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Monday, December 13, 2010

Havoc in its Third Year - Ronan Bennett

Read for the 2010 Complete Booker Reading Challenge.

I think I need to be more mindful of my planned reading for reading challenges. I’m right now up against a challenge to read two more Booker Long List books before the end of the month in order to finish the challenge, so this book found its way into my hands. And it’s perhaps not the best book to be reading in the dark depths of December.

The book is set in the 17th century, in England, and tells the story of John Brigge, coroner, who helped overthrow the lord of a fictional town, and now finds himself one of the governors, a group of men charged with maintaining order in a changing time.

It’s a fascinating slice of life in a paranoid time, when there seem to be multiple enemies at the gate, and you can’t trust who your friends really are. Brigge simply wishes to be left alone to work his farm with his wife and newborn son, but his actions in overthrowing the old lord have given him a prominence he cannot escape, and thrust him into the middle of events he cannot control.

This is a great book, but not one I recommend reading in the dying days of the year, in its darkest hour. I’m looking for something light and fluffy as a reward for finishing this.

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