Renee began Throwback Thursday at Its Book Talk as a way to share some of her old favorites as well as sharing books that she wants to read that were published over a year ago. Books that were published over a year ago are almost always easier to find at libraries or at a discounted sale price. As I have been sifting through my TBR list and purging those books that no longer hold my interest, I came across several from years past that I’d love to share with you!
Published: Originally 1978
Publisher: Dial Books
Average Goodreads rating: 4.15
Spanning three generations, this historical novel tells the tale of Boudicca, the most famous warrior of ancient Britain, and Caradoc, the son of a Celtic king, who sets out to unite the people of the Raven and lead them against Rome. Caradoc’s objective is not easily accomplished as the Roman army advances into Britain, raping Celtic women and burning villages to the ground. His efforts are also met with fierce opposition from Aricia, the vain queen of a northern tribe who swears allegiance to the Romans after Caradoc slights her, and from Gladys, Caradoc’s warrior sister who falls in love with her Roman captor. Unfortunately, Caradoc’s endeavors are left unresolved when he is taken prisoner, but Boudicca, a strong-willed woman, ultimately takes up the cause that was Caradoc’s legacy. (from Goodreads)
“… but now men who could work preferred to beg, and the artists forgot that their calling was noble and became imitators instead of creators, charging exorbitant sums for the rubbish they churned out with one eye closed.”
I was born in Auckland, New Zealand, on December 11, 1945, the first of three girls. Six years later my family emigrated to England where my father, an ex-policeman, wanted to study for the Anglican ministry. We lived in an ancient and very dilapidated cottage in the heart of the English Buckinghamshire woodland, and later in a small village in Oxfordshire called Great Haseley. I grew up surrounded by countryside that I observed, played in, and grew to know and love passionately, and I wrote lyrically of its many moods.
My father had his first parish in Oxford, so in 1956, having passed the eleven-plus exam, a torture now fortunately defunct, I attended what was then the Oxford Central School for Girls. I was a very good student in everything but mathematics. Any academic discipline that is expressed and interpreted through words I could conquer, but math was bewildering and foreign, a maze of numbers and ridiculous symbols with which I had nothing in common. I liked chemistry, because I was allowed to play with pretty crystals and chemicals that behaved as if they had magic in them. I studied the violin, an instrument I struggled over and gave up after two years, and the piano, which I enjoyed and continue to play, along with the recorders. Music has always been important to me.
Then in 1959 my father accepted a parish in Virden, Manitoba, and the family left for Canada. After three months at the local high school, I was sent to a boarding school in Saskatchewan. It was the most dehumanizing, miserable experience of my life. In 1961 I began one inglorious year at the University of Manitoba’s Brandon College. I did not work very hard, and just before final exams I was told that my sister Anne was dying. I lost all interest in passing.
Anne wanted to die in the country where she was born, so we all returned to New Zealand. She died a month after our arrival, and is buried in Auckland. The rest of us moved down to the tip of the South Island where my father had taken the parish of Riverton. For a year I worked as a substitute teacher in three rural schools. In ’64 I attended the Teachers’ Training College in Dunedin, South Island, where my writing output became prolific but again my studies suffered. I did not particularly want to be a teacher. All I wanted to do was stay home and read and write. I was eighteen, bored and restless. I met my first husband there.
In 1966 I married and returned to Canada, this time to Alberta, with my husband and my family. I found work at a day care in Edmonton. My husband and I returned to England the next year, and my first son, Simon, was born there in January ’68. In 1969 we came back to Edmonton, and my second son was born there in December 1970.
By 1972 I was divorced, and I moved east of Edmonton to the village of Edgerton. I wrote my first novel and entered it in the Alberta Search-for-a-New-Novelist Competition. It took fourth place out of ninety-eight entries, and though it received no prize, the comments from the judges and my family encouraged me to try again. The next year I entered my second attempt, a bad novel that sank out of sight. Finally in 1975 I wrote and submitted Child of the Morning, the story of Hatshepsut, an 18th Dynasty Egyptian pharaoh, which won the competition. With it came a publishing deal with Macmillan of Canada and the rest, as they say, is history. (from her Goodreads author page)
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