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Friday, February 08, 2008

Friday Flashback

From February 2002:


The Knight and the Rose by Isolde Martyn. Historical romance.









I don't believe there was any recourse way back then for an abused wife. She was her husbands' property, his to do with as he pleased. So it was up to her family to do what they could to protect her. I think that's why the priest & Agnes went along with it---they wanted to protect Johanna. I'm guessing they didn't think ahead to how complicated it would be, but once they started the fiction, they couldn't stop again.

Maybe I'm too pragmatic, but I cannot picture it being wrong of them to take this way out of her abusive marriage. When the laws, both secular & religious, protects the abuser, the only choice she had was to break those laws or wait for the 8 years & hope that if she survived that long, the courts would rule in her favor. Not much of a choice, IMO.

There may have been another way out, but like I said, once set upon this course, it would have been dangerous to change. And I wonder if perhaps Johanna's mother didn't see something in Geraint that she hoped would be good for her daughter.

I did not guess either mystery at all---neither the chastity belt nor Geraint's last name. I knew there must be a reason for Johanna not to eat, but like a couple people in the story thought that perhaps she was pregnant after all, despite her precautions. And Geraint's last name---that blew me away. That scene after his father's execution broke my heart. And then at his brother's execution, where he relied on Johanna's support to get through it.... Very bittersweet moment.

Edyth... Well, Fulk was the head of the household. I'm guessing that since he didn't object to her treatment of Johanna, nobody else would, either. As the lady of the house, Johanna should have been in charge of the household, but without her husband backing her up, I think she'd have been pretty much powerless. And I'm guessing that since she was at Conisthorpe as a spy to report back to Fulk, they decided to pick their battles & ignore the way she talked to Johanna.

I was hoping to see her father either recover from the stroke or for Geraint to help him communicate by blinking or writing.

You can see the entire thread, including a synopsis and discussion with Isolde Martyn here.

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Comments:
Sound like you didn't enjoy this book, or did you? I couldn't tell since you didn't give the grade like you normally do.

By the way you're tagged. But it very easy and simple :)
 
I never grade the Friday Flashbacks--because I read them several years ago, and hadn't graded them then.

Thanks for the tag--I'll get to it. :)
 
Ah - that make sense. Sometime some of the books that I have re-read was never reviews on this blog. So when it come the time I need to look up info for that book, it hard to remember what happen in the story.

Thanks for playing the tag - 123 meme. I'm looking forward to seeing it on your "Monday Morning Meme" :)

Have a good weekend!
 
Yep, that's exactly why I started doing it--so it would be easier to look up more books that I've read. :)

Hope you have a good weekend as well!
 
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