"There is one award Sarah Bower will never ever win and that is the Bad Sex Award" • 1 July 2008 • The SnowBlog

"There is one award Sarah Bower will never ever win and that is the Bad Sex Award"

Here's a lovely interview with Sarah Bower, author of The Needle in the Blood and The Book of Love. And click below to read a lovely piece by Sally Zigmond. Thanks to Sally for letting me reproduce it here:
Although expelled from Spain by royal edict in 1492, young Jewess Esther's fate is more fortunate than others of her race. She journeys eastwards, her mother tragically dying on the way, to Rome and her father who lends money to the Borgias and where, after arranging her expedient conversion to Christianity, he secures her a post in Lucrezia Borgia's household. From that moment on, her fortunes are not only tied to those of her mistress but to her brother Cesare with whom, from the moment she sees him, falls deeply and irrevocably in love. But is this love or a nave infatuation? And can it ever hope to be fulfilled? Although dubbed by Cesare 'La Violante' (oath-breaker or treacherous one) Esther ultimately realizes that she is only one pawn, not only in the power games played between the Borgias and their enemies and allies alike, but more dangerously, in that more darkly intimate one between brother and sister. With her secure knowledge of and intelligent take on Medieval Italian politics and her innate ability to create compelling and convincing characters, Sarah Bower has again woven a rich tapestry in her second novel. It is indeed a book of love in all its guises. More than one love story unfolds as the pages turn and love, as well as blind, can be twisted and crippled. Although Esther may not appear as immediately empathetic a character as Gytha in Sarah's debut novel, The Needle in the Blood there were times I wanted to scream at her for mooning over of one of history's nastier creations you gain a deep understanding of her total powerlessness and alienation from the world in which she finds herself through no fault of her own. The Book of Love is a richly satisfying historical novel. It deserves prizes. But there is one award Sarah Bower will never ever win and that is the Bad Sex Award that awaits those hapless novelists whose descriptions of the sex-act are either pornographic or toe-curlingly naff. Her love scenes are charged with the most delicious eroticism! But she is also heart-wrenchingly tender and surely no-one could fail to weep for the pain Esther endures as she learns the hard way where your dreams can lead you.


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