❰Ebook❯ ➦ A Brief History of Montmaray Author Michelle Cooper – Dailytradenews.co.uk



10 thoughts on “A Brief History of Montmaray

  1. says:

    Michelle Cooper is the Quentin Tarantino of young adult novels Not really original, kinda wears their influences on most of the outfit if one is being honest, but what she does right is really hard to do and better, I think, than originality Not that I wouldn t agree that Michelle Cooper owes big time royalties to Dodie Smith s I Capture the Castle Cooper is funny I was down in the dumps and the two Montmaray books cheered me up when nothing else did This analogy might not work well for someone who doesn t find Tarantino to be funny, I realize Sophia writes her journal about what she cares about her home and family and tries to be honest as she can be while she figures it all out They live in a castle There s no money She day dreams about a guy who doesn t notice her as than a little kid I ve read that before, yeah I liked that honest voice of not being afraid to make mistakes The situation doesn t matter as much okay, there are growing pains and it matters in the first book than the second I like the sequel even better I liked that Cooper knew what to take seriously her characters , and could poke fun at the rest At least enough for me to feel that what she could do right was important than what she wasn t as good at The perspective of a teen girl who DOESN T think the entire world revolves around herself was pretty refreshing too I m not sure I knew any of those when I was a teenager I doubt there are too many young adult novelists writing about those kinds of girls these days.I read this on my kindle before it tragically broke itself coughs so I don t know page numbers Somewhere around 19 or 20% it got really good I admit to being worried that it was an average young adult book and too I Capture the Castle y to be anything special Okay, it s still not perfect WAY too much happens in the final quarter It s also a touch too whimsical carrier pigeons , in the way that whimsy would be used as a distraction to move things along even in the sequel there are Oh my god something BIG just happened segue journal entries But what was good was good I laughed out loud when Sophia figures out that something means something because of a novel she was reading Oscar Wilde Cousin Veronica bordered on being too Mary Sue perfect Brother Toby was too glib there s a reason but unfortunately his glibness can still override the reason when it should have ceased to do so Sophia was at the heart, watching her family and seeing what mattered to her Veronica being there for her when Sophia s parents died Toby tried to keep people happy by laughing and denying his own pain of loving someone he couldn t have Little sister Henry wants to be a boy instead of a girl Sophia understands the kid s desperation to be outside onesself and making things happen, even as she s the sole family member to want things to stop and happen as they are.But you know what I was happy Sophia learns about her family, she learns about the state of the world It would have been a mistake to make Veronica, or housekeeper s son Simon there s a twist that belies the initial ANOTHER Simon like in Castle And she loves him And he loves someone else C mon I ve read this already , the voice of the journal It amused me how Sophia peices together and expands her sympathies and horizons by reading novels, by observing the people she cares about and trying to sort out what was important about her days and her life Sophia doesn t know that the Nazis are killing Jews because not everybody back then knew what was going on Veronica and her educated friends know everything They know too much by reading books and discussing things in safe rooms It was at times ridiculous to read about these ineffectual teenagers discussing things and their kingdom as if they had ANY say at all That would be really boring to read about I find interesting how Sophia develops her mind That s another thing that is hard to do, perhaps harder than being funny It must have been tempting for Cooper to have Sophia just ask Veronica the answer to everything Kinda like in the Harry Potter films that have Hermione already know the answer instead of Harry doing his own legwork that s why I loved Harry so much He feels around himself, even if he isn t as book learned as his fellows I got teary eyed when they tell Neville that he is worth twelve Draco Malfoys I um might have cried when they win the house cup because Neville stood up to his friends and that made him braver than standing up to enemies I didn t cry when Sophia is the heart of her family all along She may not demand attention the way that they do, because she is too busy paying attention to everyone else, but she was no less vivid in her love Sobs Not crying Veronica, Simon, Veronica s would be boyfriend and former tutor Daniel, their English friend communist and aristocrat talk like this They are so ridiculous it is kinda cute Sometimes Still, I wished that SOMEONE would have mentioned it to Veronica that she was for a long time living off the hard work of two old women, one old man and a small child The your highness shit they live in a fictionalized royal kingdom of Montmaray that has no population after a war and disease was too much to take alongside the for the people talk Um, your claim to fame is being born of royal blood Anthony You re a wealthy aristocrat NOT a real communist Daniel Okay, Veronica does tell him that he only had his education because he was lucky enough to come from a family of merchants who could afford to educate him in the second book, anyway Call Veronica out on it, somebody But a lot of that is the second book and I should save it for another review Duh duh duh I can t believe what just happened I m too upset to write about it now I m going to make a cup of hot chocolate and retire to my room to review it in privacy My hands are still shaking I might mistype The Brief History of Montmaray ends on a cliffhanger Duh duh duh To be continuedP.s I ve had this theory for years that young adult writers from Australia are the best I know that other goodreaders think the same It s because it s true Cooper is going into my stable of hos


