The Ruby In Her Navel

Set in the Middle Ages during the brief yet glittering rule of the Norman kings, The Ruby in Her Navel is a tale in which the conflicts of the past portend the present The novel opens in Palermo, in which Latin and Greek, Arab and Jew live together in precarious harmony Thurstan Beauchamp, the Christian son of a Norman knight, works for Yusuf, a Muslim Arab, in the palacSet in the Middle Ages during the brief yet glittering rule of the Norman kings, The Ruby in Her Navel is a tale in which the conflicts of the past portend the present The novel opens in Palermo, in which Latin and Greek, Arab and Jew live together in precarious harmony Thurstan Beauchamp, the Christian son of a Norman knight, works for Yusuf, a Muslim Arab, in the palace s central finance office, a job which includes the management of blackmail and bribes, and the gathering of secret information for the king But the peace and prosperity of the kingdom is being threatened, internally as well as externally Known for his loyalty but divided between the ideals of chivalry and the harsh political realities of his tumultuous times, Thurstan is dispatched to uncover the conspiracies brewing against his king During his journeys, he encounters the woman he loved as a youth and the renewed promise of her love, as well as the mysterious presence of an itinerant dancing girl, sends him on a spiritual odyssey that forces him to question the nature of his ambition and the folly of uncritical reverence for authority With the exquisite prose and masterful narrative drive that have earned him widespread acclaim, Barry Unsworth transports the reader to a distant past filled with deception and mystery, and whose racial, tribal, and religious tensions are still with us today.
The Ruby In Her Navel Set in the Middle Ages during the brief yet glittering rule of the Norman kings The Ruby in Her Navel is a tale in which the conflicts of the past portend the present The novel opens in Palermo in w

  • Title: The Ruby In Her Navel
  • Author: Barry Unsworth
  • ISBN: 9780241142202
  • Page: 329
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “The Ruby In Her Navel”

    1. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”Reading Barry Unsworth's account of life in 12th century Sicily brings forcefuly in focus the famous George Santayana quote I used as an epigraph.What makes 12 century Sicily so special and so relevant today? It was, for a very short span of time, a viable multi-cultural, interfaith society, where Normans, Saracens, Byzantines, Jews and Papists lived together in almost harmony. It will be brought to ruin by greed, vanity and int [...]

    2. Description: Set in the Middle Ages during the brief yet glittering rule of the Norman kings, The Ruby in Her Navel is a tale in which the conflicts of the past portend the present. The novel opens in Palermo, in which Latin and Greek, Arab and Jew live together in precarious harmony. Thurstan Beauchamp, the Christian son of a Norman knight, works for Yusuf, a Muslim Arab, in the palace’s central finance office, a job which includes the management of blackmail and bribes, and the gathering of [...]

    3. A novel of palace intrigue set in 12th century Palermo. We are at the court of King Roger II, a Norman, who rules an ethnically diverse realm in which he tries to balance the rights of Christian and Muslim and Jew. Only the Muslims, however, seem content with this arrangement, perhaps because they comprise King Roger's most trusted counselors. He mistrusts his own people, the Normans, and for good reason as events reveal. The Catholics have just lost the Second Crusade—ignominiously and with t [...]

    4. A Ruby in Her Navel is yet another superb historical novel by Barry Unsworth. By his phenomenal standards, this book might at first appear somewhat one-paced, even one-dimensional, with its action set firmly in the place and time of its main character, Thurston Beauchamp, a young man in the service of King Roger of Sicily in the twelfth century. But if A Ruby in Her Navel might lack the immediacy and complexity of Stone Virgin, it approaches the beautifully portrayed picture of medieval life pre [...]

    5. Oh I love this book so much! I was so thirsty for one good historical novel and Unsworth never disappointed me so far.This book is telling story about 12th century Sicily during the rule of Normans. Curiously I watched few days ago on History channel one series about this subject and it helped me to get wider perspective about what Unsworth wrote here.12th Century Sicily was perfect place of harmony between Muslims (Saracens) and Christians (both Catholic and Byzantine) under the rule of King Ro [...]

    6. Barry Unsworth’s THE RUBY IN HER NAVEL is a gem of a novel, hidden behind the thicket of its unpromising beginning.Set in Sicily in the 1100s during the reign of Roger I of Sicily, we follow the story of a young man named (somewhat improbably in my opinion) Thurstan Beauchamp, who travels through the world as a purveyor of the King’s pleasures and shows. Naturally, there is more to this innocent-seeming job than meets the eye. Of course, Thurstan is really a spy, intent on finding out about [...]

