The Savvy Bookworm

My Personal Book Review Site

The House of Lanyon

Written By: Erika - Sep• 22•08

by Valerie Anand

I am turning into quite the fan of period fiction.  I love stories told in other time periods- I love picturing in my head what it would have been like to walk those streets or be a participant in the customs and traditions.  The House of Lanyon fits right into that genre, but sadly, the book did not live up to my anticipations.

The main characters in this book are the Lanyons.  Richard Lanyon is a hard-working farmer who is bitter about having his rivals be his landlords.  He spends much of his life complaining about the Sweetwaters and is always trying to figure out a way to get out from under them.   While he is trying to figure out how to extract his revenge on some misdeeds done to him, his son Peter comes to him and declares his intention to marry a woman from a fishing village.  Richard has already been brokering a deal for Peter with a woman whose family ties will aid Richard in becoming more self-sufficient.  Richard takes it upon himself to go and see the fishing lass and tell her Peter cannot marry her.  Upon seeing her beauty, Richard decides the best way to prevent the marriage would be to marry her himself.  She resists, and tragedy befalls, and Richard rides off, satisified that the threat to his plan is no longer there.

Peter marries Liza, who as it happens, was also in love with someone else- a young man destined for the cloth, and completely unmarriageable.  Peter and Liza come to an arrangement of sorts and live peaceably as man and wife, but always under the roof and the decisions of Richard who succumbs further and further towards madness each and every day.

I have to say, while I found myself intrigued enough to continue reading the book to the end, the pace was painstakingly slow. Events crept, and so many of the bits and pieces and details just seemed very contrived.   I also thought, as I read this book, that there wasn’t a whole lot about this book that screamed a period novel to me.  The War of The Roses was going on at this time in 15th century England, and while it did get in the book a little bit, so much more could have been done.  I guess overall, this book just lacked some depth, something real to sink your teeth into.  The whole of the book, actually, could have probably been played out in a short story or a novella, but it seemed like pages and pages would just pass by before something happened.  Then something would happen, and then a few more things right on top of that, but then pages and pages of nothingness again.

A disappointment overall.  It was another one of those books that I was happy to finish and return to the library, which is too bad, because the premise had real promise.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *