“You’d like to love me, but you don’t really know me.”
"With these words, Queen Edith begins to speak to us, as if she were still able to address us, though she lived over a thousand years ago. Magdeburg author Regine Sondermann draws the reader close to this woman from the early Middle Ages, about whom little was known until now. She was young and came from England. She died at the age of 36, and she was laid to rest in the Magdeburg Cathedral. The author sifted through documents and history books to discover small shards of Edith’s short life, like a ceramic bowl destroyed long ago. She has pieced them together in this story of a woman and her family, which takes the reader to an unfamiliar land that seems so close but is infinitely far away."
Short Summary: Regine clearly cares a lot about the topic she's writing about. Her research has gone a long way to creating a wonderful story ringing true to readers today while helping us relate to a woman from a past much different from our current world.
Full Review: It took me a chapter or two to really get into this book, but once I did there was no escaping.
I loved getting a historical account of Edith that was so full of facts woven together to create an amazing story. I could relate to Edith, though she lived in such a different time period than I do. However, that relation was not because she was just like me. She was entirely different from people living today. I saw a quote once that said an author's job is to make familiar things feel new, and make new things feel familiar. Regine did this very well in her book.
I feel like this book brought out how humans have always been humans, throughout all of history, and just because a woman lived in a time when there were different expectations didn't mean they didn't still have opinions and feelings.
One complaint I have is that it is a bit of a stiff book, and by that I mean it's not for entertainment purposes. I mostly review books that have a specific problem driving the plot. This was a factual account of a person's life. Edith From Wessex was obviously written to help people gain knowledge and understand a certain point in history. That's not a bad thing, but it's certainly not for everyone. Anyone who loves history would love this book, and those who don't love history as much may still be able to enjoy this particular book more than other historical literature.
Most authors make it their goal to jump straight to the action in a book, or grab the reader's attention right away. This isn't so easily accomplished when an author wants to tell a life story from start to finish. There's only so much you can do to make the date of a person's birth interesting. However, I think Regine did a fantastic job with what she had to work with and got creative on ways to draw reader's attention from the start.
The book left me with a lot of food for thought. There were many quotes scattered throughout it that could easily be framed and hung on a wall. Edith was portrayed as having a wise outlook on life, and while she was most certainly human, she handled circumstances thrown at her in an admirable way, and is a good example for any reader.
Overall Rating: 5
*I recieved this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*