Having heard so much about Dorothy Dunnett's books, I picked this one up at an online discount site to see what all the fuss was about. At this point, I have mixed feelings. I started reading it a week ago while at the airport waiting to leave town for a business trip. After reading the first few chapters, I was still trying to figure out who and what the book was about. The stories were entertaining, but they seemed like a string of stories about the adventures of a young man named Claes and they seemed to have little to connect them together. Frankly, if my flight had not been delayed by almost 3 hours (and my spare book had not been in my checked bag), I would have given up on it.
I can honestly say that I'm glad I didn't, but it was a hard book to get through. At 470 pages, it's not a "chunkster" (I love that word!!) by any means but it took me two weeks to read it - longer than any other book I have read in the last year. I find that it's hard to give a recap of the plot which is extremely complex with layer upon layer of detail and storylines that intersect, intertwine and overlap. And you often don't even realize it until several chapters later.
I really enjoyed the main characters and felt like I knew them by the end of the book. At first, Claes seems like a simple young man with a tendency to get himself into trouble. But beneath his servant facade lies a smart, cunning and ambitious man who wants "pay backs" and who sets in motion a series of events that gets him much of what he wants. The cast of characters in the book is huge but only a small handful play major or even minor roles. Many of them seemed to be mentioned a few times in passing and I lost track of who they were and how they were related to anything or anyone. I found the number of them to be somewhat distracting.
This is not a light read and I had to really concentrate on it in order to have any clue about what was happening, although I'm sure there were lots of things I missed. Since I like to read and watch TV at the same time (a habit which greatly annoys my husband) that could explain why I sometimes had no clue! I plan to read the rest of the series at some point but will definately not be able to read them consecutively.
Queen of Camelot by Nancy McKenzie. A compelling story told by Guinevere herself in which she comes across as strong, but also full of emotion and love. On the night she was a born an old wisewoman tells her father than Guinevere will be a great lady one day but that she will betray a king and be betrayed herself. When fighting breaks out in her homeland, her father sends her to live with her aunt's family. It is here that she meets Arthur and ultimately marries him, much to the dismay and envy of her cousin Elaine.
When Guinevere realizes that she is unlikely to give Arthur a son, she agrees for his son Mordred to be brought to court where she will raise him. She and Arthur are happy but Mordred turns against them and kills Arthur. My favorite of the Arthur stories that I have read so far. The characters are fully developed and the whole storyline doesn't hinge on Lancelot and Guinevere.
The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Told primarily from the viewpoint of Morgaine who becomes a Priestess of Avalon. As the making of Arthur's life takes shape, his half sister, Morgaine, is sent to live with her Aunt Viviane, The Lady of Avalon. There she learns what is necessary to become a priestess with the goal of one day taking Viviane's place. Part of her initiation involves sleeping with a young man wearing a buck's head while she herself is costumed. Morgaine is horrified to learn that she has slept with her brother (Arthur) and even more horrified when she learns she is pregnant. When the child is born, a son, he is sent to live with Morgaine's sister, Morgause, to be raised with her sons.
Arthur becomes King and marries Gwenhwyfar. In return for Viviane's help in putting him on the throne, Arthur has agreed to allow his people to continue to follow the old earth religion if they want to. Gwen, a Christian, is not happy about this and continually blames Arthur's leniancy in this aspect for her inability to have children. But Arthur remains true to his word. When Viviane's son Lancelot arrives at Arthur's court, he and Gwen are instantly drawn to each other. Arthur would be blind to not see it and being sure that Gwen's inability to conceive is his fault, he suggests that she sleep with Lancelot in their bed and with him the same night so that if she does get pregnant, it could be considered as his and conceived in the king's bed. Although she hesitates at first and is afraid for her soul, her desire for a son eventually causes her to agree.
Eventually Lancelot and Gwen are not able to keep themselves from each other and Mordred sets a trap to catch them. Morgause has managed to poison Mordred against Arthur, Morgaine and Gwen since she wants her own sons to inherit England and she had been manipulating things for years to ensure this happened. Given the chance to run away with Lancelot, Gwen realizes that Arthur will always be between them and she sends him away and goes into a convent. Arthur is killed and Morgaine takes him back to Avalon.
