Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Patricia Bracewell

Patricia Bracewell taught literature and composition before embarking upon her writing career. The first novel of her trilogy about Emma of Normandy, Shadow on the Crown, was published by Viking in 2013. The second book in the series The Price of Blood has just been released.

I recently asked the author about what she was reading. Her reply:
At the moment I’m reading The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman – a book that’s been on my ‘to read’ list for a long time. The setting is Israel, and the story begins in the year 70 C.E. High marks to Hoffman for taking a dramatic historical event – the siege of Masada – and inventing a human story that takes place within the walls of that forbidding citadel. It’s a gripping tale of war, hardship and desperation told from the viewpoints of four women who endured it. She accomplishes what every historical novelist seeks to do – illuminate a time, a place, an event so vividly that the reader is sent scurrying to learn more. Her description of Masada was so compelling that I was doing an internet search for it even before I made it to the end of the book.

I’m also deep into the most recent Louise Penny mystery, The Long Way Home. This series is set in Quebec, and my Canadian husband and I have both enjoyed Penny’s books over the years. I’ve become quite fond of the recurring characters that live in her invented village of Three Pines. Three Pines itself is like a little town inside a snow globe, charming and hospitable – well, except when someone gets murdered. But not every novel is set there. Penny has taken us inside the walls of a nearby monastery, to Quebec City, to Montreal and in this most recent book we even make a flying visit into Dumfries, Scotland. There is always a mystery to be solved, of course, but I’m especially drawn to the relationships of her characters and I’m interested in how the author has managed to make them grow and change over the course of ten books. In between murders her characters reflect on human nature, death, loss, art, poetry, marriage and a host of other topics. These books are detective novels for deep thinkers.
Learn more about the book and author at Patricia Bracewell's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Shadow on the Crown.

My Book, The Movie: Shadow on the Crown.

--Marshal Zeringue