Discussion Forums - Historical Fiction

Topic: June RAL - A Vision of Light - Chapters 1-3

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: June RAL - A Vision of Light - Chapters 1-3
Date Posted: 5/30/2013 7:06 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
Back To Top
Let the discussions of the June read along begin! This thread is for information, questions or comments pertaining to chapters 1-3. BE AWARE of SPOILERS.
Date Posted: 6/2/2013 1:51 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 929
Back To Top

I began the book today.  Not too far in but so far very good.  It's one of those older hf books that hooks you into the story and people right away and gives a great sense of time and place.  Just wonderfng, can anyone suggest a nonfiction book about life in medieval England that might be a good companion book?  I would like to see illustrations of everyday life - clothing, homes, etc.  I wouldn't rule out a well-done children's book!

Date Posted: 6/2/2013 6:06 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
Back To Top
Im nearing the end of the 3rd chapter and my reaction is a bit different. Im feeling like the story is a bit of a snoozer. Pages and pages about getting married and societys treatment of women and children. Yawn. Not sure this book is my cuppa, but im continuing it for now.
Date Posted: 6/4/2013 8:52 AM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,393
Back To Top

Genie, I agree with you completely. The narration got a little slow and the story wasn't progressing much at all.

However, I love Brother Gregory with all his conflicts and faults; and I enjoy this structure of going back and forth between the story and the people doing the writing/narrating. Reminds me the Arthur trilogy by Bernard Cornwell. 

And, I'm enough ahead that I can confidently tell you that it gets better! Margaret picks up the pace and gets to the actual business of telling her story.

Kelly

 

Date Posted: 6/5/2013 9:25 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 929
Back To Top
Date Posted: 6/5/2013 9:48 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 929
Back To Top
Date Posted: 6/5/2013 2:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 929
Back To Top

I've had the most frustrating morning.  My computer automatically upgraded to IE10 during the night.  Apparently there's an incompatibility issue with the forum format here at PBS.  Luckily, there was a member on the help line who was able to give me detailed instructions for over riding this but after many tries, no luck!  So I switched to Firefox and, voila!  It's wonderful that there are people here at the swap who are willing to take the time to trouble shoot these problems.

Genie requested to step down as moderator for this months read-along so I volunteered to do it in her place.  So....I'm anxious to hear what everybody thinks about chapters 1-3.  So far I am enjoying the book.  I like the structure of Margaret using a scribe to re-tell her life story and also the back and forth between her and Gregory.  There's lots of historical detail about everyday life in the middle ages that I am enjoying.  I'm curious about Lewis' understanding that the plague was carried by the furs he had bought.  I thought that people of the time were wildly superstitious about the origins of the plague - blaming everything from the wrath of God to Jews poisoning the wells.  Would love to have clarification from those of you in the know!

Date Posted: 6/6/2013 7:46 AM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
Back To Top

@Donna, I had the same experience, but I use Google Chrome too, so I just switched to it. For those with Windows 7 or 8 and do not want their browsers to auto-update, go to the Help menu in the browser and select About Internet Explorer. Then uncheck the box, Install new versions automatically.

Carry on with the discussion!

Date Posted: 6/6/2013 11:43 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 929
Back To Top

Thanks, Genie. 

Date Posted: 6/8/2013 12:56 AM ET
Member Since: 4/27/2007
Posts: 8,502
Back To Top

I was completely squicked out by the flea games and the lecture about why bathing is bad for you at the very beginning of the book. I immediately started feeling itchy and wanted to take a shower.

I always forget that the Middle Ages were a really dirty, sweaty, smelly time to be alive.

wink

Date Posted: 6/8/2013 8:49 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,393
Back To Top

Laura, The flea game was a little difficult for me to read as well ... and that the children were so nonchalant about it! The times, they have-a changed!

 

Date Posted: 6/9/2013 8:34 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 929
Back To Top

The flea game and comments about bathing struck me, too - wanting to be too clean was seen as sin of vanity.   Also the description of the one room dwelling with the whole family sleeping in one bed at one end and straw for livestock at the other!

Date Posted: 6/12/2013 12:18 AM ET
Member Since: 4/27/2007
Posts: 8,502
Back To Top

Husband #1 is officially an ass.

angry

Date Posted: 6/12/2013 11:44 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 929
Back To Top

He is!  And unfortuanately so was dear old dad. The men aren't coming off very well in this book so far.

Date Posted: 6/14/2013 8:10 AM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
Back To Top

I just downloaded mine from library this morning. Hope to get started soon.

Date Posted: 6/15/2013 9:44 AM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
Back To Top

I just started, 3% in. Slow start for me as well. I'll be a captive audience for a fee hours while I get the gray washed out of my hair, but at least with the kindle I will have backup options if it doesn't improve.

Date Posted: 6/17/2013 10:10 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
Back To Top
I finally got started! I think I'm on Chapter 5, and I'm enjoying it. I liked it from the beginning. I especially really like Margaret. Such a keen mind but with a self-deprecating way about her. I suppose considering the times she had to be careful not to express thoughts, deductions, etc. that were unseemly in a woman.
Date Posted: 6/18/2013 7:46 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 929
Back To Top

Shelley, I'm glad you are enjoying the book.  I liked Margaret, too.  She handles Gregory pretty well to get what she wants, don't you think?  Being a smart woman in that society seems a little like maneuvering a land mine. 

Date Posted: 6/18/2013 9:29 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
Back To Top

Donna, I agree.  Margaret's handling of Brother Gregory is genius!  She really observes him and makes dead on observations (rarely voiced out loud, of course) on his psyche.  If only he knew how much she has him figured out.