I am thinking about abandoning Tidelands, by Philippa Gregory.
Unexpectedly, I used up all of my audio books, leaving me with nothing to listen to during longish drives. In an act of desperation, I went to the local Barnes & Noble to sift through their inadequate inventory. All they ever stock are trash pulp novels and the occasional best seller, and unfortunately, it always seems that I’ve already read the best sellers. I ended up buying Tidelands specifically because it is read by Louise Brealey. She had read one of the parts for The Girl on the Train, and I fell in love with her. (She also played the character Molly Hooper on “Sherlock“.)
About 15% of the way in, I realized this was going to be mainly a romance novel. A trashy pulp novel following the romance novel formula? I don’t know, because I’ve never actually read one of those. However, this is full of obvious set-up. He is a young priest sworn to celibacy, so that’s obviously going to be a problem. She is married, with a husband who has been missing, but not confirmed dead, so that’s obviously going to be a problem. Standard fare of class inequality, gender inequality, and nonsense politics, which are mostly based in religion.
I’m now about 20% of the way in, and there doesn’t seem to be any surprises waiting for me. Quite the contrary, the author has decided to bore us with all the minute tedium of the characters’ daily sixteenth century lives. This is evidently justified as “historical fiction”, but it is sooooo boring.
If something unpredicted doesn’t happen soon, I think I’m going to put this away and move on to something else.
Update: I did finally abandon the book. Both characters did bad things, the daughter did bad things, and more ways for things to go wrong have been created. It’s all kind of inevitable.