** Book is presented as third in printed column of the Collinwood Observer, along with other versions, one of which is the Euclid Observer, a paper which will come out in the month of December and will be free to readers in and around Cleveland and the surrounding suburbs. While the local news changes in the area my column remains the same. There are hundreds of pick up areas and stand alone paper boxes where readers will get a copy.
Tea Time With A Good Book
Only in December We Substitute With Hot Chocolate ;)
By Jeneane Vanderhoof
With so many great recommendations to close out the year, I wanted to keep them short and plentiful, for under the tree as a gift or a read for yourself on those silent, chilly nights wrapped in a blanket under the twinkling lights.
The Circus Train is a coming of age tale in a mystical, rich, circus, during World War II. It is a tale of strength, courage, love but most of all, endurance, perseverance and overcoming insurmountable, seemingly unwinnable odds. Next, for science fiction/ fantasy fans we turn to the writings of Nathan Traverse in A Fractured Infinity. Hayes Figueiredo, an unsuccessful movie maker, brought to the envisioner, a machine that can't be explained; not where it came from, how it works, even what it does. A complex, metaverse tale that wraps around your mind, not once, or twice but over and over and back to wrap again!
For fans of historical fiction, Philipia Gregory wraps up her series with the long awaited finale to the Fairmire Series with Dawnland. Livia is well, Livia, up to her old schemes. This time, however, her plans may well include royalty, up to, and including, the heir to the English throne. You won't want to miss this masterpiece. And those who want a writer with a strong pen when it comes to looking toward the Lord for strength, there is The Finding of Miss. Fairfield by Grace Hitchcock. Finally, for mystery lovers there is Coached Red Handed by Victoria Laurie. When Cat's client is murdered after a session in which she provided coaching advice she can't help but feel devastated, intent to catch who done it. An instant, new, favorite of mine!
For the Christmas book every reader must have this season, The Naughty or Nice Clause by Kate Callaghan. When Llyas dead father's toy factory is saved from bankruptcy, to appease her co-CEO Mr. Mason Klaus, she must travel to his family's magical wonderland for twelve days. A romance that will knock your stockings off their chimney hooks! Just don't let Santa catch you with this book, you may end up on his naughty list!
To all my readers, Please go to the online version of this article for a longer review, it's provided with more books for yourself and gifts for the holiday reader of all types and genres! Also, my Goodreads page, Jeneane Vanderhoof.
Happy Holidays and Happy Reading!
Dawnlands is a multi-POV historical fiction novel that takes place in 1680’s London and Barbados. This is Book three in the Fairmile series, picking up about 15 years after the second book, Dark Tides, left off.
I was plunked right back into history and the story of the Reike family; it was like I had never left. The story is so lush and sweeping that it is worth every one of the 512 pages.
As I’ve mentioned before, I think the genius in Philippa Gregory’s writing is that she provides such rich detail swirled amongst the fascinating lives of her characters. The same is true with Dawnlands.
I was fully on board until the ending; I don’t know what to make of it! I wanted more of a resolution for some characters and I really wanted one character to get their comeuppance!
I highly recommend this series to readers who enjoy richly detailed historical fiction with interesting characters.
Continue the story. Well researched installment of this historical story. I’d love it in an audiobook, as well
Philippa Gregory never disappoints and this book, Dawnlands, is no different. Where she excels at writing about life inside the castles and palaces, this book takes us outside the palace walls and follows the life of one family just trying to survive and scratch out a living. This is the 3rd book in the series and I recommend starting at book one. Each book cuts off at a pivotal place in history and in the lives of this family so be sure you have all three books available to read in order. My only "dislike" about this particular book is that it also ends very abruptly and leaves many questions unanswered so I'm going to assume another book is on the way. I try to not read series books until I have them all at hand so I'm a bit disappointed that there was no warning about this being the middle of a series. So, reader beware. Other than that one issue, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in British and American history, royalty, love stories, family drama, Indian relations, and this particular book even focused a bit on the sugar and slave trade in Barbados. Very well researched and delivered so that the book is entertaining as well as informative.
I was given a copy of this book by Netgalley.com in exchange for my honest opinion and that is what I've given here.
Philippa Gregory always delivers a good story. I didn't read the others in this particular series but I do feel that this one can stand alone.
