Sunday, 29 May 2011

'Dunsinane' by David Greig

I went to see 'Dunsinane' at the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh last night. I've always felt that Shakespeare was a little unfair in the way he portrayed Lady Macbeth but David Greig has done an excellent job in righting some of the wrongs done to her.
The play is actually a sequel to 'Macbeth' and is set some years after his death. With the apparently weak and banal King Malcolm on the throne Lady Macbeth, who goes by her own name of Gruach, plays out a clever political game against the English who were occupying Scotland at the time.
The play has some clever touches such as the use of Gaelic and music to highlight the cultural differences between the Scots and the English and there is a great deal of humour as well as some dramatic moments. Siobhan Redmond is excellently cast as Gruach and Brian Ferguson is hilarious in the role of Malcolm.
It's moving to Glasgow on 7th June and then to the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. Well worth seeing.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

'The Chronicles of Barsetshire' by Anthony Trollope

I am currently reading 'The Warden' which is, of course, the first of 'The Chronicles of Barsetshire' although I have already read 'Barchester Towers' and have now set myself the task of reading my way through the full series.

I love Trollope's gentle humour and the wonderful way that he portrays his characters and find that reading about the daily lives of the inhabitants of Barchester is the perfect antidote to coping with today's hectic world.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Audrey Niffenegger's 'The Time Traveler's Wife'

I almost gave up on reading this near the beginning but am so glad that I didn't. The problem was that I couldn’t quite get my head around the idea of a genetic condition that causes the sufferer to move between his past and present. However, once I was used to the idea I became totally absorbed in the affairs of Henry and Clare as their romance and then their marriage progressed as well as the way in which their friends and respective families dealt with them.
'The Time Traveler's Wife' was the author's first novel and she dealt impressively with a very difficult theme and produced a novel that was fantasy and yet surprisingly believable due to the convincing characterization. Part of this was also due to the fact that Audrey Niffenegger set clear parameters as to what was and was not possible in Henry's world. As a result I laughed with, worried for and cried for Henry and Clare but also pondered some of the more serious issues that arose, such as the implications for couples wanting to have children when one of them has a genetic impairment.
A well-written and thought-provoking work that left me keen to read the author's next novel.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Latest read - 'Sacred Hearts' by Sarah Dunant

I am currently reading 'Sacred Hearts' by Sarah Dunant and this is one of those books that you really get drawn into. Set in a convent in the Italian city of Ferrara in 1570 (the Renaissance is one of my favourite periods in history) it tells the story of a young novice, Serafina, who is sent by her family to the convent of Santa Caterina which is famed for its music.The convent values her for her outstanding singing voice but Serafina's only desire is to escape back into the world where she believes that her illicit lover is waiting for her .....

This is the first book I have read by Sarah Dunant and am so impressed that I have put others by her onto my wish list.


A little bit about me


 I'm Lesley and I've been meaning to start a book blog for some time (well it's really a kind of cultural blog as I like to go to exhibitions and see plays, etc. as well). I love books and always have since I was very young and read most kinds of of fiction plus a lot of non-fiction as well but, although my tastes are wide, my main passion is for historical fiction which allows me to escape to other times and other places.

I hope I can share my passion with you.