Although I thought parts of it were rather slow and some things were drawn out more than they needed to be, overall I liked this book a lot. I found the information and descriptions regarding the old earth religion very interesting as well as its clash with Christianity.
Rating: 8/10Guenevere: Queen of the Summer Country by Rosalind Miles. In this version, Guenevere comes from a line of female rulers in the old earthly religion. Her ability to rule over her lands is saved by Arthur agreeing to marry her and uniting their kingdoms. The struggle between the old and the new religions is a central theme. Although this book is the first in a trilogy, I won't be reading the other two -Guenevere is a whiny, selfish child and she annoyed the hell out of me. I wanted to slap her several times. Since she comes from a female dominated society, she is used to having her own way and she thinks all of the men are in love with her. She is intolerant of the Chrisitian religion that is making its way across Europe and into England. Apart from Guenevere's personality, the actual story line is pretty good, but I found her too annoying to enjoy it.
Merlin battles Guenevere for Arthur's loyalty and Arthur's half-sister Morgan seduces him and becomes pregnant with his son, Mordred. Lancelot and Guenevere have an instant attraction but vow not to act on it because of their love for Arthur. I guess if you read the other books in the trilogy you find out if they stay true to their word, but in this case, I won't be finding out.
As I was channel surfing a couple of weeks ago, I noticed a listing on the local PBS station for "The Virgin Queen". Since it was on past my bedtime, I set the DVR to record it (and the second part that was one the following week). I watched the show over the last couple of days and thought it was excellent.
Since my knowledge about Elizabeth is somewhat limited, I'll have to admit that there were times when I didn't really understand who the people were, why what they were saying was significant or what was really going on. But I still enjoyed it very much.
The transformation of Ann Marie Duff from a teenage princess to an aging Queen was incredible. I don't know how accurate the costumes were, but they were simply gorgeous. Even my husband (who usually shows no interest in these kinds of things) watched part of it and now wants to see the whole thing - he said it looked quite good.
I am interested if anyone else has seen it and can comment on its accuracy.
Katherine's sister, also named Phillipa, had been taken into the Queen's service and several years later, her sister sought to bring Katherine to court and find her a husband. I found it interesting that this sister eventually married the poet Geoffrey Chaucer and at times, they are substantial characters in the book.
While at court, Katherine comes to the attention of John of Gaunt's wife, Blanche who befriended her and they arranged for her to marry one their knights, Hugh Swynford. Although she was not particularly fond of him and his lands were not being cared for very well, Katherine made the best of the situation. Hugh's mother also lived in his house but she seemed to be suffering from some sort of mental illness. When Katherine had her first child, the Duke of Gaunt came for a visit and due to the crazy behavior of her mother-in-law, the Duke insisted that he be the baby's godfather. This formed an even greater bond between Katherine and the Duke and his wife.
As a wave of the plague swept through England, Blanche became ill and Katherine went to take care of her since she had been exposed once to the plague as a child and was considered immune from its effects. She cared for Blanche as she died and the Duke was despondent over her death. Soon after, John sends for Katherine to thank her and they admit their feelings for each other but Katherine refuses to act on them since she is married. When Hugh becomes sick and mysteriously dies, they can be together even though John has made arrangements to marry a princess of Castille. John is ambitious and since he can not rule England, he figures he can marry this princess and be King of Castille.
John spends most of his time with Katherine and they openly live together and she has his children. Despite his power and influence, John is haunted by rumors surrounding his birth and that he is not the son of King Edward. When Edward III dies and his young son Richard II becomes king, John is there to heavily influence him. A series of unpopular taxes leads to a revolt in which the house where Katherine is staying is attacked and destroyed. She spends the next several years seeking divine forgiveness for committing adultry with John. John's dreams for Castille came to nothing and when his wife dies, he finds Katherine and they marry.
Even though this book was written in the 1950's - that makes it a half a century old! - I did not feel that it was particularly dated. The only part of the story that I didn't particularly care for was the long, drawn out description of Katherine's pilgrimage seeking forgiveness. I thought it could have been dealt with in fewer chapters without adversely affecting the story.
The story is full of detail and beautifully written and I thought that the characters were very well developed. Katherine and John especially come alive as real people with their flaws and weaknesses. Their main weakness being each other - which gave England the Tudor Dynasty and historical fiction writers tons of material!
