So, it’s full on into a new term, so light-weight fiction is generally what I’m looking forward to at the end of the day to send me off to sleep… although I seem to keep picking ones that I want to know so much more about.
The Perfect Sinner was a slow starter for me .. it starts with Sir Guy de Bryan (one of the First Knights of the Garter) watching his Chantry being built as he tries to compensate for the mistakes that he feels he has made in his past – including at the Battle of Crecy (1346), before being sent off on ‘the King’s duties’ – across the Alps – in winter – to take a message to Italy (our travels today = SO much easier and less dangerous!) – accompanied by a squire who turns out to be Geoffrey Chaucer … so some of the names from The Knight’s Tale will be familiar!
The book then winds in and out – backwards and forwards through Guy de Bryan’s timeline in history as he tells various people his story, but also the story of Beth Battock, who – at the heart of a political scandal disappears to her family home of Slapton in the hope that she can escape the publicity. This happens to be the village where the Chantry was built – although there’s not much of it left now except ruins – and we see how the stories start to run together … with political intrigue, gallantry, and romance woven through the two stories.
I’ve always been interested in historical novels – especially those that are based on acres of historical research (faction, if you will) – I’m a big fan of Georgette Heyer, who was known for her detailed historical research into the Regency era (work she’s best known for, although she viewed these only as a way to make money, rather than a joy to write!) – but this era in history is a little outside of my expertise (and my interest, to be honest), but it was well-written, well-paced – and that’s what truly wins – a good story!
Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst (Lion Hudson, 2014; second edition in process) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.