A Brief History of Montmaray

Michelle Cooper

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A Brief History of Montmaray

A Brief History of Montmaray 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 d

  • Title: A Brief History of Montmaray
  • Author: Michelle Cooper
  • ISBN: 9780307707819
  • Page: 413
  • Format: Audiobook
  • 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 EuroSophie 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.

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      413 Michelle Cooper
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      Posted by:Michelle Cooper
      Published :2019-01-01T10:58:35+00:00

    One thought on “A Brief History of Montmaray

    1. Mariel on said:

      Michelle Cooper is the Quentin Tarantino of young adult novels. Not really original, kinda wears their influences on most of the outfit if one is being honest, but what she does right is really hard to do and better, I think, than originality. (Not that I wouldn't agree that Michelle Cooper owes big time royalties to Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle.) Cooper is funny. I was down in the dumps and the two Montmaray books cheered me up when nothing else did. (This analogy might not work well for [...]

    2. Cait • A Page with a View on said:

      DNF - this is basically I Capture the Castle but with less of a plot

    3. Kelly on said:

      This book would have been a perfect companion for my fifteen year old self. I think I simply found this one too late to be receptive to many of its charms. This is a book that one should hand to a young girl to introduce her into a world that I've already found. I've already read I Capture the Castle, I've already peeked into the mad wife's attic, and Elinor Dashwood and I are old friends. I've visited Avalon, I've immersed myself in King Henry's court, and I already majored in European history. [...]

    4. Kathryn on said:

      I was completely captivated by "A Brief History of Montmaray" The plot builds with such subtle skill that I was absolutely sucked in to the breathtaking conclusion--even as I had kind of figured out most of the "revelations" along the way. What I love is that it goes from describing all the quirky, endearingly hum-drum aspects of everyday life (as "everyday" as it can be for the few remaining members of the royal family of Montmaray in their crumbling castle on an island two hundred miles from a [...]

    5. Hirondelle on said:

      Meh. This sounded much better than it turned out to be. And this time I even followed that one rule that I always skip and then regret, of reading a couple pages BEFORE buying the book, just to make sure. I think I was deceived because the first couple pages are a letter from Toby and Toby´s letters are the liveliest, most charming pieces of this narrative. This is somewhat derivative, it strongly brings to mind I Capture the Castle, up to secondary character´s names (Simon), and as well in ty [...]

    6. Kaethe on said:

      December 11, 2013It's not the perfect book for everyone, but for those who love I Capture the Castle and Code Name Verity, it should be a very good fit. The surface is the story of three princesses living in a medieval castle (almost) on a tiny rocky outcrop in the Atlantic, among the last few residents of the miniscule kingdom of Montmaray. The time is 1936. As the title implies, a fair amount of history is revealed, all of it accurate except for the ruling family and the island itself. Self-ap [...]

    7. Miriam on said:

      I loved this book surprisingly much! It was like I Capture the Castle only with all the things I didn't like in that book changed: the useless parents were less present, about half the obsessing about boys was replaced with adventure, and I liked most of the characters better. Plus there were carrier pigeons, storms, and Nazi attacks!

    8. Book Concierge on said:

      From the book jacket: Sophie FitzOsborne lives in a crumbling castle in the tiny island kingdom of Montmaray, along with her tomboy younger sister Henry, her beautiful, intellectual cousin Veronica, and her uncle, the completely mad King John. When Sophie receives a journal for her sixteenth birthday, she decides to write about her 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. My reactionsI was bored, and fin [...]

    9. Ann on said:

      This book is Sophie's first person diary/journal account of the events and people of the island kingdom of Montmaray. Set in 1936 the world is gearing up for turmoil, and it soon becomes clear that Montmaray will not be immune.As the residents of Montmaray continue to relocate, and as the king grows more and more senile, the duties and responsibilities fall to his children and his nieces and nephews - most under the age of twenty. So, when an offer comes from an aunt for Sophie and her cousin Ve [...]

    10. BOOK BUTTERFLY on said:

      Sophie FitzOsborne is a teenage girl living on the small island kingdom of Montmaray, a desolated place populated by a decaying craggily castle, wherein there are “as many Royal Highnesses on the island as there are subjects”. Sophie is determined to document life on the island, and armed with her trusty journal, she paints us a vivd picture of life within the castle, which includes a raving, lunatic King with a penchant for throwing chamber pots about his bedroom, extreme weather conditions [...]

