Wednesday, May 30, 2007

At the Sign of the Star


Sturtevant, Katherine. 2000. At the Sign of the Star.

Ever since she could remember Meg Moore has wanted more. More than what her society thinks a girl should have. More than what her father and stepmother are willing to allow. She wants to be a girl who is more than just a wife-in-training. She loves to read. She loves books. She loves philosophy. She loves debate. She loves to discuss the important things in life. She doesn’t want to be stuck mending or embroidering. She doesn’t want to be trained in how to run a household...she wants to run a bookshop...or better yet write the books that go into a bookshop. Meg is an unforgettably strong-minded character who endures much in her journey to womanhood. Will she ever be able to achieve her dreams of independence? Will she ever be allowed to speak her mind freely within her home? Or will men always overrule women? Is it true that the only beautiful woman is a silent one?

Set during the Restoration in London, it is a wonderful historical novel that brings this time period to life. As Meg discovers the work of Aphra Behn, a whole new world opens up for her.

In the end I took it away with me, and found a green place to sit in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, in sight of the fashionable brick houses there. The play was called The Rover, and had been an amazing success at Dorset Gardens a month or so ago. I settled down to read it, and the afternoon wore on without my noticing, for it was a remarkable play. It was remarkable because it was so little different from a play writ by a man: it was as funny, as bawdy, as silly. And yet the fact that it was not by a man seemed to echo on every page, and filled me with wonder and anger and a secret sense of intention. For if a woman might think so like a man, and write so like a man...then why might not a woman give her views at table without apology? (42-43).

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
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  • fantasy
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I am not a fan of:

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  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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