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A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle…

A Brief History of Montmaray (2008)

by Michelle Cooper

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4613122,528 (3.88)44

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I loved this book. I love the characters, I loved the setting, I loved the story. Sophie lives on the tiny island kingdom of Montmaray, the only place she has ever known. She begins recounting her daily life in a journal at a time when her world is changing. The story, which takes place in the 1930s, is part coming-of-age, part historical fiction, part ghost story, and part action/adventure. Really fun read! ( )
  AmeliaHerring | Jan 22, 2016 |
Really enjoyed this, especially the main character's voice and arc. I do agree that folks who liked I CAPTURE THE CASTLE would be likely to enjoy this too.

It's interesting to be reading at the same time as THE EXPLOSIONIST, which also features slightly altered historical WW2 setting and a main character named Sophie/Sophia.
  devafagan | Jan 2, 2015 |
Admittedly, I put this book down before I finished it. It was very slow to start, and I kept waiting for the exciting part to begin. Well, then I received the sequel to review for School Library Journal, so I figured I should finish the first book in the series so I would know what was going on. I'm glad I did. I turns out I should have waited one more chapter because that's when things started to pick up. The FitzOsbornes' life seems pretty dull on the island of Montmaray, until German soldiers show up. The young royals soon figure out that the trespassers are likely SS and are searching for the Holy Grail on the tiny island. When one of the men turns up missing, a larger Nazi party arrives, and the lead man promises revenge. What will become of the family when the Germans keep their promise? Full of bloodshed, terror, adventure, and history, A Brief History of Montmaray is a tome you want to patiently ease through. The sequel promises further adventures of the FitzOsbornes. ( )
  wscalfaro | Aug 6, 2014 |
Princess Sophia FitzOsborne lives in a crumbling castle on the tiny island of Montmaray with her tomboy younger sister, Henry, her brilliant cousin Princess Veronica and her insane uncle, King John. Her journal entries are typically filled with accounts of her chores and musings about her crush--that is, until rumors of a second world war reach their isolated home. Sophia's narrative voice in "A Brief History of Montmaray" reminds me of an old-fashioned Georgia Nicholson, full of humor and wry observations on life. The story itself is highly entertaining, especially when it takes a turn for the Gothic; fans of classics like "Rebecca" and "Jane Eyre" will enjoy this novel. ( )
  TheMadHatters | Feb 19, 2014 |
Like a mash-up between [b:I Capture the Castle|31122|I Capture the Castle|Dodie Smith|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1312011462s/31122.jpg|950769] and [b:How I Live Now|161426|How I Live Now|Meg Rosoff|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1327870252s/161426.jpg|1132968]. Enjoyable. ( )
  thatotter | Feb 6, 2014 |
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This is the journal of Sophia Margaret Elizabeth Jane Clementine FitzOsborne, begun this twenty-third day of October 1936, on the occasion of her sixteenth birthday.
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Dear Sophie, Happy birthday to my favorite little sister!
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
“There’s a fine line between gossip and history, when one is talking about kings.”

Sophie Fitzosborne lives in a crumbling castle in the tiny island kingdom of Montmaray with her eccentric and impoverished royal family. When she receives a journal for her sixteenth birthday, Sophie decides to chronicle day-to-day life on the island. But this is 1936, and the news that trickles in from the mainland reveals a world on the brink of war. The politics of Europe seem far away from their remote island—until two German officers land a boat on Montmaray. And then suddenly politics become very personal indeed.

A Brief History of Montmaray is a heart-stopping tale of loyalty, love, and loss, and of fighting to hold on to home when the world is exploding all around you.

“Once in a while, a special book will cross our paths and make us grateful for life and the ability to read. I’m talking about A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper. I’m calling her Australia’s next stroke of literary brilliance.”—Viewpoint
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On her sixteenth birthday in 1936, Sophia begins a diary of life in a fictional island country off the coast of Spain, where she is among the last descendants of an impoverished royal family trying to hold their nation together on the eve of the second World War.… (more)

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