Thursday, 2 April 2015

The Tutor: First Impressions Book Review and Giveaway! | The Small Desk

There is something special about the first time you pick up and start to read a brand new book. As you slowly open the untouched, pristine cover and breath in the smell of freshly cut paper, your expectations rise and you are excited about the journey you are about to embark on. You want to be instantly transported to another world, you want to forget your worries and escape in the descriptive words of a fantastic wordsmith. This book does exactly that; you feel totally transported to the late sixteenth century, you smell the smells, encounter the numerous sufferings and the enjoyments of a non-digital age.

Katharine de L'Isle is the main character and is one of the most relatable characters I have recently encountered. Her main passions in life are reading and writing, which is often the case for those reading novels! Katharine is a widower at just thirty-one years of age and has lost her immediate family to a house fire. She now lives with her extended family at the Lufanwal estate: this is where her story begins.

The novel opens with the discovery of the family's Catholic priest dead in the grounds of the estate. Katharine was close to the priest and it is suggested that the priest perhaps had feelings for her, but Katharine's feelings are quickly diverted to the arrival of Will Shakespeare. This is where I start to get a little confused, I am pretty sure that the whole story is fictional and that there was no 'Katharine de L'Isle', however I am still not completely sure. Either way I find it easier to read this as completely fictional. 

Will and Katharine share their love of reading and writing and exchange quotes from various texts. Their love for the spoken and written word is totally awe-inspiring and makes you want to be surrounded by books and to aspire to your own library.

There are also other characters that dart in and out of the novel and give it another dimension, other than purely a romantic novel. 

I am now halfway through the book and am always excited to read more and to shadow Katharine's life at Lufanwal Hall. I have just reached the point where the witches are about to arrive. I'm curious as to what new direction the book will take, and how Will and Katharine's relationship will develop. Now I read those two names together I wonder whether Chapin, the author, was inspired by the Royal couple!

It's interesting that the previous book I read, Station Eleven, also has a focus on Shakespeare! It makes me want to read his plays, for I was certainly too young to understand them in school.

Finally, you might be wondering why I wrote my first impressions and not a full review and this was so that I could be part of Andrea Chapin's blog tour and to give you, my amazing readers, the opportunity to win a copy of the book. I will be writing a full review later in the month. Apologies to my international readers, but the giveaway from Penguin is only open to the UK. To enter the giveaway all you have to do is to follow me on Bloglovin and leave a comment about why you like to read. The deadline is 4th April, good luck!

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