Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Mary Tudor had a very hard life as a child.  First she was the object of her father’s, King Henry VIII affection.  Then cast out as a illegitimate child with her mother Catherine of Aragon.  She went from Princess to Lady and was to be re-trained to accept her new rank and the new religion. 
When Henry married Jane, Mary was finally returned to the Castle and reunited with her father but still as a Lady not a princess.  Before his death, Henry VIII reinstated Mary as princess and was to be queen in the event that her half brother Edward VI died.  Edward carried forth the new religion at the bidding of his counsel and the practice of Catholicism was outlawed, even for Mary.
Mary defied this order however and was threatened by Edwards council.  The threats turned out empty and eventually, when the ailing Edward died, she became Queen Mary.  She vowed to return England to the old faith. 
Today, Queen Mary is often referred to as Bloody Mary because of all the burnings of so called heretics in her land.  Julianne Lee wrote this book in an attempt to humanize Mary and show her point of view.  She succeeded in this.  She brought Mary to life.  We got to see how hard her up bring was and her continued devotion to her faith even when her life was threatened for it. 
The opening of the story was some modern day children at a slumber party.  One of the kids is dared to stare into a mirror and repeat the words “bloody Mary”.  This summons Mary and she recalls her life in flashback fashion.  Each chapter begins with her narration and the falls into third person narration.  This technique worked for me but I didn’t care for the modern day slumber party scene.  It made me think of a “B” movie from the 10970’s.  LOL!
Julianne Lee also focuses on Mary’s devote religious beliefs which was important to the story but seemed to drag on a bit for me.  I got the point, now let’s move on a bit.  That said, most of the parts of this novel were first rate.  Lee succeeds in bring Queen Mary Tudor to life and gains some of the reader’s sympathy for her.
This is the first book by Julianne Lee that I have read but I am interested in reading more by her.
Thanks to Kaitlyn Kennedy of Penguin Books, USA for a copy of this book.
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Copyright 2007-2010: All the posts within this blog were originally posted by Teddy Rose and should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Bear Portraits by Jill Greenburg

Posted by Teddyrose@1 on December 8, 2009
Posted in Books Read in 2009Jill Greenburg  | 6 Comments

Jill Greenburg usually takes photographs of famous celebrities.  However, she agreed to do several shoots for an Animal Planet Campain and decided to publish some of the photos.  First she published Monkey Portraits and now, Bear Portraits.
The book includes potraits of black , Kodiak, brown, a Russian brown, and a Polar bear.  The bears that she worked with were trained, so she was able to work up close to them.
Many of the portraits look more like painting than photographs.  They look like Greenburg was painting with her camera.  The shots are breathtaking and Greenburg captured emotions of the bears that looked human.  This is a stunning book, which I am proud to display prominently on my coffee table.
Thanks to Anna Balasi of Hachette Books for this book.
Copyright 2007-2010: All the posts within this blog were originally posted by Teddy Rose and should not be reproduced without express written permission.

In the 1950’sJohanna and her sister, Greta lived with their parents, Lily and Big Tom and their brothers in Ballyroan, Ireland. It was a very quiet little town, as many people from the town had immigrated to America. They lead a simple life of farming and fishing salmon. Joanna and Greta went to school while their brothers farmed with Big Tom. The family didn’t think that Greta would really amount to much, she was quite awkward and they called her a goose. She stuck to Joanna like glue and rarely left her side.
One day a gypsy woman and her son, Michael came to their home looking for a handout. Johanna was drawn to Michael right away, wondering what it was like to roam the country side and not live in any one place.
Then, Johanna and Greta’s father was shot for poaching salmon and died. It left the family without much means to survive. All except for one of the brothers, Little Tom went to Australia. They found work and send what money they could back home to help the family. Joanna then got the idea that her and Greta should also find work and they did in a nearby town, lying about their ages. They worked in a bed and breakfast however, there were very few customers and they were finally let go.
They ran into Michael every once in awhile and then one day, he showed up on their doorstep again. He was fascinated by the family and wondered what it would be like to live in a house. Lilly let him stay and he pitched in with chores and farming with Little Tom.
Johanna started sneaking out at night to visit Michael in the barn , where he slept. She wanted to convince him to go to America with her. She told Greta of the plan and she wanted to go too. Lily didn’t know about it until Greta spilled the beans by purposely leaving a letter out from a family friend in America. Lily decided that it would be a good idea for both her girls to go with Michael to America and work for awhile. They could send some money home and eventually move back home to Ballyroan.
It was now the 1960’s and Johanna, Greta, and Michael end up in New York. It is quite disconcerting at first, coming from such a small town with few people to the hustle and bustle of a big city. Also, soon after they arrive, Joanna discovers that she is pregnant from the nights she spent with Michael on the ship.
The Walking People is Mary Beth Keane’s first novel. Though not perfect, I really enjoyed it. She wrote in beautiful prose about the people and landscape of Ballroan, Ireland. The character development was very strong and rang true for me. She effortlessly transitioned the story to America and captured the heart of 1960’s New York. There is a lot more to the story but I don’ want to risk giving away spoilers. I recommend this to historical fiction fans and lovers of the immigrant experience.
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If I missed your review, please leave the link in the comments.

I think Mary Beth Keane qualifys for Woman on Wednesdays (WOW).  Want to know about other excellent female authors or do you have any to share?  Go to West of Mars’ Rocks ‘n Reads every Wednesday and look for Susan’s WOW post.

Copyright 2007-2010: All the posts within this blog were originally posted by Teddy Rose and should not be reproduced without express written permission.