I have two exceptional books to tell you about — books you won’t want to put down even for a second — both spellbinding, but in different ways and for different reasons.
I was pleasantly surprised (and a little shocked) to recently discover that I am distantly related to the infamous Lady Godiva. But what else did I know about her beyond her riding of her horse….and her persona being stamped onto the front of chocolate shops around the nation? Not much.
Godiva is a fictional, imagined re-telling of the long-ago tale of the woman who rode naked on horseback through the streets of Coventry, England. It gives a glimpse into why this woman would dare to do such a thing, risking everything she held dear and rightfully held?
If you like stories of long ago, based on past legend and folklore, you’re going to want to read Godiva.
Here’s the synopsis from the website:
From the author of The Fool’s Tale comes a brilliantly crafted retelling of the legend of Lady Godiva
According to legend, Lady Godiva lifted the unfair taxation of her people by her husband, Leofric, Earl of Mercia, by riding through the streets of Coventry wearing only a smile. It’s a story that’s kept tongues wagging for nearly a thousand years. But what would drive a lady of the court to take off everything and risk her reputation, her life, even her wardrobe—all for a few peasants’ pennies?
In this daringly original, charmingly twisted take on an oft-imagined tale, Nicole Galland exposes a provocative view of Godiva not only in the flesh, but in all her glory. With history exonerating her dear husband, Godiva, helped along by her steadfast companion the abbess Edgiva, defies the tyranny of a new royal villain. Never before has Countess Godiva’s ride into infamy—and into an unexpected adventure of romance, deceit, and naked intrigue—been told quite like this.
The Butterfly Sister
(by Amy Gail Hansen)
This book started off, in my mind, as just a simple, no-frills mystery but ended up pulling me through a slurry of deep-set psychological hauntings, shady romances, and literary references. The Butterfly Sister is a classic “whodunit” with fresh, new characters and an interesting plot line. You’ll start to wonder, along with the story’s main character, where reality ends and delusions begin. Not what I expected when I picked up this book to read, but an enjoyable read nonetheless.
The synopsis from the publisher’s site:
The past just arrived on Ruby’s doorstep . . .
To uncover the truth about a friend’s disappearance, a fragile young woman must silence the ghosts of her past in this moving debut tale that intertwines mystery, madness, betrayal, love, and literature.
“My past was never more than one thought, one breath, one heartbeat away. And then, on that particular October evening, it literally arrived at my doorstep.”
Twenty-two-year-old Ruby Rousseau is haunted by memories of Tarble, the women’s college she fled from ten months earlier, and the painful love affair that pushed her to the brink of tragedy.
When a suitcase belonging to a former classmate named Beth arrives on her doorstep, Ruby is plunged into a dark mystery. Beth has gone missing, and the suitcase is the only tangible evidence of her whereabouts.
Inside the bag, Ruby discovers a tattered copy of Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, the book she believes was a harbinger of her madness. Is someone trying to send her a message—and what does it mean?
The search for answers leads to Tarble. As Ruby digs into Beth’s past, she has no choice but to confront her own—an odyssey that will force her to reexamine her final days at school, including the married professor who broke her heart and the ghosts of illustrious writers, dead by their own hand, who beckoned her to join their tragic circle.
But will finding the truth finally set Ruby free . . . or send her over the edge of sanity?
Disclosure: I received the above mentioned products at no cost from HarperCollins in exchange for my review. I received no other product or monetary compensation for this honest review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”