Today I am grateful for reading challenges. We finally have the grand-dog tuckered out so I can now speak for myself. I’m challenging my brain cells and reading a 600 page novel, Daughter of York, by Anne Easter Smith. It’s fitting because Her Majesty (Winnie) rarely sleeps unless it is on a pillow or cushion. The main character in the book has, for the first time, slept like a serf and was bitten alive by bedbugs. Swell.
This book is a challenge. Not only does it have a Dramatis Personae listing all of the characters and titles; it also has a Platagenet Family Tree; and a useless map that I have dog-eared, but it still doesn’t have all the places listed on it; and a Glossary, also dog-eared, so that I can learn that a “houppeland” is a full-length tunic with full sleeves and a train, “jakes” is a pisspot and a “leman” is a lover, usually a mistress. Don’t get them switched up. Then there is a Bibliography, Summary and Discussion Questions. Are you kidding me? I could never discuss this book. I’m almost finished and I still don’t understand it all. Hah! All? Almost none!
Why am I reading this thing, you might ask, as I have asked myself about a hundred times? Because someone bought it for me knowing my fascination with all things British and I thought I needed a challenge. I don’t remember who gave it to me and that’s a good thing or I’d get them over here to explain the last 400 chapters. It took me weeks of reading/napping to even get to the point where I cared about the characters. But I didn’t quit. I’m sure it fascinates some readers to be thusly challenged, but heading into the last 100 pages, I can’t imagine why. Still, I read on, because I have always finished a book I’ve started. Always except once, when I threw “Wicked” across the room and refused to pick it up for days. If I want to learn a new language I’ll get tapes.
I admire the fact that any writer would take on such a project. Just jostling the ancient locations (1461-1468), endless travels and nightmare names in several languages would send me screaming. I wouldn’t know if she made any mistakes because I’m too mentally challenged to check on that. I do know that if Margaret doesn’t’ end up with Anthony, I’m burning this book in my back yard! Watch for the smoke because it isn’t looking good.
So today I am grateful for reading challenges. I’m gonna finish this one today or die trying. Next I’m going to read quick-trash! It’s all about balance.