After a few months, I managed to win one for about $24 and called it my birthday present to myself (plus it wasn't that much more that buying new trade paperbacks and no more expensive that buying a new hardback). The book tells the story of the fictional Kathryn Chase who ends up serving as a lady-in-waiting to all of Henry VIII's queens and witnesses their secrets and adventures. The basic story of each wife is given and is intertwined with Kathryn's own life and her relationship with an enemy of the king, John de Gael whose own family secrets could change the course of English history.
At a time when Henry is carrying on his father's task of killing off everyone with Plantagenet blood (who might have even a weak claim to the throne), Kathryn's own heritage puts her at constant risk - her great grandfather was the Duke of Norfolk who had fought for Richard III at Bosworth and her father was one of Edward IV's illegitimate children.
John de Gael's family is somewhat on the fringes it seems, although they are wealthy. His sister, Jacquetta is a healer of sorts and there are implications that the family still follows the "old religion" of early Britain (almost Avalon like). The story is full of humorous episdoes - one of my favorites has Mary Boleyn snorting her soup out her nose at a joke someone has told and there is an amusuing theory on Anne of Cleves and why Henry was so disgusted by her.
Prior to her relationship with John, Kathryn was married and had a couple of children. Her eldest son in particular creates problems for Kathryn and even imprisons her at one point and the description of her ordeal is very riveting. It is this son who discovers John's secret (I won't give it away!) that threatens them all. Henry would not give permission for Kathryn and John to marry, but over the course of their relationship, they have a couple of children together. As Kathryn serves Henry's last Queen, Katherine Parr, she is the one that warns the Queen of some information that Henry has which could endanger her life. As a result, the greatful Queen releases Kathryn from her service and allows her to go home. Upon the King's death, John races home to marry a very pregnant Kathryn, and their oldest daughter goes to serve as a maid to Young Edward and Elizabeth (which may have been the set up for the sequel that was supposed to be written but never was)
This is one of the best books I have ever read. The main characters are well-developed and story is action-packed, fast moving and very clever in its detail and plot. If something ever happens to my copy, I would be willing to pay the $50 for another one! It really is that good.
Last spring I bought a lot of 4 books on ebay by Margaret Campbell Barnes, including this one about Elizabeth of York, the eldest daughter of Edward IV, who became a pawn in the struggle for the English crown between the Yorks and Tudors.
Since the focus of the book is Elizabeth (Bess), the people in her life are given quite a different portrayal than in other books that I had read. Her mother, Elizabeth Woodville, comes across as everyone's victim and Bess always plays her loving daughter, a scenario that become somewhat annoying after a while. Richard III is cold, calculating and expresses a desire to marry Bess before his wife is even dead (a suggestion which Anne even makes to Bess herself).
Bess is sure that Richard killed her brothers when they first disappear and her mother schemes to figure out how to keep one of her children on the throne. Her answer comes in an alliance with Henry Tudor (through his mother) and Bess agrees to marry him on the condition that he "come back to England and kill Richard".
After the Battle of Bosworth, Henry takes the throne but does not marry Bess right away. He is eventually pressured into the marriage as even the people see this as a way to end the civil war that has been raging for years. The marriage is however unfullfilling to Bess as Henry is distant and unemotional. She reflects that since he can not hate, nor can he love. The best example (or worst depending on how you look at it) is when their son Arthur dies, Henry is more concerned with Katherine's dowry than the effect his death has had on his wife.
A few chapters deal with the couple of Richard of York "pretenders" that appeared during Henry's early regin. One of them, Perkin Warbeck is portrayed as a very good pretender - so much so that Bess contrives a way to go visit him in captivity and talk to him. At the end of their encounter, even she is not 100% sure. It was an interesting aspect of the story and provided insight as to the great sense of loss Bess felt over the disappearance of her brothers and her frustration at never truly knowing what fate befell them.
Overall, I found this book enjoyable to read about a woman who was important to history, but who seems to be neglected as a primary character and is instead, pushed to the background. The fact that this book puts the focus on Elizabeth is reason enough to read it.
This is the first Elizabeth Chadwick book that I have read and I must say, I am looking forward to reading more - especially her other book about William Marshall. An often overlooked person in history, "The Marshall" as he was often called, rose from humble beginnings to serve 4 English kings and rule as regeant for a young Henry III. In between, he lived the life of a chivalrous knight and was popular (as well as successful) on the tourney circuit.
