I am feeling sooooo cheated atm over The Wandering Heart by Mary Malloy....the back of the book clearly said "historian Lizzie Manning is invited to Britain to study the Hatton family history...." & so natcherly I thunk Tudors & assumed Christopher Hatton but alas twas an entirely fictional Hatton clan. The blurb went on to say "she finds herself traveling backward in time...."....now would you NOT think time-travel from such? Alas, none at all, twas meant metaphorically & not literally. I feel like I been had LOL
Literary critique: bad writing + bad editing= irked readers. It is NOT NOT NOT necessary for someone to "grin sheepishly" THRICE on ONE PAGE If the author couldn't catch this egregious misuse of adverbs then the editor should've. I got 2 words for aspiring authors: thesaurus.com LOL The prose just did not flow well & I kept putting it down & glaring at it.
The author is an American historian with a specialty in Pacific Northwest cultures & maritime history so I was all then what is she up to delving into England, the Crusades, Knights Templars, etc? She started having Lizzie asked to come organize the fictional Francis Hatton's artifacts & diaries from his trips with Captain Cook for a museum exhibition & then stumbles upon some weird "where is his heart?" poetry penned by successive generations of Elizabeth Hattons who all go insane & hurl themselves off the roof of the house Excepting for one who became Rossetti's mistress (the painting guy). Lizzie keeps having whacked-out dreams & nigh on hurls herself off the roof one night her good self, saved only as she was espied by yummy Edmund Hatton & rescued (Lizzie be a shameless hussy as she be married to an equally yummy Mexican muralist). Turns out there was some heir to the house/Irish housemaid shenanigans going on back in the 1800s & Lizzie is not only a legitimate Hatton but from the senior line of such as well & all this nice history is hers incl the madness LOL
The is the of John d'Hautain, who was killed at Monsoura in the 3rd Crusade & whose the Knights Templars were supposed to send back to his wife, the 1st insane Elizabeth. Never made it, been haunting all the Elizabeths ever since. So Lizzie's husband says well go find the . Which she does. In 2 days. After it's been missing 700 years LOL Cmon! Methinks the historian who forayed into fiction here was writing dream research for it all to fall into place neatly & quickly like that. I am also thinking the British government society of antiquities or whatever is NOT going to go OK we'll dig up Salisbury Cathedral for ya tonight & here ya go, here's the in somebody else's tomb (William Longespee Jr who also died at Mansoura).
Since Elizabeth d'Hautain was a suicide she ain't in the tomb (hubby neither as we have seen) so they have to go to the suicides sector of the graveyard & exhume her & she's had the luck to be buried under an oak tree & well preserved by tannin so she's not even that decomposed & they hurls John's in her casket & goes to shove it in the tomb & o my what do they find but the 2 Francis Hatton Tlingit artifacts ain't no one seen in nigh in 300 yrs secreted there. One of em is a corpse Frank accidentally stole LOL so then they gotta go send THAT back to where it belongs.
Methinks the basic premise wasn't that bad of an idea but it took way too long to cut to the chase & it wanted better editing & better writing. And a jacket blurb what don't gull ya! Twas all in modern times & really hardly nuffin to write home about as per the Crusades/Knights Templar tease. I only took notice because the cover had that pre-Raphaelite painting of The Meeting on the Turret Stairs on it so I thunk it was going there