You know that "fifty page" rule (rule in the loosest of definitions), I think I am going to use it. My own version of it anyway. Fifty pages is about how far into most books I need to get before I'm sure I am going to settle down with a story. Enough pages to know whether it is a story I like that and likely will click with me. So fifty pages it will be before a new read shows up on my sidebar. Hopefully by then it will be a "keeper" and one of the few goals I am going to have in the coming year will be to try and stay focused on whatever book happens to be in hand at the moment (and hopefully will stay in hand until I get to the end).
I have to say I am almost giddy with happiness at the prospect of a few new reads (this being the first of several--will share the others soon). I've gotten a few 'obligation' reads out of the way and finished a couple of books (hopefully will be writing about them in the coming week or so), as well as am mostly finished with class reading (at least am done with class discussion of books), and now I need something new. As much as I want to chip away at my pile of 'languishers', I've decided I need to give into whim sometimes, too. Not always wait for an excuse to start a new book, particularly one I have really been wanting to read (but always waiting for that 'right' moment--which never seems to come). And C.J. Sansom's Dominion is one of those books.
Dominion is a very hefty book--over 700 pages (including a very interesting looking bibliographical note which has lots of references to other books Sansom must have used in his research), but the type is nice and legible--not too tiny and not covering the page from edge to edge creating a massive block of type that mostly ends up intimidating me. If all the blurbs are correct, I think this will be a real page turner and so all those many pages will be pure pleasure.
If those first 50+ pages are anything to go by, I think this will indeed be a good story to lose myself in and perfect vacation/holiday read. The main story begins in 1952 with references that go back in time as explanation for how and why Britain has ended up as part of the German Reich. The events take place over the course of a year or so.
This is an alternative history story. It is a 'what if' story where nothing has turned out as we know it. England pulled out of France after the defeat of Dunkirk. And in this story they gave into the Fascists and didn't return to fight another day. Churchill is the leader of the Resistance. Lord Halifax is the Prime Minister and the Queen a young woman.
I'm not sure I have all the political aspects of the story, or the government quite straight yet (Hitler is suffering from Parkinson's and stays mostly out of the limelight), but it's David Fitzgerald and his wife Sarah who the story is mostly going to concern itself with. David is a civil servant working in the Dominion offices and gets pulled into the Resistance. He is using his work connections to spy on the government and pass on information. Sarah is a pacifist and stays at home (as all patriotic women are meant to do). Not long ago they lost their only son in an accident. So that is the set up so far.
My teaser is an intriguing one, because David is a Jew. And no one knows. Not even his wife.
"He knew under the law he too should have worn a yellow badge, and should not be working in government service, an employment forbidden to Jews. But David's father, twelve thousand miles away, was the only other person who knew his mother had been that rare thing, an Irish Jew. And half a Jew was a Jew in Britain now; the penalty for concealing your identity was indefinite detention. In the 1941 census, when people were asked for the first time to state their religion, he had declared himself a Catholic. He had done the same thing whenever renewing his identity card, and the same again in the 1951 census, which this time also asked about Jewish parents or grandparents. But however often David pushed it all to the back of his mind, sometimes, in the night, he work up terrified."
Already the plot thickens and by making David Jewish it all becomes all the more suspenseful.
I really must stop worrying about finding 'excuses' to read the books I really want to read. Do you do that, too? Think you will read X as soon as you finishe Y and Z, because they need to be read for some other reason (other than pure pleasure). I think this one's going to be a good one and am so glad I picked it up.