    11. QNPoohBear on said:

      This is a brilliant coming of age story set just before World War II in a fictional island nation off the coast of Spain. Sophia is a good narrator. She's quiet, caring and observant yet she doubts her own abilities until faced with a crisis. All of the characters truly come to life and become flesh and blood before the reader's eyes. The author does an amazing job sharing the history of Montmaray, complete with quirky ancestors. I loved the epic poem which Violet dismisses as nonsense but provi [...]

    12. Karen on said:

      Ahh I really love this book! It's such an interesting premise and I looove the setting and characters. I think Michelle Cooper has such a strong grasp on this world that she has built. Something about this book is so cozy and familiar, like it was one of my favorites as a child even though I first read it as an adult.As far as critiques go, my main issue is that I feel like the narration style of this book is maybe SO much in Sophie's head that it left me feeling a bit removed from the plot. I'm [...]

    13. TheBookSmugglers on said:

      Originally reviewed on The Book SmugglersOctober, 1936 - the sovereign island nation of Montmaray seems an idyllic, impossible place. Sitting a scant few hundred miles off the coasts of England and France, Montmaray and her inhabitants are a strange, quirky bunch. With as many FitzOsborne royal highnesses (4 on the island, with one prince heir studying at Eton) as there are inhabitants, the handful of countrymen and women hardly stand on ceremony - especially considering how threadbare and impov [...]

    14. Catriona on said:

      I cried. Yes ladies and gentleman, ACTUAL tears sprouted. This book is just gorgeous. ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS!You know when you have a strong love for something, that’s so strong it hurts? That’s what I feel with this book. This was the type of novel that if my friends touched it I would go mad. I would physically warn them not to bend the cover, I want to cherish this book forever and ever! One of the short review things on the back says “Bitter sweet and delectable, this book deserves to be [...]

    15. Whatchyareading on said:

      I read Michelle Cooper’s A Brief History of Montmaray what feels like a million years ago, but was more likely sometime in 2009. Obviously I bought it because the cover was so pretty and really evoked what was the ultimate feel of the novel. It feels like I read this book a million years ago because it was one of those books that I just loved so much that it sort of crept onto my list of Those Books. The books you recommend to everyone. The books that you clutch to your chest and hope to share [...]

    16. Bill Kupersmith on said:

      With A Brief History of Montmaray determining what it is that one’s trying to rate is the difficult part. I’d start by dropping any comparisons with Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle, tho’ both are set in the 1930s & purportedly the diaries of teenage girls living in rackety old castles. (The narrator Sophie FitzOsborne’s cousin Veronica would be quick to point out that theirs in not a ‘castle’ but a ‘fortified house’ featuring a ‘curtain’ - a word I’d not encountere [...]

    17. Deborah on said:

      A couple of months ago, a friend sent a short list of recommended YA reads. On this list was A Brief History of Montmaray, with the note: "I don't normally go in for princesses but this one is pretty awesome." I've never been interested in princesses, either, so the note piqued my curiosity. What would make a princess interesting to me?A Brief History of Montmaray, apparently!Sophia, whose journal entries comprise this brief history, is one of several princesses of the island of Montmaray. The e [...]

    18. meredith on said:

      Ugh, so good! This should really be made into a mini-series/movie. It is just screaming for an adaptation. Inspired by I Capture the Castle in the best possible way, A Brief History of Montmaray tells the story of the royal family on the island kingdom of Montmaray on the brink of World War II. The setting is wonderfully originally, especially for those who love stories set during the time period but get tired of the same formula used over and over again. The tiny kingdom of Montmaray was wacky [...]

    19. Shoug on said:

      "A Brief History of Montmaray" is true gem. I won't talk about how much I appreciated the detailed (but never overbearing) world building and unpredictable plot twists, no no, that simply won't do. I was (and still am, mind you) completely immersed and tangled into the lives of Michelle Cooper's characters. Don't get me wrong, all the character's in this novel were beautifully layered and kept blossoming until the very end, but it was the protagonist, Sophie FitzOsbone who settled into a special [...]