My favorite character was definitely the strong and spirited Native American girl Rowan, who was dressing as a boy slave to ensure safe passage.
The storyline kept me engaged throughout and I am compelled to go back and read the others in the series.
I usually read historical romance fiction but Philippa Gregory remains the only historical writer outside of that who has kept me riveted by well developed characters, rich descriptions and wonderful storytelling. I loved the Boleyn series and I thoroughly enjoyed jumping into this series.
I have loved everything Phillippa Gregory has written and this one is no exception. I loved the writing and the main characters and I could not put the book down!
Review will be posted on 11/18/22
If you are read the first two books in the Fairmile series, hopefully you remember where it left off, because readers jump right in at the start of Dawnlands. It's right after the Glorious Revolution and England is at a crossroads. Catholic James II is King, but many families are still divided as some want Charles II's son on the throne. Then there's Livia, who is still plotting, and Alinor who finds herself in the middle of it. Ned Ferryman, Alinor's brother, is coming back home to England, but not without drama. Coming home with him is Rowan, whom Ned saved from the clutches of slavery, and to top it off, Ned wants to join the Rebel Army much to Alinor's dismay. Philippa Gregory weaves many plot lines in Dawnlands, but they all weave together to form a bigger picture; fans of her Fairmile series won't be disappointed.
Alinor is a character I always look forward to revisiting in Dawnlands. She is tough, smart, and dedicated to her family. I enjoy reading about her family and her relationship with her son, Rob, who wants to avoid the upcoming war, but slowly he is finding himself more and more intertwined. There are many different points of view in Dawnlands, and while this was definitely interesting, all of these characters and story lines were difficult to keep straight at least for the first half of the novel. Also, I had a hard time remembering the last book, Dark Tides, as it was two years ago that I read it, so I desperately needed a recap. Once I got a refresher, I appreciated the story a bit more, so with that said, Dawnlands is most definitely not a stand-alone novel and the series should be read in order.
My favorite aspect of Dawnlands is Gregory's ability to bring to life a time and place long forgotten. Whether we are at Windsor Palace, a dark street in London, or even Barbados, she brings it to life expertly and I wouldn't expect anything less from Gregory, who is one of the best historical authors of our time. Also, interestingly enough, I have never read a historical novel that took place in Barbados, so that was especially compelling even though at times it was hard to read about what was going on there as it was colonized.
So, if you are a fan of the Fairmile series, I don't think you will be disappointed. While I didn't like this novel as much as the other novels in the series, it was still a solid addition to a compelling multi-generational saga. Let me know in the comments below if Dawnlands is on your TBR list and if you are a fan of the Fairmile series or Philippa Gregory.
I didn't realize "Dawnlands" was the third novel in a series, but picked up optimistically. This is also my first encounter with Philippa Gregory's writing.
"Dawnlands" is told from a series of alternating perspectives set in the 1860s, opening with Ned Ferryman rescuing Rowan, a girl from the Pokanoket tribe, from slavery before they return back to England. Livia, the sneaky and devious confidante to the queen, makes her presence known. The final storyline is covers Ailnor as well as her children Rob and Alys; Rob gets entwined in Ned's storyline as he tries to save the two from death and deportation.
I appreciated the historical context in this novel, as well as the focus on the enslavement of Native American people, which isn't frequently discussed about this period in time. Gregory's writing was complex and varied, and I appreciated the shifts in tone and style as she went between different character's perspectives. While I hadn't read any of the previous novels, I felt that it wasn't too difficult to catch up on the plot, although the additional context would have been helpful, I'm sure, in understanding the characters and situations.
The 3rd installment in the Fairmile series, this well written book continues with the life of Alinor Reekie and her family. Stretching from England to Barbados and back, through slavery and the end of the Stuart reign in England. With many of the characters from the previous books, this well written historical fiction promises to continue with the ending of this book...
I finished the final book in Philippa Gregory's Fairmile series this week. "Dawnlands" released last week and unfortunately fell flat for me. 3⭐
The previous books focused on Alinor and her children as they tried to raise their social status in mid-1600s England. This book was more about her brother Ned's journey as a soldier. The stories of Alinor's grandchildren and great-grandchildren were also important, including several marriage proposals and a friendship with the Queen. The book spans several continents again and raises themes of what it means to be free and who has the right to rule over others.
