17th C English is too hard to read

Just finished The Book of Air and Shadows by Michael Gruber.  Overall, I enjoyed the story.  What I had to skip (after struggling through the first 10 or so pages) were the Bracegirdle and Ciphered Lettered strewn throughout the narrative.  They’re English letters from the 17th C and I found them incredibly difficult to read and when I did manage to read a paragraph or two I had no idea by the end what the paragraph had started with.  Imagine a new reader, slowly, laboriously decoding a story and you listening, trying to keep a thread of sense.  Agonizing!</p><p>Compared to other mysterious/hidden/lost/found book/manuscript stories, this one earns a 3 out of 5–definitely not the best I’ve read.  But on a sunny summer day, on the patio with a tonic and lime in hand, it does the trick.

Now I’m on to one of 2 finds at the library bookstore: Tracks by Louise Erdich or Lighthousekeeping by Jeanette Winterson.  I’m leaning toward the latter.


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