Friday, 5 October 2018

The Last Hours - Minette Walters


Paperback, 547 pages
Published November 2nd 2017 by Allen & Unwin
Series: Black Death #1
Historical fiction
For review

My Thoughts:
1348 is not the time to be around in England, or anywhere in Europe for that matter. The plague is scary. SO very scary. Checking wiki it says that 40-60% died in England. But on to the book then.

Lady Anne of Develish was raised at a convent and she did take some strange ideas with her. Like helping the serfs, because if they are healthy they work better. Go figure! Giving out medicine makes people healthy, yes crazy ideas. But they love her.

Her husband is a big ass who cares nothing for those beneath him. He would crush them with the sole of his foot.

Her daughter, omg, I can not tell you how much I despised this creature. She is all that is wrong with nobility who think they are above others. And then when we learn more, no, I still despise her. It is bred into her.

Then we have 200 serfs and one that stands out, Thaddeus. He is a smart young man who wants more. His family treats him as garbage as he is a bastard. 

There are more prominent players, like Giles, the only servant who rode with Anne's idiot of a husband and higher up servants. Oh and an idiot priest who cowers in the church a lot.

All these people will be crammed together in the holding. Because Anne did learn a few other things at that convent. If you isolate the sick you can save those not sick. But it is something that will grow resentment. Some who think they are better than others *coughs Lady Eleonore* and some who think that this new strange world will help them.

And then there is the plague itself. Villages disappearing. People fleeing. A wasteland of the dead and dying. Wondering why this happened. And realising that they can not stay hidden forever.

But the real drama does take place inside. How it slowly grows and festers.

Conclusion:
It was an interesting book and it gave me this other way to look at the plague. 

Also there is a book 2 so the plague is not done with them.


Blurb
June, 1348: the Black Death enters England through the port of Melcombe in the county of Dorsetshire. Unprepared for the virulence of the disease, and the speed with which it spreads, the people of the county start to die in their thousands. 

In the estate of Develish, Lady Anne takes control of her people's future - including the lives of two hundred bonded serfs. Strong, compassionate and resourceful, Lady Anne chooses a bastard slave, Thaddeus Thurkell, to act as her steward. Together, they decide to quarantine Develish by bringing the serfs inside the walls. With this sudden overturning of the accepted social order, where serfs exist only to serve their lords, conflicts soon arise. Ignorant of what is happening in the world outside, they wrestle with themselves, with God and with the terrible uncertainty of their futures. 

Lady Anne's people fear starvation but they fear the pestilence more. Who amongst them has the courage to leave the security of the walls?

And how safe is anyone in Develish when a dreadful event threatens the uneasy status quo..?

26 comments:

  1. I generally don't like books set before the 20th century so this probably isn't for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is so much goodness before that ! ;D

      Delete
  2. Hmmm... not really for me. Do you think you'll try the second book?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am reading it at the moment. I wanted to know what would happen as the book ended in 1348 and there is more plague to be had

      Delete
  3. Locked up with a bunch of nutjobs the Plague rages outside, sounds like the makings of a horror movie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL. Well the nuttiest is to be honest her own daughter

      Delete
  4. Is this the one you were talking about after we finished....you know which?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It depends on what I was saying, I was talking about a scary window book too, but that was another one, but yes this was the one that got the plague right and not like that stupid crappy book we read

      Delete
  5. It's interesting how this book is set to the backdrop of the Black Plague. For such a significant historical event, I don't often see it in books, probably because it was such a depressing time.

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SO depressing! It is really hard to imagine how many died. But I liked how the built in something else here too, social structures and breaking them down

      Delete
  6. Interesting. Historical fiction is not my thing, but I could see myself reading this. I am curious to find out more.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I always like it when I read a book and it makes me look at an event differently.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like to learn things, I mean I knew it all, but I had forgotten

      Delete
  8. This one has definite possibilities for me.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I haven't tried a book at this period or I don't think so but it's intriguing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have read a few but then I do love the middle ages

      Delete
  10. Replies
    1. Then again, she was acting just as a noble woman would have. Thinking she was above everyone

      Delete
  11. This was DNF for me but I'm happy that you liked it more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh boo :( Oh and what is up with your blog? I can't get in

      Delete
    2. I'm not sure what was the problem but it should work now ;)

      Delete
  12. It looks like the first book was a good one as well. I don't think I have read anything about the plague before.

    ReplyDelete

Contributors

Copyright © 2008-2019 Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell All Rights Reserved. Proudly powered by Blogger

  © Blogger template Starry by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008 Modified by Lea

Back to TOP