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Head Over Heels In Love With Philippa Gregory’s Historical Novels
Today’s post is for you bookworms out there!
Let’s get one thing straight – I LOVE books. Like, seriously love them. I have ever since I was little. Maybe it’s because I am an only child, but I really enjoyed losing myself in magical worlds and exciting adventures. Enid Blyton was a huge favourite of mine (and still is to this day), and I went through our school library’s collection of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys quite quickly. I had a love affair with The Babysitter’s Club and Sweet Valley High too – ahhhh memories! I’d love to hear if you enjoyed those books too, and if not, which ones you did enjoy the most growing up.
After moving to Tokyo, somehow I stopped reading. In Nagoya books had been easily available but once I moved something happened. Perhaps I was lazy, or couldn’t be bothered, or wanted to do something else with my time. Who knows?
But towards the end of last year I decided to join my local library, which quite amazingly is down a quiet street off the famous and bustling Takeshita Dori in Harajuku. Chuo Library has a really good foreign books corner! Quite impressive! I usually read a book a week if I can and a few months in there are still plenty I need to get round to reading.
Membership is free, and I am allowed to order in 20 books a year free of charge. How amazing is that??
Joining the library was the best thing I did last year, and it has rekindled my passion for reading. I always make sure to have a book in my bag now.
Even more amazing is that in taking that step I discovered a passion for Philippa Gregory’s historical novels. There are several of her books on the shelves and I have read all of the ones available to me at this time.
I was never particularly interested in British history or even women in history until I read her books.
I started with The White Queen, and have not looked back since.
A Magical Storyteller
Her storytelling is magical, and she adds a dimension of complexity to female characters that have been largely ignored or two dimensional. She brings these strong women to life in the most enthralling way. I spent most of The Lady of the Rivers as in love with Jacquetta of Luxembourg’s husband as she was – that is no mean feat, and totally dreamy in my opinion!
The Lady of the Rivers also combined my love of Philippa Gregory’s storytelling with my love of tarot – a hobby I started last year and am learning about more and more. The Wheel of Fortune card is linked through the entire book and is a good reminder of the old adage “what goes around comes around” and “what goes up must come down.” There are times in life when we rise, and inevitably a fall comes, but we ride it out and rise again. Thus is the cycle (or circle if you want!) of life. Great life lessons in there.
I now appreciate how difficult life was for all of these courtiers and how little freedom the women had to choose anything for themselves, even if they were part of the nobility, and just how insane Henry VIII really was, especially towards the end. Seeing these women take control of their destinies and fight for what they believed in is so inspiring.
It is so difficult to describe how magical Philippa Gregory’s books are, but I recommend you to pick up just one and give it a try.
If you love being lost in other worlds, and you hate having to be pulled back to this one, then Philippa Gregory is for you.
I intend to read all of her books as soon as I possibly can. Perhaps there is no current writer I love more than her, except for Haruki Murakami, although I am loving J.K. Rowling’s Cormorant Strike novels too.
The world of books is a magical one, and I am so grateful that I have been able to experience it.
Being the book nerd that I am, I would love to hear any suggestions you have for me! Please, please recommend away.
Wishing you all the most beautiful day everyone!