Sunday, September 12, 2010

60. The Illuminator by Brenda Rickman Vantease

14th Century England is the setting for this hirtorical novel which revolves around the illicit translation of the Bible into English, bringing about a change in the entire religious atmosphere of the country.  Several historical personages are part of the story including John Wucliff, the priest who takes on the the Ensligh translation, the Biship of Norwich, a corrupt priest who abuses his power and is willing to almost anything to prevent any change to the status quo, the Sheriff of Norwich, a man trying to enlarge his own estates and wealth, and John of Gaunt, the regent to the young King of England.  The main fictional characters are Lady Kathryn, a middle-aged widow and mother of two sons struggling to make ends meet while holding on to her estates in the face of pressure to marry the sheriff and incresing taxes from the Bishop; and Finn, a talented illuminator hired to create drawings for a local abbey.  The abbey pays kathryn to rpovide lodging for Finn and his daughter while he complete his work.  Not only do they fall in love, but his daughter and one of the sons fall in love as well.

I enjoyed the hsitory involved in this story but found the romance and consequent turmoil too sad and tense.  Even so, I wanted to keep reading to see what was going to heppen next.  That kept me going right up to the end, which I hated.  Rating:  3.75

1 comment:

  1. I have owned this book essentially since it came out and STILL haven't read it. One day I might change that!