Monday, May 12, 2014

Burning Bright

Burning Bright –by Tracy Chevalier

Fiction, Historical
637 KB / 327 pages
4 Stars

London 1793-1793, or rather, one small neighborhood and two families, with the Blake's in the middle.

To be honest (and somewhat embarrassed) I didn't realize the neighbor, Mr. Blake was THE William Blake until I began reading some of the other reviews. Neither that particular part of history, nor he, nor his poetry, have ever been great favorites of mine, in case you couldn't tell.

I read this story as a coming of age story of two young people, Jem and Maggie and except for the long bouts of poetry I fairly well enjoyed it. Until the end. Something about the end left me dissatisfied. Like a well prepared gourmet meal and a bag of cheap cookies from the corner store for dessert. It was OK, but....

My first Chevalier book was The Last Runaway, and I loved it. This is my second book, and though not as soul satisfying as the first, I am eager to read the rest of her books. Ms. Chevalier is an accomplished author, she does her research, and her characters are captivating.

The picture she paints of London fairly reeked with the stench that Jem and his family must have up with put once there after having come from the country. The street-wise girl, Maggie was a delight. I enjoyed the banter between the two, in their own dialects. Normally, I don't care for dialog in dialect, but Chevalier both handled it well, and did not over-use it.

If you are interested in London of the 1790s, and or Blake (yes, THAT Blake;-) I highly recommend this book. If you just want a good story, I still recommend this book. A most engaging story well told of life as it was lived then.

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