REVIEW: A Jane Austen Novel set in the 17th Century
Several months ago, I wrote a blog that I considered more vital than any I've ever written. It was about the importance of reviews. They keep authors afloat--and if we don't have reviews from people who are newer at the game of writing books, it's impossible for an author to make their imprint on the world of books. Amazon has made the process easier than ever, even including the option of a mere rating. Though I'm not the biggest fan of this method, I do recognize that there are some people out there who simply feel inept at writing. So please--when you enjoy a novel or non-fiction book that you've read, leave a review. And at the very least, leave a rating.
With this premise in mind, one of my goals this year is to occasionally write reviews of books that have really made impressions on me. I will continue leaving occasional blogs myself, as well as share guest bloggers, as I've been doing. It's just healthy to know what amazing writers are out there!
This week, I'd like to share the work of an amazingly talented woman whose work is focused on family. But imagine getting to trace your family clear back to the end of the Elizabethan Age! Elizabeth St. John has done just that, but the story is even more fantastic, since she located the diary of one of her ancestresses from that time. Literally, Liz has had a telescope into her family's distant past and has recreated the incredible history of her clan. Here is the review I wrote on her first book in the series: The Lady In the Tower.
The Lady In the Tower (Part I of the Lydiard Chronicles) by Elizabeth St. John
Reviewed by Brook Allen
Wow. This book was truly a 21st century Jane Austen novel.
Character-driven, flawlessly researched, and pressed along by the period’s history, THE LADY OF THE TOWER was all I hoped it would be and more. St. John is a gifted writer, who in the same vein of Jane Austen in her own time, makes her statement on the aristocracy of early 17th century England. With subtlety and elegance, Lucy Apsley’s story renders the portrayal of a young woman true to herself, her God, and all that is right and good. Lucy is at once both head-strong and full of propriety. Once finished with this book, I felt as though I knew this lady through and through.
Kudos to St. John for telling her own family history through her gift of historical fiction-writing. The oft-times tragic world of Stuart England is interwoven within the fabric of this work as intricately as some of the characters’ fine attire. Anyone criticizing the language or in-depth technique of St. John’s style is positively ignorant to the very best in historical fiction.
This is a most triumphant first book in this ancestry-themed series. I look forward to reading the rest and I applaud this first and deeply moving story that obviously came straight from Elizabeth St. John’s heart and soul.
A Little About Liz
Elizabeth St.John was brought up in England, lives in California, and spends most of her time in the 17th Century. To inspire her writing, she has tracked down family papers and residences from Nottingham Castle, Lydiard Park, and Castle Fonmon to the Tower of London. Although the family sold a few castles and country homes along the way (it's hard to keep a good castle going these days), Elizabeth's family still occupy them - in the form of portraits, memoirs, and gardens that carry their imprint. And the occasional ghost. But that's a different story...
Connect with Liz
The Lydiard Chronicles