Book Reviews: The Pride Of The Peacock & The Story Of Music

Hello ladies and gentlemen,

today I'm reviewing a classic historical romance written by the queen of the "romantic suspence" genre Victoria Holt, and a new nonfiction book about the history of Western music. Enjoy!

The Pride Of The Peacock by Victoria Holt
Turn-of-the-century England. Jessica Clavering is born into an old but impoverished family. One day, she meets Ben Hennicker, the new owner of the Clavering's old family home. Her family hates him, but Jessica doesn't care and becomes close friends with him. But when Ben falls ill, he makes her an unusual offer. If she marries his proud son, the owner of an opal mine in Australia, she will inherit half his fortune. If she refuses, they both will get nothing, which would condemn Jessica to a spinster life with her cold family. Always the gambler, Jessica takes a chance that will lead her to the other side of the world, where she'll find love and danger as she tries to unfurl the mystery surrounding one of the greatest opals ever found.
This is a charming, if a bit unusual, romance. To start with, the hero makes his appearance after 100 pages! Before, it's all about Jessica and the mystery about her family. This, coupled with the endless discussions about opals, makes the book a bit dry and slow at times. Yet, it has so many twists and turns that will keep you glued to the page, and guessing at who the villain is, till the end, anyway.
There also aren't any passionate kissing or sex scenes, which may disappoint some people. I, instead, found it refreshing. It just better allows readers to see how the relationship between Jessica and her husband turns from one of convenience to one of love, and reminds us that while sex is a part of love, it's not the be all and end all.
Although the book could have been shorter, it's still a lovely historical romance that I recommend to all fans of the genre.
Available at: amazon.com
Rating: 4/5

The Story Of Music by Howard Goodall
An interesting and great overview of Western music, from its origin in the Prehistoric era, the innovations of the Middle Ages, the great composers of the 17th and 18th centuries, to our present day. Notions such as harmony, notation, opera, orchestra and even recording may be obvious to us, but someone had to come up with those ideas at some point, and when they did, they sparked a musical revolution.
Sometimes, to show how music evolved, it is necessary to delve into the complexities of music theory. This can be quite boring and complicated for someone who is new to the subject, but Goodall writes in such a readable and simple way that makes it accessible to everyone. The book is also filled of intriguing anecdotes and interesting observations. If you think, for instance, that classical music is dead, think again. It's evolved, but it's as alive as ever.
The author also discusses all kinds of music and musical forms, from classical to rock n'roll, from jazz to pop, from operas to Broadway musicals. He doesn't consider any type of music to be too insignificant to be included. There are also the occasional references to musical traditions of other parts of the world, which shows how differently music has evolved in different continents.
If you are a music lover that has extensive knowledge of the history of music and music theory, you probably won't find anything new here. But if you're just a music fan that would like to know more about how music changed and evolved throughout the centuries, then this would be a great introduction.
Available at: amazon
Rating: 4/5

Are you planning to read these books, or have done so already? If so, what did you think of them?

Disclaimer: I received these book in exchange for my honest opinion. In addition, this post contains affiliate links.