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Mini-Reviews: Still Life by Louise Penny, Arcadia by Lauren Groff, and The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory

Posted by Caitie F on November 12, 2014

I am SO behind on reviews, so I am going to do some mini reviews or some of the adult fiction books I have read in the last couple months.

Title: Still Lifestill
Author: Louise Penny
Hardcover: 312 pages
Pub Date: Jan 1, 2005
Publisher: St Martin’s Minotaur
Rating: ++++

Summary from pub:

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surêté du Québec and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montreal. Jane Neal, a local fixture in the tiny hamlet of Three Pines, just north of the U.S. border, has been found dead in the woods. The locals are certain it’s a tragic hunting accident and nothing more, but Gamache smells something foul in these remote woods, and is soon certain that Jane Neal died at the hands of someone much more sinister than a careless bowhunter.

Review:

I am always looking for more mystery authors and great detectives, so when someone recommended this book to me, I got it right away. The mystery had some interesting twists and the characterization was excellent. The book also had so much charm. I need to read more books in this series

Title: Arcadia arcadia
Author: Lauren Groff
Paperback: 291 pages
Pub Date: March 13, 2012
Publisher: Hyperion
Rating: +++++

Summary from pub:

In the fields and forests of western New York State in the late 1960s, several dozen idealists set out to live off the land, founding what becomes a famous commune centered on the grounds of a decaying mansion called Arcadia House. Arcadia follows this lyrical, rollicking, tragic, and exquisite utopian dream from its hopeful start through its heyday and after. The story is told from the point of view of Bit, a fascinating character and the first child born in Arcadia.

Review:

I love a good commune story, and this is a great one. The writing is stunning. The characters just jumped off the page and stayed in my brain for weeks after I read it. I thought I would be less interested after they left, but it was just as strong. If you are looking for great literary fiction, look no further.

Title: The Constant Princess constant
Author: Philippa Gregory
Hardcover: 393 pages
Pub Date: Dec 6, 2005
Publisher: Touchstone
Rating: ++++

Summary from pub:

Daughter of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain, Katherine has been fated her whole life to marry Prince Arthur of England. When they meet and are married, the match becomes as passionate as it is politically expedient. The young lovers revel in each other’s company and plan the England they will make together. But tragically, aged only fifteen, Arthur falls ill and extracts from his sixteen-year-old bride a deathbed promise to marry his brother, Henry; become Queen; and fulfill their dreams and her destiny.

Widowed and alone in the avaricious world of the Tudor court, Katherine has to sidestep her father-in-law’s desire for her and convince him, and an incredulous Europe, that her marriage to Arthur was never consummated, that there is no obstacle to marriage with Henry. For seven years, she endures the treachery of spies, the humiliation of poverty, and intense loneliness and despair while she waits for the inevitable moment when she will step into the role she has prepared for all her life. Then, like her warrior mother, Katherine must take to the battlefield and save England when its old enemies the Scots come over the border and there is no one to stand against them but the new Queen.

Review:

Somehow, I missed the first book in this series, so I finally had to read it. It is VERY different from the other Boelyn books, but is still really good. Katherine is brilliant and passionate. She knows what she needs to do and does it well. If you also skipped this one, you should go get it as soon as you can. It is a delight to read.

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