‘All of life’, mediaeval life, was here in this book. If you are interested in medieval history, and particularly in reading richly textured and immersive historical fiction, this is the novel for you. Robyn Cadwallader does a wonderful job of illuminating the imagined lives of limners’ in 14th century London. She successfully interweaves multiple perspectives and, it seems to me, reveals the joys, the heartache and the suffering of her fictional characters with real tenderness and care. I loved the bittersweet love story at the core of this book and the resilience of the people depicted. The ‘Book of Colours’ was both disturbing and enervating.
I must admit to a particular fascination for mediaeval ‘books of hours’, so this was a novel that sat close to my heart; I read it slowly, savouring the detailed and vivid descriptions, enjoying Robyn Cadwallader’s masterful craftsmanship and the rich images she created through her words. Beautifully written. This is not a book to be rushed!