Readers can tell when an author has put time and love and care into a novel. I have read far too many books that lack in craft and are merely to make ends meet.This of course separates the meat from the gristle, but you cannot always tell that by the cover, the reviews, or when you flip open the book at random and begin to read. I think it's fair to say that we all have wasted our money on a book that is not even worthy of the shelf. Perhaps it would be best relocated to the used bookstore?
This book had very good reviews and a history channel icon on its spine/cover. Was it the mark of a good book? Perhaps. I had read a fair amount about the French Revolution, both fiction and non. I had been disappointed by the lack of historical novels on this terrible and fascinating period of France's history. (yes I know there are some books out there, but they lacked authenticity and fully developed and genuine period characters.) It was pretty exciting to find that an English-literature professor had delved into the topic as well as into the topic of one of the more romantic love affairs, that of William Wordsworth and Annette Vallon. I ordered it from Amazon and was waiting on tenter hooks for UPS to deliver it. Finally! It arrived!
I'm not so far in, but the tenderness that the author takes to tell the story, to realize the characters and scene, to fill in the gaps between what is known and not known of these two free spirits, the pacing of the story, is noteworthy. I plan to take my time with this novel, reading it at leisure and enjoying it as the story unfolds.