Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Difficult Truce - Joan Wolf

"Taken captive by her ancestral enemies, the hated British, beautiful Irish aristocrat Christina MacCarthy had only one route of escape: marriage to one of England's most powerful, dangerously handsome lords, the Duke of Dacre. In his embrace, Christina would have to fight a threat more perilous than a stone cell and chains . . . the prison walls of love. "

Wolf starts the story by explaining how she changed some historical details to suit her story and explains which they were. I quite liked that. Given that i'm not really familiar with this part of Irish history it was something I would not have noticed but I appreciated the fact that she explained it.

The book deals with the fight of the Irish catholics to have their rights recognised and to have to own the land, that was in the hands of the british or the few protestant Irish nobility. Christina Maccarthy is, after her father is killed, the symbol of that fight till she is forced to surrender to the british.

Her captor is the earl of Dacre and as he gets to know Christina better he starts to feel the injustice being done to Ireland and to understand her fight. Imprisioned and trying to maintain her position Christina stops eating and it's Dacre who eventually convinces her to stop and that marrying him she will have an ally in fighting for Ireland. It is clear that by then they are both in love with each other.

I did like both Christina and Dacre who were sensible and level headed even when they had different opinions about how to deal with the political situation and I was a bit surprised that this book almost felt like historical fiction. It was a poleasant surprise to me that so much space was given to explaining the political situation in both England and Ireland and if it hadn't been for the mentioned author's note in the beginning I would believe I was reading about the intervenients in such an important period for Ireland. In fact Christina and Dacre's relationship evolves in accordance to the political changes and not due to their behaviour toward one another.

Grade: B

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