Penmarric

by Susan Howatch

Rating: 2 out of 5.


I was ten years old when I first saw the inheritance and twenty years old when I first saw Janna Roslyn, but my reaction to both was identical. I wanted them.



Idly browsing through books at my town’s equivalent of Little Free Library – how could I resist an opening paragraph like that?

Turned out the opening was the best thing about this bloated, overblown book, which is loosely based on the Plantagenet royal house.

This book had two things that I normally hate in fiction.

» It was more than 450 pages long. (which I did know before I started – duh! )
» Multiple POV. At least this book didn’t jump back and forth between different characters’ heads.

These weren’t the reasons this book became a DNF at around 46%, but the following are;

Most of the characters are horrible people, some characters are introduced only to disappear, leaving me wondering what their importance was in the first place.

For whole chapters nothing much happens and some of the narrative was wooden.

As you would expect in a book set in Victorian & Edwardian times (It finishes in WWII, but I had baled before that) there is slut shaming and racism, but while there is no reason to believe that the author shared these attitudes, it didn’t make the read any more enjoyable.

While I think this book would have worked far better if told in the third person, I probably still wouldn’t have liked it. It is just too long and overall, just too dull.

View all my reviews

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