Archive for November 5, 2009

Nefertitiuksmall

Book: Nefertiti by Michelle Moran

Category : Historical Fiction

Protagonists : Nefertiti and Mutnodjmet (Mutny)

Summary of the book : from Good Reads

The sweeping story of a powerful Egyptian family, Nefertiti: A Novel tells the tale of two sisters, the first of whom is destined to rule as one of history’s most fascinating queens.

Beautiful Nefertiti and her sister, Mutnodjmet, have been raised far from the court of their aunt, the Queen of Egypt. But when the Pharaoh of Egypt dies, their father’s power play makes Nefertiti wife to the new and impetuous king. It is hoped she will temper King Amunhotep’s desire to overturn Egypt’s religion, but the ambitious Nefertiti encourages Amunhotep’s outrageous plans instead, winning the adoration of the people while making powerful enemies at court. Younger yet more prudent, Mutnodjmet is her sister’s sole confidant, and only she knows to what lengths Nefertiti will go for a child to replace the son of Amunhotep’s first wife.

As King Amunhotep’s commands become more extravagant, he and Nefertiti ostracize the army, clergy, and Egypt’s most powerful allies. Then, when Mutnodjmet begins a dangerous affair with a general, she sees how tenuous her situation is at her own sister’s court. An epic story that resurrects ancient Egypt in vivid detail, Nefertiti: A Novel:

Things I liked about this book:

Michelle Moran’s imaginative narrative is the best  part of the book. It is also good that she choses Mutny and not Nefertiti herself to tell the tale. As a silent onlooker of the troubled times of Egypt she is  very believable character and a vivid describer of events that unfold.

Secondly , the sisters characters are very well written. The sharp contrast among them is the highlight of the book. One wants immortal fame , power , supremacy while all the younger one needs  is a quite life and someone to love.  The Other Boleyn Girl do I hearing you saying that? 🙂  If you liked that one you will love Nefertiti.

Thirdly , in a book with such strong female presence Moran hasn’t forgotten to give us an insight into the mind of the Pharoah Amunhotep. We see a monarch with complex mental make up in matters of state as well as his family.

Things I disliked about the book : None

On my rating scale : 5 out of 5

I have read selected books in Historical Fiction genre and I know if there one author whom I would like to read again ,it would be Michelle Moran. I have her other book The Heretic Queen on hold in the library.

Challenges for which the book is listed : None

Source : Personal Copy

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I watched Hitchcock’s Rebecca at a friend’s place where they had some sort of marathon viewing Hitchcock movies. It revived my interest in reading Rebecca which though I had read , wasn’t very clear in my mind.
As to which one I liked better , I am still not able to come to a conclusion because the storyline has been faithfully maintained and executed with utmost perfection.

rebecca

Book :

I have been a great fan of Daphne Du Maurier not only for Rebecca but also for Frenchman’s Creek.
With one of the most unforgettable opening lines , the book holds on to you. The timid new Mrs de Winter is in awe of most of the things at Manderley. She is always being compared to Rebecca , the late Mrs de Winter and made to feel she is not sophisticated enough for a mansion like Manderley. The root cause of troubles is the staunch silence her husband maintains in relation to Rebecca and the house keeping in charge Mrs Denver ( read evil personified, I just hated that lady)
She keeps falling in to the traps that Mrs Denvers sets for her. For our narrator it is as if people are trying to keep Rebecca alive even though she is no more. Does the narrator  have her happily ever after ? I am not going to give you that. Grab the book read it.

I do have some problems with the characters though. Firstly , why is our new Mrs de Winters such a mouse ? I literally wanted her to open her mouth , speak up and take a stand. It’s her husband’s house for God’s sake.Mrs Denvers doesn’t own it. But all you get from her are whining.

Secondly , what kind of husband would leave his wife with no explanation about his previous wife when he knows what she is going through at the house. Constant mention of Rebecca does not seem to strike as odd to him.

Other than these two things , I had no problem with the book. It was an absorbing read .

Book Rating : 4.5 out of 5

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Movie :

I have to say I was  surprised that they stuck to the book for most part.  Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine suited well for the roles of Maxim and Mrs de Winter . The pace of the story is fast as is any Hitchcock movie. Only difference is mode of Rebecca’s death which differs in the movie version. With a movie as good as this I would gladly over look that. Another problem was that Mrs Denvers wasn’t as malicious looking as she had to be ,though she tried hard and I felt she was little too young for that role.I had imagined someone older for that role.

Movie rating :5 out of 5 ( I can’t give anything lesser than this for a Alfred Hitchcock movie )