Friday, February 24, 2006

Friday is upon us and I am still trying to catch up on grading, but I am seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe I will be caught up just in time for the next assignment to be due for grading. Thank goodness for light laptops so I don't feel chained to my desk and the desktop computer.

I finished Philippa Gregory's spectacular historical novel, The Queen's Fool this a.m.. Another NY Times bestseller that I picked up at the airport. Although the cover is very attractive, with the raised gold on the dress, it isn't very appropriate for this book as Hannah, the main character, spends most of her life in England in livery, dressed as an hermaphrodite holy fool for first King Edwards, then Queen Mary, and a friend/spy to Princess Elizabeth as the red headed vixen manipulates and flirts her way to the crown. Hannah is obsessed with Robert Dudley and her innocent infatuation with him is both her savior and her downfall as these are desperate times in England, especially for a Spanish Jew who has escaped to London with her printer father, only to find they are in as much danger here as in Spain, where her mother was burned at the stake. Hannah is called a holy fool as she has the Sight - she has "fainting" episodes in which she can see the future. She predicts King Edward's death, Mary's rise to the thrown and her doomed love for the Prince of Spain. It is a fascinating read, with a British history lesson deftly weaved into the tale so that one doesn't even realize how much you have learned. Although certainly not a quick read at 500 pages, it is a novel that should be in high school level fiction collections. The romantic twists and turns to Hannah's life in themselves will, in themselves, keep a female teenreader engrossed in the story.

Okay - time to switch computers, My legs are going numb from sitting cross legged with this laptop on my legs. On to grading!