Book Club, Book reviews, Julian Fellowes



The book review that wasn’t meant to be.

Belgravia is the title for our April book club meeting.

I love our book club time together. And the ladies in the book club. I adore Miss Donna, the lady who suggested Belgravia.

But a friend and fellow blogger whose opinions I respect, told me this was such a boring book.

402 pages, fellow readers, 402 pages, reading time I couldn’t spare on something I wasn’t that convinced, –or so I thought.

I thought of a plan. Some bloggers wrote about each chapter of this book in a progressive blog tour. So I read the first free pages in the ‘look inside’, and then the blog reviews. I tried not to read it. And Miss Donna looked at me a bit disappointed when I said that at our last book club meeting.

But then I could not get to the last review, and I wanted to know how the book ended.

And Judy told me she had read 100 pages one Wednesday. And Sunday after she told me she finished it. And that it was a fast read, with not tiny print, and some blank pages. And that Fellows knows how to cook a plot.

And we went camping last Thursday, so Wednesday, through my digital library system, I looked for the book, they had it available on e-book, (from there, I click borrow, and it tells me if I want to download it, or ask for Kindle. If I choose Kindle book, it’ll take me to the signing in page at Amazon, and Amazon cordially sends me the book to my Kindle device for 14 days). And, and, and…

So I read Belgravia. I give it three stars. Initially, I was very upset to see the book based more on plot than on characters. I kept comparing it with Victorian novels, which are more invested in developing the characters, and possess great depth, (Gaskell, Eliot, Trollope, Thackeray, Dickens…). But then I got used to it, and that made the book be in the category of ‘candy’, suitable to be read fast -in order to know what happens next. While the characters are predictable, and one can feel it will have a happy ending, we keep reading to see what’s that happy ending. It happens in Victorian times, but it’s by no means a Victorian book. I’m currently listening to Dr. Thorne, and that’s Victorian proper!

No matter how much you know and learn about Victorian times, we cannot write like them. Our reality interferes. I found this review, and I agree with it.

I’d like to add that I’ve not watched Downtown Abby (nothing against it, it’s just that I’m not a TV series or Netflix series watcher, that’s all). But those references to the book having a cinematographic quality, make sense. I think the book could be easily adapted for it.

My rating, ★★★✫✫


2 thoughts on “Belgravia”

  1. One thing I’ve found interesting since following other people’s book reviews is how subjective reading can be. What one person finds boring, another will find incredibly gripping. Often I see two people whose opinions I respect disagree, and I kind of love that. It shows how people can approach the same book differently.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I too am amazed by how polarizing some books are. And sometimes, like this one with Belgravia, it’s a matter of forgoing what we may expect from a book, and reading with a different motivation than to enjoy a robust classic, but just for the fun.


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