  2. says:

    This book would have been a perfect companion for my fifteen year old self I think I simply found this one too late to be receptive to many of its charms This is a book that one should hand to a young girl to introduce her into a world that I ve already found I ve already read I Capture the Castle, I ve already peeked into the mad wife s attic, and Elinor Dashwood and I are old friends I ve visited Avalon, I ve immersed myself in King Henry s court, and I already majored in European history Not to mention the fact that I ve seen Indiana Jones The Holy Grail thing Come on Cooper doesn t have to convince me these things are interesting Thus, to me, this read like an info dump of history research with a story interspersed between that has been told better elsewhere.But for all that, I can remember a time when this book would have made me smile and run out to find the sequel And there were still parts of this that I really liked The character of Veronica and her relationship with Simon turned out to be better drawn and complex than I thought it was, the little sister Henry was delightful, and the last 30 pages or so actually had me sitting up and anxious to know what was going to happen The writing was not bad at all, either It was a bit bland, but had several genuinely funny lines and good bits scattered here and there You can finish this in an afternoon and I can t imagine that you d regret having spent those hours on this But, still, the best I can say of it is that if you give this to a young girl and she likes it, then this is the gateway drug to a host of way awesomer books Which isn t a bad thing for it to be at all.


  3. says:

    December 11, 2013It s not the perfect book for everyone, but for those who love I Capture the Castle and Code Name Verity, it should be a very good fit The surface is the story of three princesses living in a medieval castle almost on a tiny rocky outcrop in the Atlantic, among the last few residents of the miniscule kingdom of Montmaray The time is 1936 As the title implies, a fair amount of history is revealed, all of it accurate except for the ruling family and the island itself Self appointed librarian Veronica and novel reader Sophie are both realistic and pragmatic even as their gothic cliche of a country, kingdom, castle, and way of life are fading out of the modern world The whole is a marvelous synthesis of Mitford eccentricity and the terror of another Great War, as told by a young woman familiar with Jane Austen than the progress of the early 20th century The tone is Indiana Jones than Anne Frank and it must be said that the book rollicks There is an endearing Portugese Water Dog named Carlos and an impetuous younger sister who prefers to go by the nickname Henry I d particularly recommend it to younger readers who like clever kick ass princesses January 3, 2015I d checked the whole series out for Natasha, and since it was just lying around, I decided to pass an idle moment with it And then I got sucked in, and read some of it aloud to Natasha, and she got sucked in, and then I had to read the next two as quickly as possible in order to hand them back over to her Loved them even this time.Library copy.


  4. says:

    I was completely captivated by A Brief History of Montmaray The plot builds with such subtle skill that I was absolutely sucked in to the breathtaking conclusion even as I had kind of figured out most of the revelations along the way What I love is that it goes from describing all the quirky, endearingly hum drum aspects of everyday life as everyday as it can be for the few remaining members of the royal family of Montmaray in their crumbling castle on an island two hundred miles from anywhere in Europe to being this heart pumping adventure of political intrigue and family tragedy and, ultimately, of hope The characters are what really sold it for me, though It s a cast of characters that, in less skilled authorial hands, could be laughable characatures but here it all seems absolutely plausible the insane king his stalwart, beautiful and bookish teenage daughter the good hearted, easygoing too easygoing nephew and reluctant heir to the throne off to University in England the niece on the cusp of adulthood our narrator , who learns lessons about love and responsibility and heritage and progress the other niece, Henrietta who prefers to be called Henry and wishes she was a boy and acts like one Simon, the son of the housekeeper who is so handsome and outgoing and with whom our narrator may possibly be in love or, at least, deep infatuation There are family secrets and Nazis and storms and peril The distant allure of London and civilization beckon, yet crumbling Montmaray Castle holds fast to our narrator s heart I ve no doubt it will stay in mine, too.This is classified as historical fiction and while the entire Montmaray family and kingdom is the fiction aspect, many key figures and events of WWII are woven into the story so skillfully and seamlessly I think this is what all good historical fiction is about giving you characters you really care about and enticing you to read THEIR story, while along the way you might actually learn something or remember something that you forgot from much less interesting textbooks As for the inevitable comparisons to I Capture the Castle I really don t think there are many besides that it s a coming of age story featuring a scribbling teenager living in a decrepit castle And that both are quite good


  5. says:

    I loved this book surprisingly much It was like I Capture the Castle only with all the things I didn t like in that book changed the useless parents were less present, about half the obsessing about boys was replaced with adventure, and I liked most of the characters better Plus there were carrier pigeons, storms, and Nazi attacks


  6. says:

    Meh This sounded much better than it turned out to be And this time I even followed that one rule that I always skip and then regret, of reading a couple pages BEFORE buying the book, just to make sure I think I was deceived because the first couple pages are a letter from Toby and Toby s letters are the liveliest, most charming pieces of this narrative This is somewhat derivative, it strongly brings to mind I Capture the Castle, up to secondary character s names Simon , and as well in type of narrative, abject upper class poverty, and living in a castle But where ICtC became a cult favorite by being quirky, somewhat unsentimental and unpredictable and, above all Cassandra s voice and feelings seeming true to the reader , Montmaray never approaches that level.First, I should say I have a problem with suspension of disbelief regarding the setting The details of the setting seem awfully vague around the edges in questions of scale I was probably originally mislef by the map which must be totally off scale From the narrative it sounds like the Montmaray is so small it would not show up on any map otherwise From the map on the book Montmaray seems biggish, the size of say, Madeira And then there are all sort of details which do not seem credible, they have inhabited a off shore island for almost 400 years, but they have no discernible accent or evolving language hmph No The island goes from a population that could support a fighting force of at least 160 men so I guess a total population 500 to 2000 I guess to a dozen inhabitants on 20 years even with the spanish flu epidemics, I do not think emmigration patterns work like that, not for long independent isolated places where families have lived for centuries People living on the island would probably be able to keep subsisting there, paying no rent and living off fishing or kitchen gardens, as their ancestors have done for centuries and probably with not much use for hard currency on their island anyway People ambitious for hard cash or other opportunities would emmigrate surely, but a percentage almost totally emmigrating to places where they would have to pay rent and leave their homes seems incredible Even assuming the unbelievable generosity of passing ships to make stops to take passengers without charging passages Consider maybe Azorean emigration patterns for example Or other northern Atlantic archipelagos Surely only islands with major natural disasters got emigration patterns like these Ok, this is a geek thing, but still if I suspend disbelief in worldbuilding, my belief in characters is damaged as well.Besides the worldbuilding looking very flimsy, the plot also seemed very flimsy on a few things view spoiler Vengeful nazis which seem to have gone to Montmaray on some totally vague mission, Isabella s watery ghost WTF , and Sophie out of the blue implying that Toby and Simon are gay Like, for real, a 1936 16 year old princess spending all her life in a island population circa 12 can reach that conclusion from mannerisms all from having read, or read about, Oscar Wilde hide spoiler


  7. says:

    Originally reviewed on The Book SmugglersOctober, 1936 the sovereign island nation of Montmaray seems an idyllic, impossible place Sitting a scant few hundred miles off the coasts of England and France, Montmaray and her inhabitants are a strange, quirky bunch With as many FitzOsborne royal highnesses 4 on the island, with one prince heir studying at Eton as there are inhabitants, the handful of countrymen and women hardly stand on ceremony especially considering how threadbare and impoverished the royal family actually is Living in a decrepit, crumbling stone castle on an island surrounded on all sides by a cold and unforgiving sea, the FitzOsbornes are hardly your typical aristocratic royals Princess Sophia is not the eldest or most charming that would be her older brother Prince Toby , not the prettiest or smartest that would be her cousin Princess Veronica , neither the bravest nor the most brash younger sister Princess Harry , nor the maddest the reigning King of Montmaray, Uncle John But Princess Sophia is the storyteller of the FitzOsborne clan, and in A Brief History of Montmaray, through her journal she tells the story of the late months of 1936, as tensions simmer in a Europe on the brink of war As the months pass, Sophia provides insight to the lives of her family in Montmaray, their struggles and their daily routines and then the danger that strikes when a pair of men in a ship flying a swastika flag lands on their sovereign island.Well folks, the fact that I m writing this review a second time, three years later should say something A Brief History of Montmaray has everything one could want in a novel compelling narrative voice, convincing and plausible in epistolary style through the eyes of our heroine Sophia, quirks, comedy, and just enough dramatic heft to keep you engaged throughout the book Easily, the most winsome thing Montmaray has going for it is the voice and character of narrator Sophia Now, this may come as a shock, but I am NOT a huge fan of the epistolary novel this is because the style often feels forced or fake, and even some of the best stories that use the technique require severe suspension of disbelief 2 See Elizabeth Wein s masterful Code Name Verity Ana s review, my review , which pushes the envelope of disbelief, but is so damn good you re easily able to forgive any of the minor narrative hurdles But when an epistolary novel is done well, it iswell, magical 3 One of my favorite novels of all time is Susan Beth Pfeffer s Life as We Knew It , which is a beautifully executed novel of this type And, in my own humble opinion, A Brief History of Montmaray delivers this same hugely successful, awesome calibre epistolary style I love Sophia s voice, which breathes life into a surprisingly quiet story Hers is a story filled with the mundane discussions of leaky ceilings, cleaning dishes, dusty mattresses but with a believable, playful edge Sohpia s fears, her own self conscious comparisons to her beautiful and capable cousin Veronica, her ridiculous by her own admission obsession with a boy she cannot be with, all of these elements contribute to the quirky, effortless style that is Sophia s narration Oh, and she s seamlessly funny, too, weaving stories through her own diary effortlessly For example When I asked her what she d thought of Pride and Prejudice, she only wondered aloud how anyone could have written a novel set in the first part of the nineteenth century without once mentioning Napoleon.For all of her disparaging, self deprecating remarks about how she isn t as clever as Veronica, Sophia has a way with words On the character front, the other FitzOsbornes and supporting cast are similarly well done Veronica with her insufferable logic is a wonderful counterpart to Sophia s emotional and less self assured perspective Toby s effervescence, even told secondhand through letters, is contagious Harry s tomboyish prickliness is endearing The other huge standout feature of A Brief History of Montmaray is the setting itself Compared to I Capture the Castle, Montmaray is a similar story of an impoverished, eccentric family living in a crumbling castle and I think consciously pays homage to Dodie Smith s beloved book But then, of course, there s the other aspect of the novel that separates the FitzOsbornes from the Mortmains and that would be the historical context, what with Nazis and a quest to find a particular ancient artifact, and what not While these elements are not the best executed in current YA fiction once again, I have to draw attention to Elizabeth Wein s wonderful Code Name Verity , the tension is high and I like the possibilities for direction in future stories the particular Nazi involvement in A Brief History of Montmaray affords Yes, there s a strong dose of melodrama by novel s end, but the strange mix of a dash of superstition supernatural involvement, a smidge of romance not in the way you are thinking, though , combined with the compelling characters and stellar narration, make the novel thoroughly enjoyable and work.And ultimately, that s what it comes down to, right I loved this book I hope others read it, and I am thrilled to finally get back on the FitzOsborne train and finish The FitzOsbornes in Exile and The FitzOsbornes at War very, very soon.


