Deborah Harkness author presentation, a historical treat

By Joan Dorsey
Contributing columnist

Through the kindness of a friend, I was able to attend an author presentation and book signing. The author was Deborah Harkness, writer of the All Souls Trilogy. She is also a scholar and writer of historical information.
The last book signing I attended was way back in the 90’s, and it was Ann Rice. We drove to the Majors House in Kansas City. My son and a friend of his went with me. They were teenage boys and pretty well not the audience the author was used to. Rice was five hours late, and we waited on the historical grounds with middle-aged women and some people dressed as vampires. It was an interesting event to say the least, but somewhat badly scheduled.
The was different. The audience was varied, women with friends, co- workers, husbands and people just by themselves.
Harkness is a well known historical scholar, and she teaches. She writes in the mornings with her coffee. Her first thoughts are done in long hand with research of historical documents. The facts are proven and can be researched and found.
She is a very good speaker. She entertains the audience and relates to all those attending. People had come from as far away as New Orleans and Dallas to hear her and get their book signed.
When my friend asked me if I would like to accompany her, I wasn’t sure if I should go or not. I hadn’t read any of the bestselling books and didn’t know who this author was. Dana told me I needed to read book one and two, as book four was the one being presented.
I am a pretty fast reader. Or so I thought. Book one is interesting. Lots of characters to meet and background to take in. Book two has a lot of actual historical figures included and paints, I am guessing a very factual; impression of the Shakespere era. Book three is much faster to read, and I like the story lines of the people involved. These are not short paperbacks. Nor are they bodice rippers. In case you aren’t familiar with “bodice rippers,” they are the paperbacks on the grocery store checkouts with the woman in the low cut top and the man with the body builder physique on the cover. They usually are pretty graphic and fit a form- type of story line.
If historical fantasy isn’t your thing, these books are based in fact. With some fiction added in.
If you want to try them go to our local library. It will cost you nothing. If they aren’t your sort of reading take it back. If you like it, read more. It is that simple. By using the library you aren’t stuck with a book that you just can’t read. Make use of these services. They are free for you.
I will finish book three. Then take a short trip down Mr. Stephen King’s path. His books are fast, somewhat gruesome and contain monsters. Then I will go back and read book four of Harkness’ collection.
I waited ten years for another author I really like to finish his trilogy. I understand readers wanting more. You know you are truly hooked when you wonder how the people in the book are doing these days.
As always, keep reading!