Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Traitor's Wife

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Title: The Traitor's Wife

Author: Allison Pataki

Publisher: Howard Books, 2014

Pages: 467

Genre: historical fiction

Obtained: library

Summary: This is the story of Peggy Shippen Arnold, Benedict Arnold's wife, and her part in the plan to deliver West Point to the British.

Thoughts:  This is a very light historical novel.  It is a quick read for 467 pages.  The writing style is straight forward and the story is easy to follow.  There are just enough details describing the setting and characters to make you feel like you are in Colonial America, most of the time.  At times, I questioned- Would people actually do this, or believe this during this time period? - but I have not studied the time period enough to be certain.  The characters were well developed, though at times, I felt like I didn't really know them completely.
     Other than these minor details, this was an excellent read!  The story was told from the perspective of Peggy Shippen Arnold's maid, Clara Bell.  So, the book is really two stories intertwined- the totally fictitious story of Clara Bell (who did not even really exist), and the story of Peggy Shippen and Bennedict Arnold (which is based on real life events).  Both stories were great.  Telling Peggy's story from the maid's perspective was a terrific idea.
     I believe that hard core historical fiction fans would find fault with this book, but for anyone that likes light historical fiction, fiction in general, or has any interest in Benedict Arnold or the American Revolution, would enjoy this book.


Company: Yezi Tea

Tea: Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong

Obtained: purchased

     Yezi Tea company specializes in Chinese tea.  Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong, which is also known as Lapsang Souchong, is grown in the Wuyi Mountains of the Fujian province of China.  The tea leaves are smoked over smoldering wood.
     I purchased the Farmer Favorite's Tea Sampler  and this tea was one of the samples.  The tea came in a lined bag which kept the leaves fresh.  The leaves were long, thin, and black.  They had a strong earthy scent to them.
     I poured 9 ounces of water over 6 teaspoons of the leaves and let this steep for 30 seconds.  The liquid was reddish brown.  The scent of the liquid was reminiscent of dried leaves on a fall day.  The taste was earthy, yet had a light smokey flavor.  The aftertaste was slightly sweet, yet tangy.  The strength of the tea was surprising for the short steep time.  This tea would be great to try if you are looking for a different tasting black tea.

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