I enjoyed Ned's story the most, which surprised me because that was not the case in the last book. I thought he really understood love and sacrifice the best, out of all the characters.
Gregory's books tend to be dense and usually I love that. However, this one felt fairly slow to me. Above all else, I was disappointed in the ending and felt like it needed an epilogue (or even another book!) to wrap up several characters' arcs.
⚠️ slavery, torture, gruesome war deaths
A triumphant historical fiction novel, with all the elements of a great fairy tale.
Phillipa Gregory never fails to give us a captivating story, and a delicious set of characters. At the heart of this book is not just the heroes and heroines - but a delectable villainess we can all despise equally. As with many of her novels, the heroes have a seemingly endless set of circumstances that trump each previous one in its kindness. But the Livia, the Nobildonna di Picci, is quite possibly the worst villain in a book I've seen. And, without spoilers, there is truly nothing she won't do to serve her own cause.
This book is an impressive entangling of the storylines of various characters, all with rich and vibrant back stories and varying degrees of morality. It is a smorgasbord of cultures and religious beliefs, and always, lying in wait, the catalyst for evil, It is a story of strong women, weak women, and mean who are driven by their desires and their faith.
Honestly, I couldn't help but smile throughout this well-written, well-plotted novel. Always a delight to read a Gregory novel.
Thanks to NetGalley and Atria Books for an egalley in exchange for an honest review.
I am a huge fan of Philippa Gregory and I was anticipating the third book in her Fairmile series. We are now in the 1680's of English history and another civil war. Once again we meet with Ned Ferryman, returned from America with a young Pokanoket servant, Rowan. Ailnor, her son Rob, her daughter, Alys and their offspring are also on the dividing lines of the events brewing in the country. In addition to the nation's history, we have the exploration of marriage alliances, old loves, slavery, and the power of family.
The more books I read in this series, the more I like it. I even shed a few tears in this one. This should surprise no one who reads my reviews. I am a crier by nature. I loved the addition of Alys' granddaughters- Mia and Gabriella and Ned's servant, Rowan. This was a page turner and only my report cards kept me from finishing this historical fiction in one mighty swoop. It would be an absolute delight to have a mini-series about this family. I do love them so much!
Publication Date 08/11/22
Goodreads Review 16/11/22
I have not read any of this authors previous books and did not realize that Dawnlands was part of a book series! That said, I do still feel like this book worked as a standalone novel. I was able to follow along with the story with little confusion. I love a good period piece and this book did that well! I now need to go back and read the previous books from this series!
Dawnlands by Phillipa Gregory is the third in this trilogy which ends with the revolution against King James, the last Catholic Stuart king of England, by William and Mary of Holland, Protestants. It revolves around the extended family of Ned Fishman, who has returned from his exile in the New World, simply to fight this fight. It is very much about the daily lives of his niece and her family and their extended family, who run an import/export business using their own ships. One son is a doctor. One son is adopted, taken from an aristocrat who couldn’t be bothered with him, when she was cozying up to royalty.
It is chuck full of excellent characters, reflective of the times, as are all of Gregory’s books. It opens a window into this time period for casual readers of history. The book is accurate, well researched by a responsible author who has a shelf of books worth reading. The story is too complex to try to summarize and too colorful to be bothered. Read the book. It is worth it.
I was invited to read a free e-ARC of Dawnlands by Aria Books, through Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are mine. #Netgalley #AtriaBooks #PhillipaGregory #Dawnlands
I have been a fan of Philippa Gregory since reading 'The Other Boleyn Girl'. Her writing is beautifully crafted with a mixture of actual historical figures, suspense and romance. Always a good pick if you are into reading historical fiction with a bit of spice.
Thank you NetGalley and Atria Books for giving me the opportunity to read this!
Having not read the previous books in this series, I was gravely worried I would be confused, or not be able to pick up on what was occurring. I should have known better, and that Philippa Gregory would never do us dirty like that. This book stands alone on its own, I'm sure it would have been even more beautiful had I read the previous books but I really enjoyed it on its own without having done so.
This story follows Ned Ferryman, and his family members at the Reekie Wharf in London during a time of great upheaval in British history - the run up to the seizure of the throne by William of Orange and the fleeing to France by James Stuart. The story was so richly written, descriptive, and wonderful, but also relatable in a way that normally does not occur in historical fiction. Honestly, this is as I always expect from this author, but it's always a wonderful surprise when it does happen. I recommend this book to anyone wanting to read something completely engaging, something wonderful, something transporting.