    20. Virginia Messina on said:

      Sophie and her delightfully quirky family are the last descendents of the royal family of Montmaray, a small, remote and all but abandoned island off the coast of Spain. It’s just the family, a few servants, plus four Montmaravian citizens living in the village. There’s a castle, lots of forbidding weather, and some wonderful characters, especially Veronica (loved her!) and Henry. I considered shaving a star off my review because of two annoying things. One was that the author failed to give [...]

    21. joy *the clean-reader extraordinaire* on said:

      one blurb i saw about this book called it smart and engaging. that it certainly was! it's like a much more accessible (and much less flat-out weird) version of I Capture the Castle. LIKES:the island's culture, geography, and 'history'the crumbling castle in all its gloryevery character under the age of 25! here's a tidbit that will be of little interest except to me -- the narrator of this book is possibly the first ever fictional character that reminds me strongly of myself. (my husband would s [...]

    22. Pam on said:

      Based upon reviews, I eagerly anticipated this book. A fictitious island off the coast of England and Spain that had been settled and ruled by a family from Tudor England until the 1930s. Hit hard by the depression, money had run out and the island was now only inhabited by the royal family and a few loyal servants. Written in diary format and from the perspective of the king's niece, the author clearly used I Capture the Castle as her model. Sadly I found the pacing glacial and the diary format [...]

    23. Step on said:

      Dropping us into the fully realized island kingdom of Montmaray, this book introduces us to the amazing FitzOsborne family, and the hijinks they get up to, somewhere in the middle of the Bay of Biscay. I am so, so grateful to this book, for starting one of my favorite series of all time, and giving us the incredible characters to be found within - Sophie, Veronica, Henry, Toby, and the rest of the gang. Even on a tiny island, there are happenings beyond what the rest of the normal world gets up [...]

    24. Miss Clark on said:

      An excellent start. Very plausible and a well-integrated use of historical events. Only misstep was the gay subplot w/ Sophie's brother and cousin. The reactions all sounded very off for that time period. It would have been much more of an issue then.That said, the book did not amaze me as it did so many of the people that recommended it. I liked the character interaction, the family dynamics, Sophie's voice as narrator and the setting. It has a lot going for it, but something is still missing.O [...]

    25. Jasmine on said:

      Really a 3.5. This was a totally enjoyable book for me, but that might be because it hits a few things that I adore: epistolary (the whole thing is written as diary entries), about a family on a basically abandoned imaginary European island, oh and the family are impoverished royalty, it's set during the 30's right as the English king is abdicating and as the Spanish war is going on, etc. Oh, and of course there are Family Secrets. Maybe a little shallow but fun. I'm excited to read the sequel.

    26. Lydia Presley on said:

      This book was a lot like I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith but it added a bit more action into the story, unlike hers.What I didn't like was 100+ pages of building up the story then all of the sudden turning around and throwing some really far-fetched, action grabbing scenes into it all. Just when I was settled down to enjoy the story that had been built everything was thrown into chaos.I loved the ending to I Capture the Castle this ending I did not love so much.

    27. Bethany on said:

      I was surprised how gripped I was by the last 50 pages or so of this book. Up until that point it hadn't been particularly compulsive reading, but still enjoyable.This is probably more 3.5 stars but I'm rounding it up. I wish there were more YA novels being written with such a wonderful setting as this one.(Oh, and gotta love an author who mentions in her notes that she used some biographies about the Mitfords to help her with the historical setting!)

    28. Rosemary on said:

      If your bookshelf is filled with titles like Rebecca, I Captured The Castle, and Love In A Cold Climate, you'll want to add this pitch-perfect historical novel narrated by a ragamuffin princess and set in the late 1930s. I'd write more but I'm off to enjoy Cooper's sequel, The FitzOsbornes in Exile.

    29. al on said:

      "And now I will close up my book and stand, my chin as high as Queen Matilda's, and I will step bravely into my terrifying, exciting future." 5 stars every time forever and ever! This book warms my heart so much and I will gladly go on this journey with Sophie over and over again.

    30. Pretty Wit on said:

      Listened to the audiobook and really liked it. I really enjoyed Sophie's character and perspective.

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