Read Lady of Hay by Barbara Erskine Free Online
Book Title: Lady of Hay|
The author of the book: Barbara Erskine
Edition: Welcome Rain Publishers
Date of issue: March 13th 2001
ISBN 13: 9781566491600
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 554 KB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 2484 times
Reader ratings: 7.9
Read full description of the books:
Where I got the book: bought retail. Full price. Seriously, sometimes I do that just for laughs.
I read this book back in 1985 when it came out. I was 25. I cannot imagine this. I thought this book was AMAZING back then. I was hoping to recapture the moment...
You can never go back.
Plot: beautiful, talented journalist Jo (STRIKE ONE) appears to have no other purpose than to be hypnotized back into a previous life. Because absolutely EVERYONE she meets can do this. Really? I could count the number of regression hypnotists I've met on one.... hair follicle. Minus one. But when it comes to Jo, NOOOOO everyone can wave a hand and send her back to the Middle Ages, where she's a beautiful, willowy (STRIKE TWO) Lady of Hay called variously Matilda, Matilde, Maud or Moll. If nobody else is around to hypnotize her, Jo self-hypnotizes, boom, back in time before you can reach for the Scotch.
And they DO reach for the Scotch, oh yes they do, when they're not reaching for the coffee. In the contemporary parts of the novel intensely-blue-eyed (STRIKE THREE) ex-boyfriend Nick, sinister ex-boyfriend-brother-who-may-or-may-not-have-blue-eyes-but-who-cares? Sam, wimpy wannabe-boyfriend Tim and slightly-slutty-ex-boyfriend's-girlfriend Judy narrow their eyes a lot, drink much Scotch and much coffee, sleep with each other and gaze at each other with intensely blue eyes. (view spoiler)[Most of them are reincarnated, natch. Because it's PERFECTLY NORMAL to find reincarnated royalty/nobility who happen to have cassette tapes of the EXACT SAME flute music from the Middle Ages in London in 1985. (hide spoiler)]
But thank heaven for the reincarnations, say I. The Middle Ages plot is the only plot in the novel, the contemporary parts being nothing but the aforesaid Scotch drinkings and eye narrowings, with a bit of driving around foggy damp Welsh hills and the occasional punch-up thrown in. The Middle Ages characters do all sorts of exciting activities, either on horseback or at swordpoint or, I was going to say in bed but the sex is pretty perfunctory, his eyes narrowed and next minute they were smoking a cigarette or drinking a post-coital Scotch kind of thing. Oh no, wait, I was in the Middle Ages so perhaps no Scotch. Damned if I know.
This is the anniversary edition, so there's a sequel short story which is over-the-top silly with lots! of! exclamation! points! Interestingly, Erskine seems at times to refute the New Age beliefs which evidently gave rise to this idea that you could simply hypnotize yourself back into the past. Or fly, depending on which drugs you were taking. The 70s were awesome.
You know, if you just stuck to the Middle Ages story you'd have a great tale of love, loss, dynastic power-mongering, rogue kings and towering castles. I only felt like screaming every time we landed back in the 1980s. Of course, if you remember the 1980s you'll sympathize with that.
Verdict: a novel that is past its prime. A humungous hit in its day, but it doesn't travel well.
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Read information about the authorAn historian by training, Barbara Erskine is the author of six bestselling novels that demonstrate her interest in both history and the supernatural, plus two collections of short stories. Her books have appeared in at least twenty different languages. She lives with her family in an ancient manor house near Colchester, and in a cottage near Hay-on-Wye.
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