Item description for The Needle in the Blood by Sarah Bower...
January 1067. Charismatic bishop Odo of Bayeux commissions a wall hanging, on a scale never seen before, to celebrate the conquest of Britain by his brother, William, Duke of Normandy. What he cannot anticipate is how utterly this will change his life-even more than the invasion itself.
His life becomes entangled with the women who embroider his hanging, especially Gytha-handmaiden to the fallen Saxon queen and his sworn enemy. But against their intentions, they fall helplessly in love. Friends become enemies, enemies become lovers; nothing in life or in the hanging is what it seems.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.64" Width: 5.12" Height: 1.57" Weight: 0.84 lbs.
Release Date Jul 1, 2008
Publisher Snowbooks Ltd.
ISBN 1905005393 ISBN13 9781905005390
Availability 0 units.
More About Sarah Bower
Sarah Bower is a novelist and short story writer. Her short stories have appeared in magazines including QWF, Buzzwords and The Yellow Room. She completed an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia in 2002. She teaches creative writing at the University of East Anglia and for the Open University. She also works as a mentor and manuscript reader for leading literary consultancies.
Sarah Bower has an academic affiliation as follows - Consultant in Fetal Medicine King's College Hospital London Cons.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Needle in the Blood?
mixed bag Jul 27, 2008
This book is one I was eagerly awaiting and finally, this site was able to get one from England for me. Maybe I built up the anticipation too much but I was slightly disappointed. This story, of Odo of Bayeaux, William the Bastard's brother, and his Saxon mistress, Gytha, and the famous hanging representing the Norman conquest had a good base. The details of the time period and events were well-written and interesting. However, a good 1/4 of the book was focused on the sex life of Odo and Gytha. I'm not a Puritan or anything but after the first few encounters, it just became unnecessary. Sex scenes are hard to write and take seriously and there is a limit to how many coy euphemisms you can take in one book. The book could be a good deal shorter and would have lost no plot value. That aside, the book is entertaining and the details of the period are well-researched and fascinating. The story of the Bayeaux tapestry is very interesting with an enjoyable interpretation behind the obscure details. I'd recommend this book but not as a future classic.
A dreamlike tale of a famous wall hanging and all the sweat, blood and tears that poured into it May 24, 2008
After reading this novel I was really disappointed that it's promised publication in the US never came through because this is a book and a author that really deserves a wider readership.
This is the story of the Bishop Odo of Bayeux, one of William the conquer half brother's (same mother) who after the conquest, in his new role as an English Earl, commissions an embroidery (not a tapestry) in a new style he saw while in England that is to tell the story of the conquest of England. His sister Angus, a nun with sexual leanings not acceptable in the day, is put in charge of the project, drawing the pictures and procuring embroiderers with enough skill to make the hanging great.
One of these is Gytha, a former lady in waiting to King Harold's common law wife Edith swan neck who after the battle of Hastings's becomes a prostitute to get by, and blames all of her troubles on Odo and plans on getting her revenge-in the most final way possible.
But when Gytha has her opportunity she finds that strangely, she and Odo end up in much different circumstances, despite the knife she planned on plunging into him. As unlikely as it is, they begin to fall in love.
But Odo is a political man and many dislike his Saxon mistress who they believe holds undo influence. Added in the trials and amazing events that affect the hanging and those who work it, it makes for a novel not easily forgotten.
Written in a lyric and abstract fashion, with heavy emphasis on fables this is a novel that is dreamlike and very moving-though at times a little dark and wintery. As I said, it deserves a much wider readership and I hope that eventually it is published in the US and more places. I look forward to the next book by Sarah Bower.