Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Question of Guilt by Juilanne Lee

Holiday crafting is still heavily underway! I did take one day off last Saturday...though not on purpose. Collin and I decided to go over and check out the new Whole Foods Market. Ya...not the brightest of ideas. We wound up spending half the day there and...instead of just "looking around"...left with a nice selection of meats, cheeses, olives and booze. Oy. Merry Christmas to us.

Other than that, I've pretty much been working on projects when I'm not working at the office or sleeping. When it's not holiday crafts, it's reading. The good news is twofold. I am now up to 52 books - meeting last year's record - and I am now only 8 books behind - slowly closing the gap. The bad news? I still have 12 books to go. So...I think I'm going to cave. I've been told by numerous friends that I should read the Fifty Shades series. I've been putting it off since it requires me publicly admitting reading them and putting them on the blog. But...whatever. I need quick, easy reads. Done. I guess I'll just have to tackle the three "mommy porn" books.

And now, for one of my super awesome segues, the one book that I read this year that was quite possibly the furthest opposite to "mommy porn", A Question of Guilt by Julianne Lee.

I am typically a huge fan of historical fiction. I also really like Elizabethan Era British history. So I figured that a book all about the life of Mary, Queen of Scots would be right up my alley. Well...sort of.

Mary has been executed three days earlier, but Janet doesn't believe that her queen could have been guilty of the crimes she was convicted of. Janet is a nosy socialite who delves into the details of the situation, despite the disapproval of her husband.

She begins by speaking to individuals in the Queen's court, those closely connected to other individuals pivotal in the decision to assassinate her. As she interviews these individuals, they take up the role of narrator in order to tell their stories. At the conclusion of their pertinent memory, the primary voice returns to Janet.

This wasn't my favorite historical fiction novel. It was a decent premise and a unique approach, but it took me a long time to really even get truly interested in the plot. I nearly abandoned the book early on. The primary reason I was about ready to give up? I really did not like Janet. She drove me nuts. I understand that without her character being the way she is there wouldn't have been much of a story to tell, but I really wanted to slap her for a good portion of the book.

The writing was okay and the author certainly did her homework. The details were definitely there. For all of the complications of moving from narrator to narrator, I think the transitions were actually done quite well.

All in all, meh. I read the entire novel so it didn't entirely suck. But...I wouldn't read it again. It was extraordinarily long and took me far too long to finish. I love historical fiction, but had this been my first experience with it I don't think I would love it quite so much.

I wound up giving it 3 out of 5 stars.

Oh...and as an's where the Christmas Project Countdown now stands...

37 completed, 17 to go. Hoping to have another 4 completed tomorrow. Narrowing it down to the big projects...


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