Published by Crown/Archetype on April 14th 2015
Genres: Fiction, Historical, Literary, Visionary & Metaphysical
“Using an alchemy all of her own, Eyre’s postmodern take on the 17th century renders it dazzlingly fresh and contemporary.” —Guardian (UK) Venetia Stanley was the great beauty of her day, so dazzling she inspired Ben Jonson to poetry and Van Dyck to painting. But now she is married, the adoration to which she has become accustomed has curdled to scrutiny, and she fears her powers are waning. Her devoted husband, Sir Kenelm Digby—explorer, diplomat, philosopher, alchemist— refuses to prepare a beauty tonic for her, insisting on her continued perfection. Venetia, growing desperate, secretly engages an apothecary to sell her “viper wine”—a strange potion said to bolster the blood and invigorate the skin. The results are instant, glorious, and addictive, and soon the ladies of the court of Charles I are looking unnaturally youthful. But there is a terrible price to be paid, as science clashes with magic, puritans rebel against the decadent monarchy, and England slides into civil war. Based on real events and written with anachronistic verve, Viper Wine is an intoxicating brew of love, longing and vanity, where the 17th and 21st centuries mix and mingle in the most enchanting and mind-bending ways. From the Hardcover edition.
It’s always a shame to DNF a book, but here’s my latest.
The cover is what initially drew me to Viper Wine (my cover is a little different than this one). Give me a pretty cover and I’ll try to read almost anything. Historical Fiction usually always works for me, but this one wasn’t the case. The writing was beautiful at times, although sometimes there were descriptions that were a bit awkward. I really could not get into the story and the modern references just weren’t my thing, so I couldn’t make myself push through the entire book. It was by far the most bizarre Historical Fiction I’ve ever come across, so it is very unique. If you like quirky books, try reading this.