  8. says:

    From the book jacket Sophie FitzOsborne lives in a crumbling castle in the tiny island kingdom of Montmaray, along with her tomboy younger sister Henry, her beautiful, intellectual cousin Veronica, and her uncle, the completely mad King John When Sophie receives a journal for her sixteenth birthday, she decides to write about her day to day life on the island But this is 1936, and the news that trickles in from the mainland reveals a world on the brink of war My reactionsI was bored, and finished only because it satisfied a challenge I found Sophie s musings repetitious How often do I need to hear about how cranky Rebecca is How handsome Simon is How stubborn Henry is At first I was reminded of We Have Always Lived in the Castle but that quickly subsided I didn t find the underlying intrigue about Sophie s brother and who will inherit the throne from Uncle John terribly interesting We re to believe they are completely isolated, with little or no modern conveniences no electricity, no phone, no motorized boat , yet when they need help they hoist a flag and miraculously a passing ship sees it and comes to their aid One of my pet peeves is cliffhanger endings that force the reader to get the next book to find out what happens And that is exactly what this book gives us I know this is a YA novel and I do cut the genre a little slack, so I m still giving it two stars Some of the scenes were quite suspenseful, and some of the interactions between characters not only advanced the story, but were plausible I also liked that the young women were portrayed as strong, intelligent, resourceful and determined.


  9. says:

    This book is Sophie s first person diary journal account of the events and people of the island kingdom of Montmaray Set in 1936 the world is gearing up for turmoil, and it soon becomes clear that Montmaray will not be immune.As the residents of Montmaray continue to relocate, and as the king grows and senile, the duties and responsibilities fall to his children and his nieces and nephews most under the age of twenty So, when an offer comes from an aunt for Sophie and her cousin Veronica to come to England, Sophie is torn between her desire to see London and her loyalty to Montmaray.I was instantly captivated by Cooper s style and I liked Sophie s voice and character It felt honest and real and a good counterpart to all the other vivid characters of the story The plot kept me guessing and I was surprised than once.Admittedly, this book is probably 4 1 2 stars because a few sections did seem a tad slow But, the ending was so much the opposite that I bumped it up a notch That said, for me personally it was probably a four star enjoyment level as I was quite surprised and made a tad queasy by a few of the chapters scenes The book takes a rather dark and gruesome turn about half way through which thankfully doesn t last much than two or three chapters , and while nothing was horribly detailed, the idea of night intruders and mutilation were enough to make me stop reading this book before bed but not enough to make me stop reading it all together Not only am I curious to read the next installment I ve already ordered it


  10. says:

    This is a brilliant coming of age story set just before World War II in a fictional island nation off the coast of Spain Sophia is a good narrator She s quiet, caring and observant yet she doubts her own abilities until faced with a crisis All of the characters truly come to life and become flesh and blood before the reader s eyes The author does an amazing job sharing the history of Montmaray, complete with quirky ancestors I loved the epic poem which Violet dismisses as nonsense but provides the comic relief in the story I also loved the literary references from Jane Austen and the Brontes, to Shakespeare and Tennyson The plot starts slow but halfway through it picks up and doesn t let go until the very end My only real complaint is Sophia s moments of introspection and speculation on great issues which seem out of character for her and a bit forced.This story will make you laugh and it will break your heart and make you cry before it s over I highly recommend this book for older teens and adults.


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A Brief History of Montmaray download A Brief History of Montmaray, read online A Brief History of Montmaray, kindle ebook A Brief History of Montmaray, A Brief History of Montmaray a5d499ce1cf9 Sophie FitzOsborne Lives In A Crumbling Castle In The Tiny Island Kingdom Of Montmaray With Her Eccentric And Impoverished Royal Family When She Receives A Journal For Her Sixteenth Birthday, Sophie Decides To Chronicle Day To Day Life On The Island But This Is , And The News That Trickles In From The Mainland Reveals A World On The Brink Of War The Politics Of Europe Seem Far Away From Their Remote Island Until Two German Officers Land A Boat On Montmaray And Then Suddenly Politics Become Very Personal Indeed