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Comments

Kathy

Merciful heavens, 35 books?! That's quite a commitment. I have mixed feelings about that--if the stories were wonderful, then great, but if I had to slog through them, I'd probably give up. It sounds like you're enjoying yourself, though, so good for you.

cathy

I am loving this series and have found that it is easier to keep the pace going when I read one every month or two; this is because when I let the time between books get to more than about 6 months, I tend to forget details. I didn't think much of Annunciata either, and can only say "Keep going" because the stories do pick up again.

Danielle

That is a lot of books, isn't it? If you are a fan of historical fiction and/or British history then this might look like a veritable smorgasbord of delightful reading. I have really enjoyed the books I read before, don't get me wrong as I criticize this poor book--it's just that one character. Actually now that I have settled into the story I am finding I reach for it more often than not. I love the idea of a series of books tracking one family through the centuries, it's fun. Sometimes a story can indeed be a slog and then I will abandon it without much guilt, but I do want to keep going with these books. I was sounding a little crabby in my post, wasn't I?

Danielle

I think a steady pace is absolutely the way to approach these books! I always want to keep reading once I start but I manage to get sidetracked and when I know I am not a fan of a particular character or period it is easy to pick up some other book entirely. I did go back and write a post about the books I read (but never wrote about properly) and now I am glad I did so as I can go back and refresh my memory. I am getting into the story now, however, and find I reach for this one more than almost any of my other books! My plan is to always have one on the go and try and read one a month like you are doing! Maybe we can motivate each other to keep going at a nice steady pace? Which book are you at? I think you are much farther than me and I won't be able to catch up, but I'll keep at it. And I am happy to finally be in the 1700s at least. Are you going to read her WWI books?

Liz F

Annunciata did for me too - it must be more than ten years since I read any of the Morland novels so I will probably have to go back to the beginning again if I start to re-read them! I am so overcommitted with books right now (heard that before haven't you?) that I'm not sure I will get around to it in anything like the near future although there is a definite appeal in the thought of working my way through a family saga.
I am almost nostalgic for the days when it wasn't so easy to be put in the way of temptation of more and more books simply by the click of a mouse and you actually had to go to the library/bookshop to find out what they had available rather than doing research and placing requests/orders from the comfort of a chair!
There again, I could always grow a spine and resist temptation better than I do at the moment!

Margaret Powling

I bought and attempted to read the first one, thinking I'd have a wonderful series ahead of me, but after a few chapters I just couldn't read any more. OK, perhaps the writing gets better as the series develops, first books in a series are sometimes not the best, the author has characters to develop and also find his or her own writing 'voice'. Perhaps I should try again, but with so many truly excellent series out there, perhaps this just isn't for me. I loved Norah Lofts' Town House series (OK, only a trilogy and not 35 books!) but for me the quality of writing is the priority, characters and place come second and then plot. The Lofts' series had all these, in spades.

cathy

I finished #12, The Victory, about a month ago and will have to wait until the fall to continue as we are at our summer place and I forgot to bring the next two with me. This gives me a chance to catch up on other reading, so not a bad thing! I definitely plan to read her WW1 series, and picked up one of her Bill Slider mysteries at the local library, just for fun. Haven't started it yet. I am reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tarrt right now and have very mixed feelings about it. Have you read it?

Debbie Q

I happened to pick up the first book in this series sometime in January, perhaps through Paperback Book Swap? I am determined to make my way through all 35 books. In fact, it has sort of become an obsession. I finish a Morland book, I read a non-Morland book. Morland, non-Morland. etc. I especially struggled with the books dealing with the time of the Civil War but I persevered and got my Morland wind back, so to speak. I am currently half way through The Regency. Too far to stop now!!

Danielle

I don't think I'll manage to catch up with you anytime soon, but I hope to keep going at a nice steady pace so I won't be too far behind! And there is always other reading to catch up on, isn't there?! Where is your summer place again? I know you have mentioned it before--it sounds quite nice to get away this time of year and hopefully you have a nice pile of books along with you. I have not read any of CHE's mysteries, though I am sure I have one or two that I picked up at library sales. I have a copy of The Goldfinch and have heard so many varied things about it I am not sure whether to be curious or to want to shuffle it down a bit on my pile. I think I won't get to it anytime soon in any case. Do let me know what you think of it when you finish. I have a huge stack of library books from which I really need to choose one to work on reading.... Some are Booker longlist titles--but now that I have a few in hand I am not sure how much they really tempt me...doesn't that sound awful!

Danielle

I had thought I would have to go back to the beginning and start again, but I decided to just press on. I think one or two books ago I went back and did a little refresher and then tried to write about them so I would have a little place saved where I could go back and read plot summaries anyway. If I could just keep whittling away at the pile of books it would be a good way to keep them in mind better. Was there a time when it wasn't easy to be put in the way of temptation? Before the internet in my case, I'd say, though bookstores were always (and ever shall be) Dangerous! Oh and libraries, too. Some things never change and I wish I could resist not just accumulating books (both borrowed and bought) but continually starting them, too!! (without finishing them that is...).

