The settings, conspiracies and printing histories are enough to carry the story and immerse the reader. Taking refuge in Amsterdam and desperate to find a means to survive, Isabella finds work with an elderly printer, Master de Aquila, and his enigmatic young assistant, Willem. But Isabella made up for his ass-ness with the fact that she was able to always come up with a good comeback. I help the whole world in my hands. Writings on liberty and religious tolerance seem as relevant as ever 400 years on.
After finishing this book, I now want to go and visit the State Library of Victoria to look at the rare book collection and the old maps! She and Willem get the job done without feeling remotely like pashing each other, and that was refreshing, too. The Opéra stages, too, for that matter. The cover makes it look like a Christian romance but it's I loved this book. Just how much have we changed? There were maps, finely etched, of a world I'd never seen before. For example and this is not from the book, which is upstairs , I'm reading a scene, and there's some dialogue, and it's all quite enjoyable, and I'm perceiving it as teasing banter, and perhaps the main character is getting a little annoyed, but not really. In fact it was a lot more adventurous that I thought it would be given the title. I think that describes how I felt after completing the book.
Which is the theme of the ensuing tale of how printing and the distribution of ideas through its power helped to establish freedom of thought in a world dominated by the controls of the church over what people were allowed to think - and the horrific punishments distributed to the disobedient. And when the agents of the Spanish Inquisition kidnap de Aquila to stop him printing his book, Isabella and Willem become reluctant allies in a daring chase across Europe to rescue him from certain death. The palaces of Europe are covered in them. I quite liked the characters. No romance whatsoever, which was the main reason I actually picked up the book. However, I still really liked this book. Just oceans and lands and cities, as if seen by a bird.
Everything happened so fast, the problem was fixed and forgotten so quickly. No matter the fictitious entries these publishers are legendary. And when the agents of the Spanish Inquisition kidnap de Aquila to stop him printing his book, Isabella and Willem become reluctant allies in a daring chase across Europe to rescue him from certain death. However despite these intellectual themes running through the story, it is by no means a 'hard' read. Don't worry about whether it'll get published - you can't get anything published until you've written it. She is at once very aware of the constrictions around her — terrified by the treatment of her father and running scared at the thought of further retributions against intellectuals. When Master de Aquila travels to Venic England, 1640.
I have been meaning to read this book for so long and I am glad that I finally did. And write as much as you can, whenever you can. We read about this scandalous enterprise — when printing the wrong sort of book would lead to a fiery end. When Master Hawkins is imprisoned for his ideas, Isabella helps her father escape but sets in chain a sequence of events that will end in tragedy and exile. In between we read the tentative peace of the English countryside, the canals of Venice and the Jewish Ghettos of Verona.
She has been taught by her father to read Greek and La Act of Faith is an intoxicating mixture of history, adventure, romance and philosophy. I will say that from reading the blurb I thought there would be a romance in the story. I have set free a thousand ideas. I also really liked the quote by the widow, about how having a book banned is the best thing that can happen to you because as soon as the Pope bans your book everyone in Europe is going to want a copy! It is an emotive story I really enjoyed delving into that revolutionary period of history in the late 1600's when books were seen as powerful and dangerous. I loved Isabella's father and how he treated her. Gardiner has combined dramatic action with dialogue that is comical even when her characters debate complex questions about the causes and outcomes of personal and institutional bigotry.
But in a continent torn apart by religious intolerance, constant danger lurks for those who don't watch their words. Isabella is suddenly alone in the world, an orphan. I don't drink much, just sit there and listen to conversation around me and read. Kelly teaches writing at La Trobe University. Aspects seem historically accurate and that adds to this novels worth. I loved everything about it, the story, the history, the characters, the writing. Her novel 'Goddess' was based on the life of the remarkable Julie d'Aubigny, also known as Mademoiselle de Maupin - a 17th century opera singer Kelly Gardiner's latest book for young readers is 'Brimstone', the first in a time slip adventure series called 'The Firewatcher Chronicles'.
Her father is imprisoned and accused of blasphemous dealings against God. It is an emotive story following the adventurous journey of three passionate characters Isabella, Willem and Master de Aquilla that I think readers will love. At times Willem frustrated me, I expected more growth from him than what eventuated. There's a tip for an aspiring author! The cover makes it look like a Christian romance but it's I loved this book. I loved every step of the way! It was very 'atmospheric', so easy to get lost into, and I love the relationship between Isabella, Willem, and Master de Aquila though wouldn't that be Master d'Aquila? England is in the midst of the English Civil War, a time of extraordinary political and religious upheaval. In a measured voice, Gardiner writes of distant times and places, clearly assuming an intelligent reader.
However, I still really liked this book. While I found some parts of the book needed to be developed more, but I'm glad that Gardiner had written a character - that being Isabella - who is such a great role model for younger readers. A novel for young adults, it traces the story of Isabella Hawkins as she travels across Europe in search of a place where writers are free to publish, women are able to work, and people are free to dream. Isabella has such a wonderful voice. Sixteen-year-old Isabella is forced to flee her home when her father's radical ideas lead him into a suicidal stand against Oliver Cromwell's army. And so when we speak about my sexuality or my gender, as we do and as we must , we mean something complicated by it.
I love that there is not a romantic story line through this and that Isabella is the heroine and not the doting female that is so often seen in hi I find it difficult to find books that I genuinely enjoy and become enthralled in any more because I have read such a wide range of texts through school, Uni and out of pure enjoyment but this pleasantly surprised me! Neither of these is precisely a possession, but both are to be understood as modes of being dispossessed, ways of being for another, or, indeed, by virtue of another. The author describes the cities,the people and the printing, blending details beautifully into the story without compromising the action and pace something kids don't appreciate. Or, for another example, Isabella is afraid of water not a spoiler , but her fear is too easily overcome speaking as someone who is afraid of water. There were one or two unfortunate cliches, which make it rather obvious who the villain of the novel is, but in some ways I quite enjoy knowing early and watching the story build up to it's climax. Set in the initial stages of the English civil war, Isabella, daughter of a free thinking philosopher, teacher and writer, working for him as his secretary, finds her world turned upside down when he is arrested by the parliament forces. So I was somewhat pleased to discover that there is no such romance with Willem — the blurb is simply a little misleading or maybe it was just me that assumed the relationship? Gardiner has created a work that inspires and allows culture and the power of reading and writing to be shown through the simple yet potentially dangerous act of printing.