Thursday, February 5, 2009

Burning Bright by Tracey Chevalier

From the author's website: Burning Bright follows the Kellaway family as they leave behind tragedy in rural Dorset and come to late 18th-century London. As they move in next door to the radical painter/poet William Blake, and take up work for a near-by circus impresario, the youngest family member gets to know a girl his age. Embodying opposite characteristics – Maggie Butterfield is a dark-haired, streetwise extrovert, Jem Kellaway a quiet blond introvert – the children form a strong bond while getting to know their unusual neighbor and his wife.

Set against the backdrop of a city nervous of the revolution gone sour across the Channel in France, Burning Bright explores the states of innocence and experience just as Blake takes on similar themes in his best-known poems, Songs of Innocence and of Experience.

I listened to this one as an audiobook and I have to say that the narrator, Jill Tanner, was excellent. She did a great job differentiating the characters voices and making them come alive for me. This was 11 hours worth of listening time and the journey was enjoyable for me BUT...what an unsatisfying ending. I like my ending to be complete; I want it all wrapped up so that I know what happened. Hmm... don't want to give away anything so I'll just say that there was an implication of what was to happen but not a definitive answer - give me the answer!

I'm not big into poetry so William Blake's character and all the accompanying poetry recitation didn't do much for me. I did like the way Chevalier captured the time period. I am new to historical fiction so it impressed me. However, reading the online reviews, apparently it didn't impress others with more historical fiction experience.

This book is my "B" for the A-Z Reading Challenge! Click on the logo to see my progress.

This is one of my books for the 2009 Audiobook Challenge too. 2/12 completed on that one!

1 comment:

Beth F said...

I'm a Blake fan, an audiobook fan, and a Chevalier fan. I guess I should try this one! Thanks for the warning about the ending. Loose ends don't really bother me.