When his older brother John inherited their father's lands, William goes to Normandy to train as a knight and earns a place in his uncle's household who is the king's commander in Aquitaine. Here he comes into contact with Queen Eleanor and her sons are in awe of William and his abilities. When he helps the Queen escape possibly being captured, she rewards him by making him one of her household knights. William is later assigned to the heir to the throne, Young Henry, and becomes responsible for his military training.
Young Henry is young, arrogant and impetuous and William becomes more like a father figure to him and is there to offer a friendly shoulder when needed. But William's popularity, success and growing wealth causes jealousy with some of the other knights and they do what most people in their situation do: they start rumors. Unfortunately, Henry believes the rumors about William, who is forced to leave the court in exile. He is not gone for long as trouble begins brewing between Henry and his brothers. Ultimately, the truth comes out and William is recalled. One of the most touching scenes in the book comes as Young Henry is on his deathbed and his father refuses to come see him, leaving William to fill that role. It is hearbreaking.
After fulfilling his pledge to Young Henry to go on a crusdade, William returns and pledges his loyalty to the old King, Henry II. Henry II unfortunately suffers from the curse of having too many sons and not enough land to go around. This causes a great deal of animosity between the brothers and they continue to fight amongst themselves and later, against their father. The new heir, Richard, is eager to have what should be his and a battle breaks out pitting the united brothers against their father. At one point, William has the opportunity to kill Richard, but decides that is not the smartest choice and lets him live.
Upon the death of Henry II, Richard becomes King and is so impressed with William's loyalty that he wants William to serve him as well. As his "reward", William is given Isabelle de Clare (an Irish heiress who also possess a great deal of English land). This makes William even richer and more powerful, but he seems to not let it go to his head. Even though Isabelle isn't sure she wants to marry the much older William, since she has been kept a virtual prisoner in the Tower of London for a few years, she figures anything would be better than that. William sees her as his security; Isabelle sees William as her freedom.
Isabelle learns that William is a considerate and complex husband and their marriage seems to be a wonderful match. Their relationship is beautifully written and full of emotion. I got the sense that Isabelle was in fact what William needed to make him feel whole and gave his life a new sense of purpose and direction. We should all be so lucky.
As the fighting between King Richard and his younger brother John heats up, William finds that his own family is splitting sides and he again shows his loyalty to his King. Richard fittingly comments that it is not Williams loyalty that he admires as much as his integrity.
This is a wonderful, well written book and I can't wait to read the next chapter is William's life - The Scarlett Lion. Chadwick's style is very descriptive of the surroundings her characters find themselves in and you can easily visualize the scenes in your mind. I think this would make a great movie. And I am seriously in love with The Marshall!
Rating: A "10"
Francis Pierce is a simple, but bright, country girl who one day shelters Anne from an angry mob (before her marriage to Henry). Grateful, Anne takes her into her service and Francis is thrilled to be a part of court life. She is quickly befriended by one of the king's men, Jack Carlisle who warns Francis that she is not sophisticated enough to be at court and that things are not always as they appear. Although she scoffs at him, several instances take place that require Jack to "save her" from herself and they eventually marry. Francis remains in Anne's service and as the King becomes inpatient with her inability to have a son, Jack soon realizes that his wife may be in danger as well and warns her to be careful.
As the charges against Anne are made, a collection of writings Francis made regarding her early crush on George Boleyn become public and are attributed to Anne. Francis informs Cromwell that the writings were hers, hoping to save Anne. When that doesn't happen, Francis insists on attending to Anne while she is in the Tower which only further worries her husband that Francis will be condemned with her.
I thought this was a very readable, enjoyable story. Francis' naiviette was annoying at times and you wondered why she didn't wake up and see some of what was going on around her or get the implications. In awe of Anne, Francis tends to ignore her faults and is often the target of Anne's bad mood. But I suppose she really couldn't say much about it unless she wanted to lose her position and everyone is entitled to a bad day now and then, right? I liked the inclusion of the love story between Francis and John and thought it offset the tragedy I knew was coming between Henry and Anne.
In the end, Francis realizes the power of the King and that Anne had died simply because the King had wanted her to - for his own convenience and nothing more.
