To rescue her family from poverty and avoid marrying her slope-shouldered cousin, seventeen-year-old Orchid competes to be one of the Emperor’s wives. When she is chosen as a lower-ranking concubine she enters the erotically charged and ritualised Forbidden City. But beneath its immaculate facade lie whispers of murders and ghosts, and the thousands of concubines will stoop to any lengths to bear the Emperor’s son. Orchid trains herself in the art of pleasuring a man, bribes her way into the royal bed, and seduces the monarch, drawing the attention of dangerous foes. Little does she know that China will collapse around her, and that she will be its last Empress.
This is a historical fiction book set in China in the 1800s.
Like I said, I loved this book. Min’s writing style was descriptive but flowed beautifully. At no point did I find myself bored. I loved the characters. I admired Orchid’s determination and the way she stood up for herself, even though that went against all tradition. This book had love, death, tradition, passion and history running all the way through it. It had quite a sad ending but it was realistic. I loved her companions and the way they dedicated themselves to her and were loyal. Even now I am reflecting on the story, thinking about the difference she made, even when her life was at stake. What an amazing woman in my opinion. She is certainly one of my favourite characters from a book.
I have no idea if the history of this book is correct, but the way it was written was so gripping that I am now planning on going and researching this time of Chinese history.
I can’t recommend this book enough. I can’t think of anything bad to say about it. I didn’t take me long to read at all because I enjoyed every word of it.
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This is a book I read and loved as a child, and recently decided to re-read my Roald Dahl books. I have to say, I think I found The Twits funnier this time round!
This is a very short children’s book. The main characters are Mr and Mrs Twit, the monkey family and their friend the Roly-Poly bird.
Here is the synopsis from Amazon.co.uk
Mr and Mrs Twit are extremely nasty, so the Muggle-Wump monkeys and the Roly-Poly bird hatch an ingenious plan to give them just the ghastly surprise they deserve!
I just adored this book. Roald Dahl has such an amazing imagination. I wasn’t sure what to expect as this is a predominantly children’s book, but actually I was pleasantly surprised. Although I would not call this book particularly politically correct – having been written some years ago – the book had me laughing all the way through. Some of the nasty tricks Dahl thinks up are incredible. How he has come up with ideas is just beyond me!
My favourite character was the Roly-Poly bird. He definitely had the the funniest one-liners, which were relevant even to our society today. It was these lines which make this an excellent book for adults as well as children.
If you are looking for a book to enjoy with your children, or just a humorous light read, The Twits is certainly a good contender. There are some books we will just never be too old for!
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This is only the second of Picoult’s novels that I have read, but like Nineteen Minutes, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The discovery of a dead infant in an Amish barn shakes Lancaster County to its core. But the police investigation leads to a more shocking disclosure: circumstantial evidence suggests that eighteen-year-old Katie Fisher, an unmarried Amish woman believed to be the newborn’s mother, took the child’s life. When Ellie Hathaway, a disillusioned big city attorney, comes to Paradise, Pennsylvania, to defend Katie, two cultures collide and, for the first time in her high profile career, Ellie faces a system of justice very different from her own. Delving deep into the world of those who live ‘plain’, Ellie must find a way to reach Katie on her terms. As she unravels a tangled murder case, Ellie also looks deep within to confront her own fears and desires when a man from her past comes back into her life.
I was completely hooked by this book from the opening page. The story is full of love, court room drama, murder and faith. I have no idea if what Picoult writes about the Amish is correct, but it certainly opened my eyes a little bit. I had a go at guessing the end, which I got wrong, but on reflection I should have seen coming. However, that does not affect the story at all. I found myself loving the characters, sympathising with them, wishing I had some of that Amish peace and thinking about the story when I wasn’t reading the book. In fact, I am still reflecting now. I was even getting angry at the prosecution in the court! I felt like I was there watching, I love a book where I feel like I’m involved. I loved the ending. Highlight to view spoiler: I had initially thought that Katie’s father did the killing, but it turned out to be her mother, who was just trying to hold onto the only child she had left. I found that just so touching. There was excitment on virtually every page. I can only highly recommend this book.
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This is the blurb from www.amazon.co.uk:
The new top ten bestselling novel from the much loved author of Girl with a Pearl Earring Flames and funerals, circus feats and seduction, neighbours and nakedness: Tracy Chevalier’s new novel ‘Burning Bright’ sparkles with drama. London 1792. The Kellaways move from familiar rural Dorset to the tumult of a cramped, unforgiving city. They are leaving behind a terrible loss, a blow that only a completely new life may soften. Against the backdrop of a city jittery over the increasingly bloody French Revolution, a surprising bond forms between Jem, the youngest Kellaway boy, and streetwise Londoner Maggie Butterfield. Their friendship takes a dramatic turn when they become entangled in the life of their neighbour, the printer, poet and radical, William Blake. He is a guiding spirit as Jem and Maggie navigate the unpredictable, exhilarating passage from innocence to experience. Their journey inspires one of Blake’s most entrancing works. Georgian London is recreated as vividly in Burning Bright as 17th-century Delft was in Tracy Chevalier’s bestselling masterpiece, Girl with a Pearl Earring.
I really enjoyed this book. The characters are gripping and interesting. I loved Mr. Blake! What a guy! I admire him for standing up for what he believes in.
It was extremely well written and flowed easily. I was not lost or confused, which always helps! I was gripped from the first page.
My only criticism is the ending. It ended quite abruptly, however I can see how that fits with the story.
I highly recommend this book to everyone.
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My rating: 9/10
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