Review: The Virgin’s Lover by Philippa Gregory

2/10 scheming politicians
The Virgin's Lover This book was terrible. I had enjoyed Gregory’s other works such as the The Other Boleyn Girl and The Boleyn Inheritance so I thought I was in for another treat filled with frivolity and intrigue on a historical backdrop.

Again, I repeat.. it was terrible. The political games depicted were dry and uninteresting. After getting through half of Wolf Hall, Gregory was no match in writing about the political schemes of the Royal court.

Granted, this was Queen Elizabeth I rather than Henry VIII, but still. The characters were annoying. Don’t bother reading it!

Review: The Young Victoria

7/10  flowers for your hair.

The Young Victoria

I’m definitely on a historical-fiction kick right now.  Furthermore, I would be lying if a recent trip to visit the family back home hasn’t influenced my perspective right now. I would say that the British Royal Family does not necessarily overly intrigue me — to me, they are just another family. And one in a rather unfortunate position in one respect. I mean, do you really want all of your family’s problems extraordinarily well documented for hundreds of years? No thank you.

The Young Victoria was a beautiful film.  The costumes, locations and sets were stunning.  It took a little bit of stretching my imagination to wrap my head around Emily Blunt as Queen Victoria — she was so great in A Devil Wears Prada that it was hard for me to see her out of that modern and catty role.  Of course, half the allure of me wanting to see this movie was of course to see how Ms. Blunt could transform herself into a Victorian maid.

I must say my knowledge of history is limited and I was a little perplexed by trying to get the families and the relations all sorted out.  Plus, I was pretty distracted by the whole… what? She’s marrying her COUSIN??? factor.  Of course, that sort of thing was the every day back then — but again, the whole emily-blunt-modern-actress didn’t help me get past the seemingly big fat elephant in the room.

It was surprisingly witty and humorous film – something I was not expecting at all.  Jim Broadbent’s  portrayal of King William was equally  hilarious and terrifying — as any elder family member should be . I  would say one of the most successful themes this film achieved was elevating the story above one about Royals, to a story about a family and all of the quirks that family have.

And of course, what girl can resist a timeless love story, gorgeous golden gilded ball rooms and all the Victorian lace, flowers and dresses that you can possibly cram into an hour and 40 minutes? All in all, a wonderful and enjoyable film.  Just the right amount of smarts and fluff for a quiet post-vacation Saturday night.

It’s a Brand New Blog

Oh man, that was a bad literary pun… even for me… :) So, I’ve decided to re-enter the blog world — new site, new blog, new content.

I’m constantly (okay, maybe not constantly.. but often enough) asked about the books I’ve read… and often will give people unsolicited advice on what movies to see.  So, here’s a place that brings it all together.

I can always remember being a bookworm — I have many memories of spending my of my childhood summer vacations lying on my beloved cotton rug (not wool! allergies!) with a huge stack of library books right beside me and happily reading the days away.

I’ve recently rekindled the love affair with local library and my love of reading after a short hiatus involving university that seemed to take  up much of my spare reading time.  That’s where the movies came in.  After burying myself in reading textbooks and scholarly papers, reading for pleasure had lost its pull.   During my occasional evenings of not working or studying, I lost myself not in the written word, but that of film.

So, here it goes.  Enjoy and go hug you local librarian or maybe just say ‘hi’.