Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Godiva by Nicole Galland

You can visit the author on the following links:

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This is a book tour hosted by TLC Tours

To see upcoming reviews of Godiva, see the Tour Schedule

Summary on GoodReads.

We all have heard the story of legendary Lady Godiva, the noblewoman who rode naked on the streets of Coventry in exchange for the reduction of the high taxation imposed on the land. But, who was she? And something I always wondered, What happened after?

In this story, Galland portrays Godiva as a beauty who uses flirtation to further her husband’s goals. Luckily for her, her husband is aware of this manipulation and even enjoys it. Aware of her beauty and the effect it has on men, Godiva doesn’t pretend to be a damsel in distressed.

Set in the XI century, I found Godiva to be too outspoken for the time period. In fact, I expected her to be less obvious and more modest.

The dialogue is very spicy and lively. For example, on page 29 Godiva says “the spirits of the unborn babes who want you as their parents are shrieking at you to disrobe.” I found this and other comments quite funny.

I liked that the story contained little narration and a lot of dialogue.

In this particular narration, I couldn't help to wonder, Would Godiva had ridden naked if she wasn’t beautiful; if she’d weighted 300 pounds? At one point, on page 269, Godiva shows some concern about the way she looks (skinny knees and ankles), but still.

Through the story, I didn’t get the feeling of Godiva’s concern for the oppressive condition of the poor. Actually, I felt that she chose to ride naked out of pride (of her beauty) and a rebellious spirit.

And what happened after Godiva rode naked? I never thought about that! Gallard covers this part in a few pages at the end of the story. I liked the possible consequences of Godiva’s defiance a lot more of the entire story leading to her riding naked. Thus, I found the last 10 pages to be more interesting than the entire book.

Don’t expect to find Peeping Tom in the story. I think his for another story altogether:-)

If you like English history, by all means read Galland’s take on Godiva.

Also, the book includes a historical epilogue that provides more information on the actual Lady herself.

I finally, the book would make an interesting topic for discussion at book clubs/reading groups.