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The Wicked and the Just by J Anderson Coats

on August 20, 2015

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The Wicked and the Just by J Anderson Coats

Aj book review club's photo.
Cecily is moving to Wales and there’s nothing she can do about it. It’s 1293 and women don’t have anything to say, so Cecily’s opinion doesn’t matter at all. The Welshmen are fighting the English and life isn’t as comfortable and safe as Cecily would have liked. She has to behave like a lady, but the lessons she gets to make sure she becomes one are appalling. She sees Gwenhwyfar as her servant, never thinking about her life at all.

Gwenhwyfer is Welsh. Her life is hard. She doesn’t know where her next meal will come from and she’s struggling to survive. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t resist though. She tries to fight Cecily in any way she can. Cecily has no idea what she’s done to be disliked like that. Slowly she’s starting to work on an understanding and just when she thinks she’s reached it, something horrible and traumatic happens and suddenly the roles are reversed.

Cecily is spoiled and she wants to be served and obeyed, but that isn’t how it works in her new home. There’s no real peace and her father has moved them to Wales because for him it’s a great opportunity. For his daughter it isn’t as she has to miss everyone she loves. Cecily learns a couple of much needed lessons and slowly becomes a strong woman. She’s kinder and she’s starting to develop a lot of character. I loved to see that transformation.

Gwenhwyfar is angry. She hates the intrusion of the English and doesn’t want to be Cecily’s servant. She’s had a hard life and wants to make Cecily’s life as miserable as she can. At a certain point it almost looks like she might like her, but she doesn’t let it get that far. She keeps seeing how unfair things are and she doesn’t want to be friends with an English girl. She’s tough and she’s bold. Gwenhwyfar isn’t very nice, but somewhere deep down there might be some compassion, just a little bit. I think she’s such an interesting character and I was very curious to read her story.

Girls and women in the thirteenth century didn’t have much to say. Even though they might have had a useful opinion they usually weren’t involved in any important decision making. It must have been hard to be a girl back then. I think J Anderson Coats has done such a great job with this story. The history is interesting and I’ve learned a lot. The writing is really good and I liked that she’s given an interesting history lesson while telling an amazing story at the same time, I loved it.

I would like to thank Suzanne for her fab review x

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