Thursday, December 18, 2008

A True and Faithful Narrative

Sturtevant, Katherine. 2006. A True and Faithful Narrative.

"He came to see me before he sailed for Italy." (3)

A True And Faithful Narrative, the sequel to At The Sign of the Star, has everything I love in a book: a main character I adore, Meg; rich historical detail, it's set in the 1680s; literary references that make the English major in me grin; and romance, a love triangle to be exact. Meg, our narrator, is sixteen. Her father, Miles Moore, is a bookseller. She spends half her time working in his shop--along with her father's apprentice, Will Barlow, and the other half of her time at home. She's got a stepmother, Susannah, and two (maybe more) half-siblings to watch over--Toby and Eleanor and Harry. She's also remained close with her friend, Anne, who is recently married to a much older Mr. Rushworth. Also, if she'll admit it, she's more than a little interested in Anne's brother, Edward Gosse.

What is this one about? Like all good books, it is about everything and nothing. On the surface, it's about Meg's coming of age. She's a young woman who wants to write more than anything. She wants to stay a part of the book selling world. She loves to read. She loves to write. She loves to think and discuss and argue. But her father isn't always happy to indulge her. In fact, with each passing day he becomes concerned that she'll never do as someone's wife if she continues on with her ideas of it being acceptable for women to think, read, and write. He's okay with the thinking and reading--as long as she's submissive and obedient when it comes down to it--but the writing, it must stop. Will, her father's apprentice, doesn't believe that any woman--single, married, widowed, whatever--should write and/or be published. (Her father thinks that no respectable woman will want to be published. True, he sells a few books written by women, but with publication comes a stain to a lady's reputation. And it's nothing that he wants his daughter to experience.

The book is also about love--falling in love with love, falling in love, knowing how to distinguish between the head and the heart, embracing and recognizing genuine sentiment. Edward, when we first meet him in A True and Faithful Narrative, is hoping to recognize signs of love and admiration in Meg. Unfortunately--or fortunately as the case may be--he does not see anything of the sort. Meg has never thought of marrying Edward--he's not a book seller after all--and she's never thought of him as anything other than her best friend's brother. She tells him--in jest--that the present she can bring him back from his travels is a narrative--for him to be captured by pirates and return to tell the tale. Something that much to her dismay happens. Anne and Edward's father dies; Edward in his haste to return to England and settle his affairs makes an unlucky choice in vessels. He's captured--along with a few other men--and sold into slavery. His freedom can be paid with a ransom. But the price is high.

Meg, burdened by guilt, takes this news hard. She won't allow this to be the end. She'll do everything in her power--and then some--to raise the money to set him free. She must see him returned safely. She can't bear to think of him enslaved.

Edward. Will. What's a girl to do? I won't tell too much more about this one. It's about life, love, family, knowing yourself, having a dream, etc. Highly recommended.

"I find that nothing gives as much comfort as a story with no surprises in it." (121)

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Anonymous,  12:26 PM  

This sounds like a really lovely book - something I'll just _have_ to add to my collecttion... L.

Noël De Vries 5:40 PM  

I really liked this when I read it a couple of years ago ... it and Fly By Night were my favorite books of 2006.

Laura H 6:43 PM  

This book was lukewarm for me. Kind of disappointed and sometimes outright bored with it.

hopeinbrazil 12:09 PM  

Sounds intriguing Becky! From one English major to another, Hope

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

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
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • 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.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge
Linked to sign up page

Family Tree Reading Challenge

Family Tree Reading Challenge
Link to sign-up page

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge
Linked To Sign Up Page

2018 Charity Challenge (Sign Up)

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge
Link to sign up page

2018 Picture Book Challenge

2018 Picture Book Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge
click image to go to sign up post

Good Rules Cheat List

Board books and picture books = new is anything published after 2013
Early readers and chapter books = new is anything published after 2013
Contemporary (general/realistic) = new is anything published after 2007
Speculative fiction (sci-fi/fantasy = new is anything published after 2007
Classics = anything published before 1968
Historical fiction = new is anything published after 2007
Mysteries = new is anything published after 1988
Nonfiction = new is anything published after 2007
Christian books = new is anything published after 2000
Bibles = new is anything published after 1989

My Blog List

(Old) Challenge Participants

Becky's Hosting These Challenges

100 Books Project: Fill in the Gaps

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP