Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Valley of Heaven and Hell - Cycling in the Shadow of Marie-Antoinette (Susie Kelly)

Overall: 4.5
  • Content: 4/5
  • Originality: 5/5
  • Language: 4.2/5
  • Credibility: 5/5
The Valley of Heaven and Hell - Cycling in the Shadow of Marie-Antoinette by Susie Kelly

Between the glitzy glitter of Versailles and the effervescent glamour of Champagne lies the beautiful but little-known Marne valley. The author and her husband set off to explore this part of France by bike. Their route traced the escape attempt of Marie-Antoinette and Louis XVI, and led them to quaint provincial towns, as well as to battlefields and monuments marking the first heroic engagements of American troops during the Great War. Cycling wasn't Susie's forte, and there were moments of domestic strife. A gripping blend of history, travel, tragedy and humour.
Genre: Nonfiction
Purchase Links:
Kindle US | UK
Paperback US | UK

During one alternately rainy and scorching summer vacation, author Susie Kelly and her husband, Terry, set off on bicycle to follow the journey of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette through the Marne Valley. Along they way, food is consumed, physical endurance is tested, and French history is shared. More than as travelogue, as it were, The Valley of Heaven and Hell immerses readers in the past while engaging their sympathies for present troubles. The result is a memorable shared trip through 750 kilometers' worth of France.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

The Scarab (Scott Rhine)

A review for The Scarab will not be posted on this blog. While interesting in theory, the technical details make it feel too much like a video game description and too little like a novel for my tastes. The frequent, and inappropriate, shifts in tense and confusion of basic grammatical details, like "its" versus "it's," have also left me cold. After wading through a third of the novel, I am conceding defeat and moving on to the next work in the queue.


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