Cecily's book reviews

In general I've written reviews of every book I've read since I joined GoodReads (RIP) in May 08, along with one or two I read prior to that. More recent reviews tend to be longer (sometimes a tad too long?). I always carry a book, though I don't get as much time as I'd like to get engrossed - life is busy, but in a good way. Too many of my favourite authors died without writing enough! Apart from reading, and writing about reading, I enjoy Scrabble, good restaurants, woodland, and attending the theatre.

Chao Chun: Beauty in Exile

Chao Chun: Beauty in Exile - Shu-Chiung 1930s telling of traditional, "true" story of a beautiful Chinese provincial girl, taken to the imperial palace and then promised in marriage to a Tartar warlord for political reasons - because she wouldn't bribe the palace artist to replicate her beauty and thus have the possibility of meeting the emperor instead. Too late, the emperor recognises her as the girl he had dreamt of. The poems quoted seem too Western and pedestrian, but the rest of the book conjures up something of medieval China and the machinations of court life. The heroine is faultless in her beauty and goodness, yet she seems distant; none of the characters feel very real; it's more of an excuse to idolise a peerless example of Chinese loyalty, national pride and womanhood.

Currently reading

The Illustrated Gormenghast Trilogy
Sebastian Peake, China MiƩville, Mervyn Peake
Mervyn Peake