Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Review ~ Lady of Hay by Barbara Erskine

TITLE: Lady of Hay
AUTHOR: Barbara Erskine
COPYRIGHT: Republished in October 2010
TYPE: Historical Fiction
PAGES: 576

REASON FOR READ: Sourcebook asked if I would be interested in reviewing this ARC and I said yes. It sounded fantastic.

SUMMARY (from Goodreads):
So well researched and so well written that it is almost impossible to put down. The novel has everything that readers of racy fiction could ask for: beautiful characters, exotic settings, passion...and situations and characters that are so completely convincing that they come to life.

With a mesmerizing, wrenching story set both in the present day and the 12th century, Lady of Hay explores how Joanna, a journalist investigating hypnotic regression, plunges into the life of Matilda, Lady of Hay—who lived 800 years earlier. As she learns of Matilda’s unhappy marriage, her love for Richard de Clare, and the brutal treatment she receives from King John, it seems that Jo’s past and present are hopelessly entwined and that, centuries later, a story of secret passion and unspeakable treachery is about to begin again—and she has no choice but to brave both lives if she wants to shake the iron grip of history

Joanna AKA Jo is a journalist who wants to right a story about hypnosis and regression through time. However, Jo soon discovers

- I enjoyed learning about Matilda and her life. Learning how she lived in the past and what life was like for a lady back then. I didn’t enjoy the violence but I took it into account that this was the norm back then. Matilda was a wonderfully drawn out character and I found I enjoyed reading about her parts in the book the most.
- Jo was an interesting woman who seem to go back and forth. One moment she was a hard journalist the next she was a woman and strangely enough I really appreciated that from. I also liked that she did freak out about things that would freak anyone out.

- There are some violent scenes in this book. Oh and heads up a possible rape scene and an actual rape scene do occur in this book. I don’t handle the rape scenes well and hate reading about them. I did keep in mind that this was the time period but I hated it when Sam was being manipulative towards Jo and I don’t care what you say that was attempted rape.
- I hated the constant back and forth with Nick. COME ON seriously either leave him or stay with him.

Would you recommend this book? I would recommend this book if you want an in-depth historical fiction novel with a hint of forbidden love. However, be warned the time period being wrote about women are objects and Matilda is treated as such.

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