Originally published May 7th, 2019
Happy May, blog friends! It’s been a little while since I wrote, mainly because life has become impossibly busy and my stress levels made me literally ill… But that’s a rant for another time!
For now, I’m going to have a good old chat about some of the books I read in April. It was a good reading month for me, actually! I read five books in total, which is more than I have in a long while. However, I’m only going to discuss three of them – nobody wants this post to become a fully-fledged essay.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
What Kitty Did Next by Carrie Kablean
Rating: 4/5 stars
I picked this book up in the gift shop at Chatsworth, back when I visited that grand old stately home for my birthday. I love me a bit of Jane Austen, and I also love reading books that extend Austen’s rather wonderful literary universe. As you may have gathered from the title, this great little novel tells the story of Pride and Prejudice‘s Kitty Bennet, who is, in my opinion, the most maligned Bennet sister. In the original novel, Kitty isn’t exactly given any room to grow or flourish. However, Kablean changes all that! The book took a little while to get going, but it was otherwise pretty perfect. Pleasantly, this isn’t really a romance novel – Kitty is given a chance to develop as a person, gain interests, and make friends without her story all being about marriage and men! What a revelation!
The White Princess by Philippa Gregory
This was the second time that I’ve tried to read this book, and I just couldn’t get on with it. Everyone who knows me is aware that I love a good Philippa Gregory novel, but this one was a miss for me, I’m afraid. In my opinion, Gregory was a little bit TOO liberal with the facts. I know that many historical novels take liberties when it comes to the truth, but not quite to this extent. There was some pretty nasty sexual violence included in the plot that, as far as we know, didn’t actually occur. It all seemed a bit gratuitous. Also, there are literally no likeable characters in this book. I understand that part of creating a fleshed-out character is giving them a dark side, but it’s really hard to keep on reading a book when ultimately, you don’t care who comes out on top. I gave up pretty early on.
The Winters by Lisa Gabriele
Back in September, my work book club selected Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier as its first read. I was thrilled, as Rebecca is a huge favourite of mine. Imagine my glee when I was informed that a modern interpretation of the novel was in the works! I immediately pre-ordered The Winters, and finally got around to reading it this month. This novel is a slow burner – but then, so is the original Rebecca. Gabriele captured the original novel’s sinister flavour and tension. However, she also updated the story in a really satisfying way. I liked the plot twist at the end of the book – it genuinely surprised me. All in all, I couldn’t put this book down. I also found its narrator much less annoying than that of Rebecca, which is always a bonus.
What books have you all been reading lately? Do you have any recommendations for me? Let me know in the comments!