Why Did I Read This Book?:
Once upon a time before book blogging I used to read super long adult historical fiction books like they were going out of style, even as a blogger I still liked those sort of books, but do not get as many of them read. Anyways, I joined this group on goodreads, Historical Fictionistas, which was awesome while I was active and is still awesome and one of their group reads was Katherine by Anya Seton. Because I am a failure, I never read the book when I was supposed to, although it really appealed to me. I then ended up feeling left behind and as though there was a gap in my reading because I hadn’t read Katherine, so I added it to my Fill In The Gaps project list. Eventually, Katherine went on sale as an audiobook at Audible so I just had to have it, because that would make reading it much more likely. And that, dear friends is the story of why I obtained Katherine – because I was promised historical fiction delights and affairs and all sorts of things.
What’s The Story Here?:
Set in the 14th Century, during the mother fucking Black Plague (which I love), Katherine by Anya Seton is totally about a love affair between Katherine Swynford and John of Gaunt, who is the Duke of Lancaster. Basically the book starts out with Katherine being a total misfit at court and someone who is not at all a noble, BUT she’s also mad good looking apparently. Anyways, Katherine gets married to this Hugh guy, actually Hugh Swynford. Katherine has two babies with him – Blanchette and Thomas. Hugh then dies. So, Katherine becomes the mistress of John of Gaunt, causing eyebrows to get raised all over the place. OH OH and before John’s first wife dies, Katherine is all friendly with her — his first wife is named Blanche, and she’s all wonderful but then dies. Anyways, this affair goes on and on and there are happy moments and sad moments and parts where we’re all like come on just get married, but then the whole society thing comes into play because Katherine isn’t a noble and just pretty much John’s whore so they can’t really get married despite loving each other. Alas.
Would I Want To Chill With Katherine?:
Because I am a total asshole, no probably not. Yo, this woman encourages John of Gaunt to cheat on his other wives. And okay, okay I know it takes two to tango with cheating and I also know that they kind of had to because there was no other option, it’s not like John could date her or anything. ALSO. Katherine gets all whack toward the middle because of Blanchette, but you’ll have to actually read the book to find out why. Anyways, I just did not entirely love Katherine as a character, but I am also wondering if maybe I would have been more inclined to like her if I had read the book physically instead of the audiobook.
Were There Any Swoons?:
I think that if fade to black is more your scene than explicit sexytimes, you will be like omg omg that book was SOOOOO swoonworthy. Like, obviously you know that Katherine and John are boning, BUT it’s not exactly laid out for you in detail. Some people swoon for that, some people don’t. I did like the chemistry between the two characters and all the forbidden love, I just wish we got some more detail because I am a bit of a perv. Yo, it happens.
How’s The Narration?:
Katherine by Anya Seton is narrated by Wanda McCaddon. I did not entirely click with this audiobook. I kept zoning out and not paying attention. I felt like McCaddon sounded a bit mature for me. Her voice actually reminded me of Nadia May, another narrator that I just have trouble getting into. The audiobook is super long too, it’s 23 hours and 43 minutes unabridged and produced by Tantor Audio. Soooo, yeah, not my favorite audiobook ever and I am wondering if my indifference results from listening instead of physically reading.
Sum It Up With A GIF:
Basically, my indifference towards this audiobook…
Disclosure: Purchased copy.