What a book!
What a VISUAL book!
I’m sure I have never ever said this before: I feel like I finished reading (actually it was listening, it was an audiobook) a book AND watching a mini-series. The descriptions of the different time periods and settings (mainly 17th century London and early 21st century London and more) along with the depiction of the characters, was so vivid and rich that I felt I was watching the story unfold as I was listening.
You have it all :
You have historians as detectives (which they can be! I know!) following the tracks left behind by a 17th-century non-conformist Jewish woman, who was among the first Jews who returned to England from Amsterdam since the expulsion of all of England’s Jews in the 13th century. The woman is fictional but many of the characters she interacts with are not (and some are quite famous, but no spoilers!).
You have a wealth of historical information – I really knew very little regarding the great plague and fire of London, for example. If it were television I would call it a “period drama” or “costume drama” – so vivid.
You have several love stories taking place in different time periods. The stories, as you might expect, tie in with each other in a way.
But mainly, you have characters trying to figure out their place in the world, particularly intelligent women who refuse to let others dictate what they can or can’t do.
My only complaint is that the author could have given the readers a bit more credit – some things didn’t need to be stated, the readers could deduce how the characters felt about something or why they reacted in a certain manner. I personally am a fan of understatement so maybe it’s just me. In any case, the book could have been just as a good and a little bit shorter – 30 hours of audio!
But that’s quibbling.
I really enjoyed the book!