My first novel by this author. As a historical novel, only the visionary poet Blake and late 18th century London with a circus and anti -revolutionary movement make up the historical setting. Extensive use of 'old-fashioned' English in dialogue. The main characters are endearing but in the end i 'd say not completely convincing....Continua
It's a strange book, with a feeling that it doesn't tell a story from beginning to end, showing us instead only a fraction of the story.
The characters are not bad, but I didn't particularly care for them.
Not Tracy Chevalier best work.
A very nice reading, but in some way not as powerful and deep as the previous books. Maggie is loveable, and so it's Jem, but they're not as strong as Kitty or Isabelle - the main characters of "Falling angels" and "The Virgin Blue" - and the story the two children are involved in isn't as intense as those presented in the other books of the same author. You almost feel that, in the end, there's something more you should know but, instead, you'll never know....Continua
Having read all previous Tracy Chevallier's books including the absolutely delightful 'Girl With The Pearl Earring', I was looking forward to reading this book but unfortunately it was a disappointment and undoubtedly her least enjoyable work. Perhaps it was the subject matter (circus life) which made it a very slow story and it took me too long to get involved with the plot, finding myself never quite getting excited by it. It lacked the usual Chevallier drama and gripping text. Present were the trade mark strong female characters but unlike in her other books, I didn't feel much affection or admiration for them, instead finding myself constantly seeking a turning point in the book which, unfortunately, didn't happen
My other disappointment is the character of William Blake. One of my favourite poets, in this book he comes across as a gibbering backwater lunatic, a candidate for an asylum rather than immortality.
The background for this book is around late 1700s and the poet and painter William Blake. Chevalier sketched the time in London from a few kids (Jem Kellaway who just moved from the Country side and Maggie Butterfield, a life long resident of London who knew all the bits and pieces of the City.)
The story isn't really too interesting, and you can see the trace that the author was trying to chain all her clues together from Blake's painting and poem. I think she can a lot better than this book....Continua