Ambassador of Books ~ Book Club Madam ~ Blogger Gal

Thursday, July 30, 2009

My Favorite Reads: Sarum

This weekly event, hosted by At Home With Books, is a place to remember and share books that we read before we started blogging. All are welcome to join!

The Book: Sarum: A Novel of England, by Edward Rutherford - published in 1988 - 1,056 pages

What It Is About: It is basically an overview of all of English history, focused on one particular place and several specific families. Here's a summary from Library Journal:
A first novel, Rutherfurd's sweeping saga of the area surrounding Stonehenge and Salisbury, England, covers 10,000 years and includes many generations of five families. Each family has one or more characteristic types who appear in successive centuries: the round-headed balding man who is good with his hands; the blue-eyed blonde woman who insists on having her independence; the dark, narrow-faced fisher of river waters and secrets. Their fortunes rise and fall both economically and politically, but the land triumphs over the passage of time and the ravages of humans. Rutherfurd has told the story of the land he was born in and has told it well. The verbosity of a Michener is missing, but all the other elements are present, from geology and archaeology to a rich story of human life. Highly recommended.
Why I Love It: I don't remember many of the specifics of this book but I do remember being enthralled with it. I loved how each family had its own characteristics that you could trace through the generations. And I remember learning so much history from this book while being entertained at the same time.

Other Thoughts: This book hadn't crossed my mind in many years. But when I saw Swapna's photos from her trip to England, specifically her visit to Sarum, I was immediately reminded of this book.

Would I Recommend It?: Those who enjoy historical fiction would likely enjoy this book. On it is shown as a Young Adult novel ... really? I was a young adult when I read it, but I was reading all sorts of books at the time so I can't say if this is an appropriate label or not. Regardless, it is epic in scope and fascinating to read.

For more of my before-blogging favorites click here.

*** Reminder: I'm giving away two copies of CW Gortner's wonderful novel THE LAST QUEEN. Click here for details! ***


Alyce said...

I felt the same way about Edward Rutherford's London. I have Sarum on my shelf but haven't gotten around to reading it yet.

nfmgirl said...

Aha! So YOU'RE the "other" Heather J I've seen listed on some comments of other blogs before. Nice to meet you!

Cecelia said...

I've never read Rutherford, but did get to my share of Michener and Leon Uris...

I wish I was still a young teenager, excited and motivated to find and read these fat books. I've gotten too lazy now!

Joanne said...

It sounds a bit Pillars of the Earth/ World Without End-ish. Are they similar at all? I love those books.

SuziQoregon said...

I adored this book, but it's been years. I didn't like Russka nearly as much, but have talked for several years about re-reading Sarum. I have a copy of London on my shelf, but have been telling myself I want to re-read this one first.

I was also inspired by Swapna's pictures and pulled my copy of Sarum off the shelf. It's the mass-market edition and I'm not sure I want to take on 1000+ pages of that size print. Looks like I need to go buy the trade paperback edition ;-) But then it'll match my edition of London so that's better anyway, right?

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

Alyce - I loved LONDON as well.

nfmgirl - Well hello to you too! I'll hope over to check out your blog later tonight. :)

celi.a - I'm actually planning to write about a Michener book at some point too. And I still love the big, thick books - not sure I'll ever tire of epics!

Joanne - Sorry, but I can't say ... I've never read the Follett books, although I want to.

SuziQoregon - I think I read the mass market version way back when, and I really don't think I could do that again now. (I really struggled with my copy of GONE WITH THE WIND for that same reason.) I haven't read RUSSKA but I would highly recommend LONDON - I enjoyed it!

Suey said...

Ah yes, I loved this one too. Wow, it's been awhile since I read it!

Myrthe said...

I read both Sarum and Russka, but at the time I preferred Sarum. I reread Russka last year for the Russian Reading Challenge (My review is here). I wouldn't say Sarum is a YA-novel, though, that sounds like a strange classification to me.

I don't read as many epics as I used to, I haven't read any Michener or Leon Uris in years, but I should get back to that. Uris' Exodus is one of my favorite books and I remember reading Mila 18 in two days, because I was so swept away by it. I would love to reread those or get my hands on some of Michener's works that I haven't read yet. But I do have Ken Follett's Pillars on my TBR-pile, so that'll probably be the first one to pick up when I feel like reading an epic again.

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

Suey - Always glad to find another fan.

Myrthe - Glad you agree with me on the YA thing ... it didn't sit well with me either. And I've never read anything by Uris. I guess you'd recommend Exodus so I'll look into that one.

Jill said...

I love this idea of sharing pre-blog books - it makes me that much more likely to pick up a book reviewed that way! If I can just get through the reviews I'm behind on, I will join you. :-)

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

Darla D - Great! I hope to see some posts from you soon. :)

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