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A Net for Small Fishes: ‘The Thelma and Louise of the seventeenth century’ Lawrence Norfolk

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Lucy Jago creates a perilous and edgy atmosphere that encircles the story of two unlikely female friends who sought to change their lives from the abusive and restrained existence they endured. These, though, are small gripes compared with the many things there are to love in this scintillating novel that plunges you head-first into a darkly compelling chapter of British history. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. When Frances Howard, unhappy wife of the Earl of Essex, meets the talented Anne Turner, the two strike up an unlikely, yet powerful, friendship. Quando i nobili tramarono l'ennesimo complotto, fu proprio Anne, senza mezzi e senza protezione, ad andarci di mezzo.

the former makes pittance to provide for her children while the latter rubs shoulders with those in political power. Given the opportunity to ‘make something of himself’, he abandons the familiar wild and tactile world of nature and enters the controlled, rational life of university and the city. When Anne Turner ends up in a chance encounter with Frankie, a woman of very high and different means to her own, a friendship is instantly formed which will be tested to beyond breaking point. Anne sets about dressing Frankie powerfully to enhance her presence in court and to encourage the Earl of Essex to notice her and hopefully give her a much desired heir.The book’s title refers to justice, which catches small fry while letting larger fish escape punishment. Beneath the dread I feel a core of heat: it is joy at the actions we took, the chaos we created, the possibilities we saw, the lives we led; it is love. Frances (Frankie) Howard, a member of the powerful catholic Howard family, was betrothed to the Earl of Essex as a political union. The portrait of two women from two different classes, whose friendship seemed impossible, is beautifully depicted in this fine historical fiction.

Anne has gained a notoriety for her fashionable yellow starch lace and has a fine eye for dressing women for court. Language: I’ve seen reviewers on GR say the cod-historical over-bejewelled prose forced them to abandon this. This is a story of how Anne’s moral compass is compromised again and again as she tries to serve Frances.It demonstrates the strength, loyalty of a true friendship between Anne and Frances as well as their courage as they are vilified. Awe possessed me like a devil, jumping on my organs, pulling the strings of my eyes' - Wait, 'jumping on my organs'? Anne Turner, narrator and heroine of Lucy Jago’s A Net for Small Fishes, feels like she steps straight from the stage of a Jacobean masque. The mysterious beauty of his creations draw others to him, but can they lay hold of that which possesses him? Accessible and absorbing novel that fleshes out the true story of two women accused of the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury in 1613.

Jago's thrilling debut is a sumptuous feast of plotting and intrigue at the court of King James, with a feminist slant . An affair that risked devastating repercussions but illustrated the attitude of Frances Howard and the loyalty of Anne Turner. A Swarm of Dust is widely considered to be one of Flisar’s finest works of fiction, questioning the very notion of objective truth and subverting the norms of Judeo-Christian morality. Reminiscent of the writing of Jeet Thayil, Zia Haider Rahma and Nadeem Aslam, Hamilton’s prose is arrestingly visual, intensely lyrical and uncompromisingly political.

The intricate complexities of the Jacobean court are beautifully told but it is the relationship between these two women, Frances Howard, Countess of Essex and Mistress Anne Turner as they play the cards life has dealt them that is both riveting and contemporary. However, it builds up to an excellent and moving finale and the Den can see this being made into a drama for screen in the future. Turner was the subject of the anonymous play The Widow, and features in Thomas Middleton and William Rowley’s The World Tossed at Tennis. Based on the true scandal that rocked the court of James I, A Net for Small Fishes is the most gripping novel you'll read this year: an exhilarating dive into the pitch-dark waters of the Jacobean court.

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