A Respectable Trade by Philippa Gregory
I think this must be one of Gregory’s heftier books, perhaps even a novel. I mention this as most of her books are fairly short and easy to digest. In a way this is one of her best, mostly down to her encapsulating method of description. I could really picture myself standing along side the protagonists, watching their story unfold thanks to all the details Gregory inserted. But, this was long! Such a long read, at first I struggled to really want to continue to read, then it got sort of interesting, but then it returned to borderline dull and dramatic. Perhaps I could better describe this book with an oxymoron, interestingly dull or dramatically plain (is that one?!)?
I really enjoyed the slave perspective, it was clear that Gregory had worked really hard to get traditions and history correct. The western characters were much more vulgar, exaggerated and on reflection I believe this was done deliberately. A way for me to empathize with the African natives…….thinking about it more I love that she did this. Historical fiction can be so biased, that is what they say isn’t it, history is only written by the winner!
I award this 4 stars, for her efforts and details.