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'In the Name of the Family' by Sarah Dunant

Historical fiction isn't really my genre of choice. Firstly, I'm not overly interested in history; what can I tell you it's in the past. And secondly, as my historical knowledge is consequently a bit vague, I worry slightly about the relationship between fact and fiction. How much is absolutely true, how much is individual interpretation of the facts and how much of it is blatantly untrue but makes a good story?
          It won't surprise you to hear that In the Name of the Family by Sarah Dunant, was a book group choice by one of our number who not only likes that genre, but also writes it herself. However, as is often the way when you are forced out of your readerly comfort zone, the book was better than I'd imagined.
          The characters are well defined and even the less likeable ones are sufficiently rounded for you to care about their fates. The writing is good; here's a writer who knows her craft which isn't always the case in any genre. The nar…

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