Catching Up On Book Reviews!

The middle sister in a celebrated artistic dynasty, Daphne du Maurier is one of the master storytellers of our time, author of REBECCA, JAMAICA INN and MY COUSIN RACHEL. Her success and fame were enhanced by films of her novels and horrifying short stories, Don′t Look Now and the unforgettable The Birds among them. But this fame overshadowed her sisters Angela and Jeanne, a writer and an artist of talent, living quiet lives even more unconventional than Daphne′s own.

In this group biography they are considered side by side, as they were in life, three sisters brought up in the hothouse of a theatrical family with a peculiar and powerful father. This family dynamic reveals the hidden lives of Piffy, Bird & Bing, full of social non-conformity, creative energy and compulsive make-believe, their lives as psychologically complex as a Daphne du Maurier plotline.

My Thoughts
Being an admirer of Daphne du Maurier's writing, having read her books, and treasured them, I was really looking forward to meeting the sisters. Well, meet them I did! Wow, Jane Dunn, doesn't leave anything to the imagination concerning the du Maurier sisters. This was my problem with the book itself. It is far too detailed, almost to the extreme. Not only does Dunn cover the birth to life aspect of all three women which I commend, she includes far too much, ie, weather, detailed fashion clothes, she covers the parents and the grandparents, psychosocial attributes to the du Maurier line. It is an enjoyable read but I could have done without the analysis of tiny tidbits that could have been edited out. The reader can draw their own conclusions.

Her writing style is simple and succinct which is good, especially in a group biography attempt. I would have enjoyed photographs in the book but I read an online version, so maybe that's why. If you want to learn about the 'entire lives' of each sister, including food habits, and the grandparents lives as well, sit down and get ready for quite the familial read! I would probably only give this one three stars! 

 The book cover is a Group portrait of the Du Maurier sisters with their dog Brutus by Frederic Whiting (1918). From left to right: Daphne, Jeanne and Angela

1564: Catholic herald William Harley, Clarenceaux King of Arms, is the custodian of a highly dangerous document. When it is stolen, Clarenceaux immediately suspects a group of Catholic sympathisers, the self-styled Knights of the Round Table.

Francis Walsingham, the ruthless protégé of the queen's Principal Secretary, Sir William Cecil, intercepts a coded message from the Knights to a Countess known to have Catholic leanings. He is convinced that Clarenceaux is trying to use the document to advance the cause of the Catholic Queen.

And soon Clarenceaux enters a nightmare of suspicion, deception and conspiracy. Conflict and fear, compounded by the religious doubts of the time, conceal a persistent mystery. Where has the document gone? Who has it and who really took it? And why? The roots of betrayal are deep and shocking: and Clarenceaux's journey towards the truth entails not just the discovery of clues and signs, but also the discovery of himself

My Thoughts
The Roots of Betrayal is the second book in a trilogy concerning Queen Elizabeth I. You do not have to read the first book, Sacred Treason to enjoy this one because there is a narrative explained that does not negate from the current story line. The plot surrounds a secret document that intends to topple Queen Elizabeth I. I know this has been done before, many times but James Forrester writes well and uses his knowledge of sixteenth century Tudor history in a way that supports not only the cast of characters but the entire storyline as well! I was pleasantly surprised by this. William Harley, called Clarenceux is the document keeper until someone he thought trustworthy enough steals it and the chase begins! It is from here on out that the story takes off and it is an adventure that you must go on!

If you don’t know all the historical figures within Elizabeth I’s privy council/secret service, it shouldn’t be much of a problem. This is a historical adventure story. Go with it! Cecil and Walsingham are featured prominently in The Roots of Betrayal and who knows maybe your interest might be piqued enough to do some research and investigation of your own! 

NOTE:  In lieu of the FTC review situation all three books were provided as online reading by NetGalley. My opinions are solely mine and I stand by them.


Maggie Peters said…
Great reviews! Honest and fair as usual.
Kimberly Eve said…
I'm glad you liked them. Thanks for the kind words, Maggie.
Laura Morrigan said…
There's two more books to add to my reading list! Thanks!
Kimberly Eve said…
I hope you enjoy those two books, Laura! I bet I know which one's they are, too! So happy you stopped by.
Kevin Marsh said…
Lovely artwork on these covers, hiding fascinating historical tales. You are right, more to add to my reading list.

Thank you for sharing
Kimberly Eve said…
Yes,the artwork is lovely and the tales fascinating. I hope you really enjoy those books on your reading list. Thanks for taking the time to visit and comment.

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