Phew boy do I wish I'd selected an easier book to kick off the book club! I really couldn't get into it at first as the archaic language and the use of Dorset/Somerset dialect didn't make it the best book for a tired brain...
But I finally finished it yesterday and it was worth the effort.
I have to say that I'm glad that I was born in the 20th and not the 17th century as the women in the book do seem to have raw deal in the story. The main character John Ridd seems quite a misogynist but then that was presumably the norm at the time. This did make the book off putting as it goes against all my modern feminist views.
It does paint a fascinating picture of life as a yeoman farmer in the 1600s at a time of turmoil and social upheaval. I had heard about some of the real life characters from my history lessons but the author brings some colour to them by showing them from a "normal" person's perspective.
I guess the character closest to the way I see myself is Lizzie even though her big brother puts her down all the time. She is a bookworm who knows a lot about history but hasn't got the housewifely skills that were expected of her at the time. She definitely doesn't get good press from J. R. but that doesn't mean she was a bad girl at all.
Once I got used to it the fact that the dialogue was written in the local dialect added to the book as you could really imagine the characters saying it.
A good book but one for when you are in the right place for a serious read and not for a general relax..