book review: I Got What I asked for in The Bastard by John Jakes

I said in my earlier post  that I needed a break from the predictability of historical romances and needed something a little deeper.. and that’s exactly what I got from book 1 of John Jakes lengthy saga the Kent Family Chronicles.

Lori had a jump start on this series (she does that all the time.. just to annoy me I am convinced), and had been warning me off of it a bit sending me messages like:

  • “it’s definitely got substance”,
  • “you get lots of history”,
  • “no bodice ripping in this one”
  • but then she sent me this one… “this is right up your alley, you will love it”..

boy, she knows me well..I am LOVING IT!!!

This is me reading “The Bastard” I won’t lie, I would react this way to cotton candy as well   source

The Bastard brings us all that John Jakes does so well.  He draws these vivid images of the characters and builds these wonderful relationships between family members, among friends and the occasional strong woman. He introduces subtle (and not so subtle) antagonists, revenge and even casual sex all while staying true to the time period.

Lori and I just can’t seem to come to common ground in regards to the main character Phillipe’s (aka Philip Kent) ability to be the book boyfriend. I will concede he is not the standard alpha male that we have been reading about in historical romances the likes that Kathryn LeVeque and Mary Balogh give us; that strong, heroic, protect your woman at all costs, never sway from what you stand for, big burly knight in shining armor. He is described as short, unschooled in the ways of warfare and chivalry, human, flawed, a bit wishy washy, unsure of what kind of man he wants or can be.

But I will come to his defense and say, I don’t think he is supposed to be a stereotypical leadng man. He represents all that was happening in 1770’s America. Insecurity, uncertainty, fear and anxiety but he is also quite endearing, brave, resilient and the women love him. Poor Anne Ware, she has no idea what hit her when he walked into her life. Which is another thing..

Thank you John Jakes for giving me a stong, independent, self thinking woman to get behind. She has yet to do anything airheaded or stupid but acts on her convictions.  It’s not always unicorns and rainbows with Philip, but her decisions are her own, and she owns them!  #1774womangoals

source

After finishing The Bastard”, I now know more about  pre-American Revolution America, including how they printed all that sedition material (to the most minute detail), and what those early revolutionists were really fighting for.

A small confession: I may or may not have been browsing Amazon earlier this week looking for a Martha Washington replica dress and a Brown Bess for my husband so we can hit the local re-enactment circuit.

I say in all giddiness, I don’t think the history lesson is over yet!   I’m ready.. sooo ready… Bring on Book 2, The Rebels!!

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