The book starts and ends rather slow and was often a struggle to read. Elizabeth is portrayed as an intelligent but passionate woman who sacrifices her own life and happiness for the good of her country and is determined not to repeat the "marriage mistakes" made by her sister Mary and her cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots. Her early relationships with men however seem to be going the same way -badly. Her first love is Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, but when he plans the downfall of Kat Parr and is later executed, Elizabeth is very upset and thinks of her father negatively as a result. She then falls for Tom Seymour, but is outraged and hurt to hear that he has asked to mary either her sister or Anne of Cleves. She is devestated when he marries Kat Parr. When Kat catches Elizabeth with Tom in a compromising position, Tom blames Elizabeth saying "she is her mother's daughter" and Elizabeth vows that no man will ever treat her like that again.
Elizabeth continues to be disappointed with men when she falls in love with Robert (Robin) Dudley and thinks he loves her in return, only to find that he marries someone else instead. As it becomes clear that Mary will die without an heir, Elizabeth begins to dream and crave being Queen - something she thought would never happen. When she becomes Queen, she quickly shows favoritism to Robin and they becomes very close. But after his wife's mysterious death, she is heartbroken to think he had anything to do with it. When Robin plans a secret wedding, they becomes lovers. But a sudden crisis forces Elizabeth to realize that it is Robin or England. Things were never the same between them. I felt quite sorry for her.
Mary, Queen of Scots, believes herself to be the rightful Queen of England and goes so far as to will her throne to Phillip of Spain. He plans to invade England by sea, which sets up the famous defeat of the Spanish Armada by the smaller English fleet.
During this time. Elizabeth turns her attentions on Robin's step son (Lettice Knolleys son), the Earl of Essex and she becomes obsessed with him much like she did Robin. But while her love letter type longings and recollections seem appropriate for the young woman in love with Robin Dudley, they somehow seem out of place and annoying from an aging woman over a 20 year old man. Essex doesn't feel the same way about her and she knows it, but he begins to show her less respect and even begins to make decisions that should be hers (or a king's). Elizabeth repeatedly overlooks and forgives him. He even goes so far as to call her a "bastard" to her face in front of her council. Although he becomes popular with the public for his military abilities, his ambitions get the better of him and he betrays Elizabeth in the worst way by planning an uprising against her. It fails and Elizabeth has no choice but to have him executed.
This is the second book by Miles that I have read and didn't really care for so I probably won't read any more by her. There were parts of this book I liked, but I am looking forward to reading other books on Elizabeth by other authors that bring her to life more than this one did.
This installment of The Plantagenet Saga follows the life and reign of Edward III. Edward is a teenager when he becomes King through the manueverings of his mother and Roger Mortimer. Although their plan to rule through Edward seems to be going well at first, Edward is smarter than they give him credit for and is biding his time.
It doesn't take long. Edward is irriated by Mortimer's cocky behaviour and is concerned about his mother's increased reliance on him. Isabella is haunted by the death of her husband and appears at times to be losing her mind. As Mortimer continues to make himself richer and the people become more disgusted by his openly adulterous relationship with the Queen, Edward decides he has had enough. Mortimer is captured and quickly executed while Isabella is sent to live in exile.
The rest of the book covers Edward's life with his wife Phillipa. Phillipa is kind hearted and everyone loves her. She gives Edward 12 children, including the eldest (Edward ,the Black Prince) and a couple of daughters (Isabella and Joanna) whose lives are covered in more detail than the others. Edward seems to have a soft spot for his daughters and Isabella especially makes full use of it In this respect, Edward is a family man much like his grandfather (Edward I) and seemingly, remains faithful to his wife (at least in body).
Scotland continues to be a thorn in England's side despite the marriage of Edward's sister to their King David (son of Robert the Bruce) and Edward lets himself be taunted into seeking the crown of France for himself, setting the stage for the Hundred Years War. Edward and the Black Prince manage to win several key victories in France and a large part of France comes under English control. But Edward's plans are halted by the Black Death that sweeps across Europe, decimating the populations to such an extent that the war has to be stopped.
Phillipa begins to suffer the ailments of old age (and the effects of having 12 children!) and Edward finally takes a mistress - Alice Perrers. When Phillipa dies, Edward's conscience over Alice no longer bothers him and he allows himself to be controlled by her. It seems like he becomes a totally different person - perhaps Phillipa kept him grounded or was his reminder to always do the "right thing". Without her, his health and mind went downhill, and along with it, the glory that England had achieved.