Danielle

I'd say it is a good thing to know when a book or series of book just doesn't appeal and you can pick up something else you really do want to read. I must check out the Norah Lofts' books--that is a new to me author. I do enjoy the Morland books--I can get sucked into a good family drama, though, and can be pretty forgiving about things if I like the story. There is certainly lots of drama with the Morlands--though I will really be happy to move forward in time a bit.

Danielle

It sounds like you are zipping through the books at a good pace! I am going to try and stick with the books a bit better and I am sure I will get hooked on the story again. I am getting more involved in the story in this book--Annunciata is not around as much as in the previous book which helps. I am looking forward to moving into the 1700s, though. Which title are you on now?

Liz F

Norah Lofts is a bit of a blast from the past for me. I can remember reading a lot of her books back in the 70's when I was a fairly young teenager - YA fiction didn't really exist then so you went pretty much from childrens' books to adult fiction which in my case meant Jean Plaidy, Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart and Norah Lofts to name a few! I have to say though that while I thought Lofts was a good writer, one or two scenes in her books specifically dealing with the fate of animals, left me with nightmares for a while!

Danielle

Why is it I can read a crime novel (granted as long as their is not too much violence and that it is not gratuitous), but harm to animals completely bothers me as well! When I was in that in between stage I read Judy Blume's more adult books, V.C. Andrews (talk about trash....but I gulped them down) and Phyllis Whitney. Did you read Phyllis Whitney (I think she was American, but must look that up now). She wrote wonderful Gothic suspense novels. Ah, those were the days. Though I would never swap my books out for them for anything!

cathy

Our summer place is near Huntsville, about 3 hours north of Toronto; it is idyllic, we are so fortunate! I loved Norah Lofts many years ago. She was right in there with Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, etc for me. I am almost done The Goldfinch, and have rarely finished a book about which I had so many mixed feelings. I probably wouldn't have stuck with it in the city, but time is more relaxed up here; plus, I did quite a bit of skimming!

Margaret Powling

Yes, I agree totally with Liz, some animals came to a sticky end in The Town House (and I think this is easily the best of the Town House trilogy.) I have only ever read one other book by Lofts (Madselin) which I read more than 40 years ago, but I loved Victoria Holt's gothic novels as well. I think I'm a more discerning reader now (older, maybe not that much wiser!) but the writer who stand head and shoulders above the rest (of this kind of romantic fiction writing) is Catherine Gaskin, whom I think I mentioned a few weeks ago. I loved her novel The Summer of the Spanish Woman and that still holds up as a good read today, I think.

I was only saying to my husband today, it's strange that books are written specially for children and young adults today and yet, when they go to school - or this happened in my day - they are force fed Dickens, Austen and Shakespeare (and in my case, Milton for A Level English.) It seems daft when you think about it: these writers weren't writing for children, were they? Indeed, school put be off Dickens forever. O-Level English was Hardy's The Trumpet Major and I managed not to read this, I just listened to what others had to say about it in class ... and I passed my exam!

Caroline

I did a double take - 35 books! But you don't sound all that enthusiastic. There must be something utterly appealing in this if you keep on reading. Just not the characters, I'd say.

Danielle

I swear it is all marketing!! YA and juvenile books are a huge market these days and you know what big publishers are like! I did have YA novels when I was in school and it is nice being able to read stories about someone like me/the same age, but I do know what you mean. Hopefully with some guided reading there will be a bridge from YA stuff to more adult books. I know my library's collection actually has lots of 'adult' novels interspersed--those crossover books that can be read and appreciated by either audience. It is a huge jump from say Judy Blume (who actually I loved) to Milton! And I did it, too, as I too advanced college level English when I was in high school. With a good student/savvy reading I think the progression will be natural as YA novels are good and fill a need but there is a point when as a reader you just want something more substantial. And for the kids who are not readers, YA novels are good, too, as they might draw them in where Dickens won't. I don't know what it is like in the UK, but I know here YA sections in bookstores can be massive! I wonder if you mentioned Catherine Gaskin in an email...I didn't jot her down at the time, but have just looked her up and will add her to my wishlist--she looks good, too. The Lofts seem to have a more historical slant--books about royalty and such that I need to be in the mood for. I never did read Victoria Holt, but I do have one of her books on hand that I found at a library sale!

Danielle

That quite a few, isn't it!! I am enthusiastic to get past the 1700s! :) I am actually finally really getting drawn into this book and am finding one of the younger/newer characters so irritating that now that Anunciata is back from being in exile with the king (who has just died...) that I am actually sort of happy to see her as I suspect she is going to give India her comeuppance! How's that for getting into a story! Hah. actually I do really like the books and look forward to getting past all the Civil War and Restoration stuff. Not my favorite era in history. I think I will especially like the 1800s onwards, though.

Stefanie

India is only 15? Wow, if she were in high school she'd be top mean girl. I enjoyed watching you warm up to the book as you wrote along :)

Danielle

She would be a mean girl (and a manipulative one, too!). I can see her being a serious bully. I think I have found someone I dislike even more than Anunciata--I thought that wasn't possible! I am enjoying it--I am even almost happy that Anunciata has returned to England and hope she puts India in her place.

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