Library Loot

Marg is coordinating Library Loot this week.

I’m still trying to keep my library pile under control,so just three books came home this week:

The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick

“Based on fact, this is the story of William Marshal, the greatest knight of the Middle Ages, unsurpassed in the tourneys, adeptly manoeuvring through the colourful, dangerous world of Angevin politics to become one of the most powerful magnates of the realm and eventually regent of England. From minor beginnings and a narrow escape from death in childhood, William Marshal steadily rises through the ranks to become tutor in arms to the son of King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. A champion on the tourney field, William must face the danger and petty jealousy targeting a royal favourite. Dogged by scandal, banished from court, his services are nevertheless sought throughout Europe and when William’s honour is vindicated, he returns to court and wins greater acclaim and power than before. A crusader and the only knight ever to unhorse the legendary Richard Coeur de Lion, William’s courage and steadfastness are rewarded by the hand in marriage of Anglo-Irish heiress Isobel de Clare, 19 years old, the grandaughter of kings and his equal in every way.”

Danielle wrote very warmly about this one and I love the period, so when a shiny new copy appeared I just had to pick it up.

Mr Golightly’s Holiday by Salley Vickers

“Many years ago Mr Golightly wrote a work of dramatic fiction which grew to be an international best-seller. But his reputation is on the decline and he finds himself out of touch with the modern world. He decides to take a holiday and comes to the ancient village of Great Calne, hoping to use the opportunity to bring his great work up to date. But he soon finds that events take over his plans and that the themes he has written on are being strangely replicated in the lives of the villagers he is staying among. He meets Ellen Thomas, a reclusive artist, young Johnny Spence, an absconding school boy, and the tough-minded Paula who works at the local pub. As he comes to know his neighbours better, Mr Golightly begins to examine his attitude to love, and to ponder the terrible catastrophe of his son’s death. And as the drama unfolds we begin to learn the true and extraordinary identity of Mr Golightly and the nature of the secret sorrow which haunts him links him to his new friends.”

I’ve always meant to read Salley Vickers but she’s never quite made it to the top of my list of priorities. This caught my eye when I was looking for something else. The book I was looking for wasn’t there, so I picked this one up, really liked the look of it and brought it home.

Ruby’s Spoon by Anna Lawrence Pietroni

“This is the tale of three women – one witch, one mermaid and one missing – and how Ruby was caught up in between. When Isa Fly appears in the doorway of Captin Len’s Fried Fish Shop, thirteen-year-old Ruby is entranced. Isa comes from the coast where the air is fresh; unlike Ruby’s home in Cradle Cross, its factory furnaces pumping and filthy slits of canal water sending up a stink. Isa is on the hunt for a missing person, and Ruby is eager to help, convinced she will be repaid with an adventure at sea. But some of the townsfolk are instantly suspicious of the outsider with her shock of white hair and glinting mirrored skirts. They have their own lost relatives to mourn, and don’t take kindly to Isa’s ability to leave their Ruby spellbound. Undaunted, Ruby introduces Isa to Truda Blick, the bluestocking graduate who has just inherited the town’s button factory, where carcasses are rendered down and bones turned into buttons. Blickses is on the verge of collapse, and Truda has her work cut out. Ruby is desperate to help Truda and Isa but her alliance with the women is pushing the town to the brink of riot. All the trouble began, it seems, when Isa Fly arrived in Cradle Cross…Only Ruby knows enough to save them all. But first she must save herself.

I knew as soon as I saw this that it was going to be my sort of book, and so in went the order. And this week it arrived!

Have you read any of these? What did you think? Which book should I go for next? And which are you curious to know more about?

And what did you find in the library this week?

11 responses

  1. I thoroughly agree with all recommendations of The Greatest Knight – I read it a couple of years ago and loved it. Elizabeth Chadwick has a wonderful talent for bringing the period alive and her books are utterly absorbing.
    I have Mr Golightly on my shelf having bought it because I loved Miss Garnett’s Angel, but in the interim I read another of her books which I didn’t like so I have been a bit hesitant about reading it.

    Ruby’s Spoon looks very intriguing – I think that I will have to request it as anything Alice Hoffman-esque is definitely on my wish list.

  2. I hope you enjoy The Greatest Knight. I just finished reading the sequel, The Scarlet Lion that finishes the story and enjoyed it almost as much as the first book and am quite sad to leave the Marshals behind now. I think I have to agree with everyone else–Ruby’s Spoon sounds interesting and I’ll have to keep my eye out for it!

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