This ebook was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Philipa Gregory, a #1 New York Times bestselling author, best known for 'The Other Boleyn Girl', which up until now, has been the only of her books that I have read. I am not interested in the Romance genre, after reading 'Dawnland', I am anticipating reading more from this author. Philipa seems to focus mainly on the Tudors, which is an interest of mine, mainly through nonfiction. Several of her books have been made into movies, most notably 'The Last Tudors' was adapted to a 10 part series 'The White Queen'. Philipa has faced some criticism, although her "commitment to historical accuracy" some critics noted that her work does not contain inaccuracies; however, the character of Anne (The Other Boleyn Girl) as 'unsupported'.
'Dawnlands' is the third book of the ''Fairimile' series. From the beginning, I am engaged with the story,however, I was slightly lost since I have no backstory. At the quarter mark, I I became familiar with the characters and their importance to the story. I very much enjoyed the short chapters, rather than feeling choppy, they flowed well together.
I became completely lost in the story and flew through the 500 pages and loved the characters and it was easy to visualize their appearance. My favourite character is Rowan. I became engaged with her story and could not get enough. She is a courageous character and I need more of her.
Rowan's backstory is that she is purchased by Ned Ferryman in order to rescue her from slavery. In order to keep her safe, she is dressed as a boy in the majority of the novel.
I wish I could give this novel more than five stars, the book was a treat, and thank you Philipa Gregory, Simon and Schuster, and NetGalley for giving me the privilege of reading the novel and I've written an honest review.
I definitely rounded up my rating basically because a new character that I really liked was introduced. This is the third book in the Fairmile series. I have not read anything by this author other than this particular series. But the thing that I like most is that the author makes up her own characters in this series, which is not what she has done in the past.
Regarding the series, I really enjoy it a lot. I love the main characters and I find myself rooting for them and hoping that their lives will turn out in a manner that suits them, despite all of the tragedy and hardships they encounter.
As far as this installment, it felt like a sort of spacer that spent time introducing new characters, even though I was under the assumption that this would be the last book in the series. I might be wrong. But this book didn't have as much going on as the other books. Either she struggled to end it or she's setting up future books. I was left feeling unfulfilled.
As usual, Philippa Gregory created a good story around historical events in an entertaining manner. My only complaint is I did not realize it was book 3. Fortunately, I am familiar with the history so I could follow along but I am now going to have to purchase the other two books.
In 1685 England, King Charles II died without an heir and many people don't want his brother James to take the throne. Ned Ferryman wants to return from America with his Pokanoket servant to join the rebel army. His sister Alinor and her daughter Alys are convinced to save the queen in exchange for the chance to return to Tidelands and rule. Alinor’s son wants nothing to do with the war, but is coerced to create an imposter Prince of Wales.
Dawnlands is the third book of the Fairmile series, but I missed the first two books of this generational saga. That's okay, I don't feel like I missed anything. Any pertinent information regarding relationships are supplied by context, and there's enough new tension to roll with it. The family is once again embroiled in situations borne of royal issues. England is firmly Protestant at this point, but the Stuart King James and his wife Mary Beatrice are Catholic. The religious tension trickles down to the people as well, though merchant's tend to avoid conflicts of principles. Johnny verbalized it the most with Ned: money is the only thing of value for most people, as it's the way of getting power, comfort and safety. Ned is an idealist, believing all people are equal regardless of gender, nationality or religion. This is obviously not a common sentiment for the time period, and his efforts to make changes are stymied because of his lack of wealth.
As an epic story spanning generations, we have different priorities between the characters, discussions of past events, and the current political instability to bring it to the reader's attention. We see the harsh reality of slavery in Barbados before it became so widespread in the American colonies, the need to survive at all costs (however it's defined by the characters) and how for some characters that drive to succeed ultimately leaves them alone at the end. They don't fail, exactly; Johnny is a businessman, and Livia schemes her way to the top no matter who she has to manipulate. It was fascinating to see this play out against history. Focusing on the family means we have a vested interest in this era of history in England, and the impact it had on the common people, not just the nobility and royalty.