The Last Hours (Black Death #1) by Minette Walters
” June, 1348: the Black Death enters England through the port of Melcombe in the county of Dorsetshire. Unprepared for the virulence of the disease, and the speed with which it spreads, the people of the county start to die in their thousands.
In the estate of Develish, Lady Anne takes control of her people’s future – including the lives of two hundred bonded serfs. Strong, compassionate and resourceful, Lady Anne chooses a bastard slave, Thaddeus Thurkell, to act as her steward. Together, they decide to quarantine Develish by bringing the serfs inside the walls. With this sudden overturning of the accepted social order, where serfs exist only to serve their lords, conflicts soon arise. Ignorant of what is happening in the world outside, they wrestle with themselves, with God and with the terrible uncertainty of their futures.
Lady Anne’s people fear starvation but they fear the pestilence more. Who amongst them has the courage to leave the security of the walls?
And how safe is anyone in Develish when a dreadful event threatens the uneasy status quo..? ” ~ Desciption from Goodreads
This was the first book I have read by Minette Walters. Apparently, she is well known for her thrillers/crime novels that are dark and disturbing. I can definitely tell you she brought that element over with her into the world of historical fiction. Stick with me through this… It might be the first and last time I EVER drop a spoiler! I hate those things.
I actually won this book off a Goodreads giveaway. I saw the description BLACK DEATH and went all starry-eyed. I have never read a plague novel and this one sounded good. I was lucky enough to win it, fast forward about 4 1/2 weeks, it comes in the mail.
HOLY COW IT WAS HUGE! It was 541 pages of a larger size paperback. It was a bit intimidating. I actually sat it on my shelf for a few weeks. Contemplated not reading it….
I ended up gobbling this whole book up in a little less than a week. It was amazing! A fantastic historical fiction. There were a few parts that felt a little drawn out but at the same time were in no way boring. Some of the language in this book was a bit graphic. This book actually focuses more on the social aspect of medieval life during and after the black plague. The shifts in social status.
All of the characters are very likable except Eleanor… Oh boy did I wish I could jump into the pages and strangle her myself. She actually has become my obsession because there were so many sick and twisted things with her story line that have been left unresolved.
Decided against the spoilers here… Sorry guys I can’t support it…. All I have to say about it is: HOW CAN YOU “TO BE CONTINUE” ME RIGHT THERE??? I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT! I NEED SOME RESOLUTION IN MY LIFE!
That’s right…. There is a to be continued on the last page. But that’s ok! I actually fell in love with the people of Develish and I cant wait to follow them post plague. Who is going to come out on top? I have my guesses….
If you like historical fictions I would recommend this book. The style kind of reminds me of The Crimson Petal and the White by Michael Faber. Visit the Amazon link below to pick of a copy of you own or read more about this book. It released today. Happy book birthday to The Black Death!! ** Side Note: I highly suggest buying this book in Hardback. This is a fat book… My paperback ARC needed a little TLC halfway through**