I liked this book. Since many books focus on the king and their sons (or their quests to get sons) I especially enjoyed reading about Edward's daughters. It was nice to read about some of the other members of a family. There was also a lot of information about the plague and the 100 Years War that I found interesting. I had heard of the war with France but didn't really know what started it or how the title of this book played a part in it.
Before he became King, Richard III was known to have had a couple of illegitimate children. Based upon speculation of historical records, their unknown mother is brought to life as Kate Haute who loved Richard for himself.
This is a great story full of rich detail and characters you feel you know by the end. Kate is a young peasant girl who is taken from her home to be a companion to a nobleman's daughter. She is eventually married to a much older London merchant and upon his death, she becomes a wealthy widow. A second marriage is hastily arranged for her to a young man closer to her own age, but she is horrified to learn that he prefers the stable boy. After a chance encounter with a young Richard of Gloucester, they begin a passionate affair that will last until his marriage to Anne Neville.
The complicated family relationships among England's royalty and nobles is fairly well explained as is the history that brought the Lancaster and York factions to civil war, but since this was the first book I had read about this period of time, I probably didn't catch as many of the details (or understand them) as much as I probably would now. At some point, I will probably reread this book. Richard's marriage to Anne is portrayed as one of obligation since he can not marry Kate and he vows to remain faithful to his wife, leaving only a friendship with Kate. As a result of their friendship, he shares with Kate the horrific story of the fate of his young nephews.
I found the writing style very readable and look forward to reading Smith's next book which, according to her website, will be about Edward and Richard's sister, Margaret of Burgundy. It also says that 2 other books rounding out the War of the Roses will follow.
up deleting the entire post from yesterday (along with the comments!!). Sorry about that. I swear the "Help" information made it sound like you could just delete the picture. Or maybe I just didn't understand the directions...
I read this book during the summer of 2006 and loved it - one of the best I have read. King John (of Magna Carta fame), the youngest son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, was a tyrannical king who eventually pushed the boundaries of power. In his quest to subdue Wales and eventually try to claim it, he married his illegitimate daughter Joanna to the Prince of Wales (Llewelyn the Great). As John's desire to take over Wales increases, Joanna is torn between the loving father of her childhood and the husband she adores. A great deal of Welsh history is also covered in the story, especially the in-fighting amongst the Welsh that ultimately made them easy prey of the English.
John is portrayed as a loving father who especially dotes on his only daughter - Joanna. This is in stark contrast to the way that he rules England and the barons seek to curb his power and re-institute some of the laws and procedures of Henry I. John often finds himself fighting two battles at once (or having to choose between the two) - the barons and Wales. The constant bickering and double crossing of the Welsh at times becomes repetitive, but shows how precarious the situation probably really was and how things could change in the blink of an eye.
Joanna goes from a frightened young bride to a woman of incredible courage and strength. The story of her and Llewelyn is beautifully written and hearbreaking in its moments of turmoil. As Joanna comes to learn of some of her father's cruelty towards those who cross him, she and Llewelyn become somewhat estranged, a situation with potentially devestating consequences to their relationship. In the end, Llewelyn's love for Joanna wins out over his pride.
A main undercurrent that propels the events along is the tension between Llewelyn's illegitimate son Gruffydd, and his son with Joanna, Davydd. The Welsh provision that illegitimate children share equally with legitimate ones is the root cause of the constant fighting as each son tries to take as much as he can. Llewelyn hopes to stop this cycle by leaving his kingdom to Davydd whom he views as more level headed and even tempered than Gruffydd. For a time, Llewelyn is forced to imprison Gruffydd in order to keep him under control. The Welsh also have very forward thinging ideas about women's rights - Welsh women can divorce their husbands, are prevented from marrying against their will and can take extraordinary action if a husband brings his mistress into his wife's house (which makes for a hilarious scene at one point).
I read a review on Amazon about this book complaining that this was too much of a romance novel. I disagree and think this book is about the complex relationships people have and how people often have to make difficult choices about the people they love. There is a fair amount of "romance"; but it is important to the development of Llewelyn and Joanna's relationship and makes her struggle to do the right thing more believable.
Here are the comments I deleted by accident: