Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Philippa Carr - The Miracle at St. Bruno's

36. The Miracle at St. Bruno's by Philippa Carr (1972)
The Daughters of England Series Book 1
Length: 381 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Started: 1 July 2011
Finished: 5 July 2011
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 1 June 2011
Why do I have it? I love historical fiction and Philippa Carr (or whichever pseudonym she uses) is one of my favorite authors.

"I was born in the September of 1523, nine months after the monks had discovered the child in the crib on that Christmas morning. My birth was, my father used to say, another miracle: He was not young at the time being forty years of age ... My mother, whose great pleasure was tending her gardens, called me Damask, after the rose which Dr. Linacre, the King's physician, had brought into England that year."

So begins the story narrated by Damask Farland, the daughter of an affluent lawyer whose considerable acreage adjoins the property of St. Bruno's Abbey. It is the story of a life inextricably enmeshed with that of Bruno - the mysterious child found in the abbey's creche on Christmas morning of 1522. So it was that Bruno came to be raised by the monks - becoming a man at once handsome and saintly, but also brooding and ominous, plagued by the secrets of his birth - secrets which slowly begin to encroach on the sanctuary of the majestic abbey that Bruno increasingly comes to dominate.

This is also the story of an engaging family, the Farlands, living during the reign of King Henry VIII. This is the story of a father wise enough to understand that his own happiness - as well as the happiness of his family - remained at the King's pleasure; a wife, twenty years his junior, and a daughter whose intelligence is constantly in conflict with the mesmerizing influence Bruno has over her and her destiny.    

While The Miracle at St. Bruno's is very much the story of Damask and Bruno, it is also the story of sixteenth-century England - an era of vicious corruption and deep tenderness, when periods of violent brutality follow a time of deep contentment, presided over by one of England's most fascinating monarchs, Henry VIII.

I must say that I enjoyed reading this book - as I do so many of Philippa Carr's books. I have always been interested in anything to do with Henry VIII, and found that Philippa Carr's writing was historically accurate. While I found the story to be a tad simplistic at times, I still enjoyed it very much. In my opinion, The Miracle at St. Bruno's by Philippa Carr definitely deserves an A!   

A! - (90-95%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

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