lancastre aux côtés de son époux, le roi Henry VI, bigot et faible. Mais il est assassiné, ainsi que son fils Edouard, par les York. Vaincue, détrônée et désespérée, Marguerite est enfermée à la Tour de Londres, où elle restera de longues années, jusqu’à ce que son cousin, Louis XI, paie en échange de sa liberté une rançon confortable : la Provence, l’Anjou et la Marche, fiefs de la famille d’Anjou.
Edouard IV d’York s’empare alors du trône d’Angleterre. C’est un jeune homme beau, téméraire mais trop amateur de plaisirs et de femmes, qui épouse une veuve, mère de deux enfants qui l’a ensorcelé.
Après un règne endeuillé par des démêlés sanglants avec son frère, George, duc de Clarence, qu’il fera exécuter, Edouard meurt à quarante ans, laissant derrière lui cinq enfants dont deux fils mineurs. Nommé protecteur du royaume et de ses neveux, son deuxième frère, Richard, duc de Gloucester, enferme les deux princes à la Tour de Londres avant de les faire assassiner. Désormais seul maître du pays, Richard s’empare de la couronne et gouverne l’Angleterre pendant deux ans avant d’être détrôné par Henry Tudor, dernier descendant des Lancastre. Il règnera sous le nom d’Henry VII, et mettra fin à cette terrible guerre civile en épousant Elisabeth d’York, fille aînée d’Edouard IV, unissant ainsi les familles de Lancastre et d’York. Ils seront parents de Henry VIII, de Marguerite, reine d’Ecosse et de Mary reine de France.