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Margaret Pritchard Houston is an American expat living in London. Her poetry and fiction has been published in several journals and magazines, including Fourth River, The Mom Egg, Prime Number, the Monarch Review, and On Earth As It Is. As a youth worker in the Church of England, she writes for diocesan and national audiences, and her non-fiction book, There is a Season, will be published by SPCK in 2013.
on Jan. 15, 2013 :
This book follows a writer during the 1820s in France through his marriage (to a women his mother didn’t approve) and into his young writing career. He struggles to find something worth writing while still being able to make a living for his child and wife. I really enjoyed this book. I have never read anything set in this time period and I do enjoy historical fiction as long as it doesn’t get too boring, and this one didn’t! I loved how I was getting a look at a totally different time but it was written in a more modern voice. I always want to read classics but get so bogged down by the writing style that I have a hard time enjoying them. This was a great balance of modern voice still set in an older more classical setting. I also really enjoyed the internal struggle Phillippe was having, when he had to decide if it was worth the King’s pension to not write exactly what he wanted. I think many people (including me!) can relate to a similar situation. Do I take a good sum of money to do something I don’t exactly want to do or believe in? Or do I do what I want at the risk that I won’t be able to support myself financially anymore? The other part of this book I really enjoyed was learning more about what was happening in France during this time period, I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book. I do have one thing I didn’t enjoy and that was the wife, I hope she plays more into the story in the future books, but she just seemed to disappear into nothingness. Her character seemed great and independent at the beginning and now she is so dependent on everything Phillippe does. I’d recommend this book to just about anyone interested in historical fiction, and even if you don’t read a lot of this genre this is still a great and interesting read!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)