    7. Ako volite povijesne knjige u kojima ima svega, dakle ljubavi, čulnosti i romantike, ali i spletki i intriga, svakako pročitajte ovaj roman. Radnja se odvija na Siciliji u 12. stoljeću, a pisana je očima mladog Normana koji je rasrgan između dvije žene. Priča me od početka zainteresirala, Unsworth piše jako zanmljivo tako da me je do samog kraja radnja držala u napetosti. Neke rečenice sam si čak i prepisala. Ja mu dajem čistu peticu!

    8. Unsworth draws me in like no other writer in his genre. His narrator isn't himself unreliable, but his ego wreaks havoc on everyone, not least himself. And you can count on Unsworth to make you feel just how heartbreaking betrayal is.

    9. The conundrum for the writer of historical novels, especially ones set centuries ago, is that people did things very differently then. When Dickens wrote of Revolutionary Paris or Tolstoy of Napoleon's march on Moscow, they were writing about people who relatively close to them in time and customs; those events had shaped the lives of the readers, whose grandparents had lived through them. The task that a novelist like Barry Unsworth sets for himself in writing about the brief period when the No [...]

    10. During the Middle Ages in Italy, Thurstan Beauchamp, a Christian Yusuf, an Arab, in the palace's finance office. Thurstan not only deals with the King's money, but also gets sent on errands that involve bribes and blackmail. On one of these errands, Thurstan meets his childhood sweetheart, whose husband has recently died. Thurstan believes that at last he will have everything he ever wanted, but there are dark times approaching for the kingdom of Sicily, and things are not as they appear.Every n [...]

    11. There are books that aren't good, but because of their well written ending we end up liking them (Life of Pi for one). The Ruby in Her Navel isn't one of those books. The ending, while trying desperately to be profound - wasn't. The biggest chunk of the story was compressed and rushed at the end as a well written yet garbled mess, while the primary 2/3 of the book was littered with loooong descriptions of clothes, tedious thoughts of the hero and insipid conversations.In the middle of the book I [...]

    12. Although this is one of my favourite genres - the historical novel with a bit of intrigue thrown in - I just didn't really get on with this book. I don't know if it's because I didn't much warm to the narrator, a young, ambitious civil servant in the court of King Roger of Sicily, who was just a bit too whiney and self-pitying - or whether it was because of an uncomfortable sensation right from the beginning that things were going to go pear-shaped. Which they did. And because of his part in thi [...]

    13. FBC review below:INTRODUCTION: "The Ruby in Her Navel" is a 2006 (Booker longlisted) historical fiction novel by Booker prize winner Barry Unsworth that showcases why fantasy lovers should try the genre. Like last year's Father of Locks, "The Ruby in Her Navel" transports one into a familiar but also exotic milieu that is exquisitely rendered. This time it is the multiethnic and multireligious Norman Kingdom of Sicily at its apogee in 1149 under King Roger II. The blurb below gives a flavor of t [...]

    14. Unsworth not quite at the top of his form with this one, but the setting was fascinating to me: the Norman kingdom of Sicily in the 12th century under Roger II. Under Roger's rule Greek and Latin Christians, Jews and Muslims all live in harmony. The protagonist, Thurstan, son of a landless Norman knight and a Saxon mother works in the Diwan of Control--the finance office, but some call it the Diwan of Secrets. His superior is a Muslim, Yusuf. Thurstan is the Purveyor of Spectacles [obtains enter [...]

    15. i really like the way barry unsworth writes historical fiction. his research never overwhelms his story, and threads into the ideas he explores through the backdrop of another time: in this novel, the beauty of the mosaic art, the blend of multiple indistinguishable stones coming together in a particular shape to create beauty, is as the diverse populace of sicily in the twelfth century: some identifying as muslim, christian, others as greek, norman, german all contribute to the culture, all peo [...]

    16. With his brilliant novel, Songs of the Kings, Unsworth moved into one of my three favorite contemporary writers. He has an eye for period detail in his historical novels, but his strength is the subtle context that comments vividly on 21st-century events.For example, Songs of the Kings, when it appeared in 2003, used Odysseus to demonstrate the madness of kings, and the relative ease with which they use saga to lead individuals to their doom. Three months after its release, the Iraq War began.In [...]

    17. A contracapa diz que o livro é tão intenso como “O Nome da Rosa”. Hummm, isto interessa-me, pensei eu. Fiquei à espera de uma história com um acumular de suspense, com uma reviravolta no final… Mas tal não aconteceu.O autor leva-nos até à Sicília da Idade Média, algum tempo depois da derrota dos Cristãos na Terra Santa. Aparentemente, a ilha é um paraíso para os diferentes credos, pois o rei promove o entendimento entre cristãos, judeus e árabes. No entanto, os normandos, mag [...]

    18. Jde o dobu prvních křížových výprav, což mě zajímalo, a o Sicilském království jsem toho také moc nevěděl. Příběh vypráví mladý sekretář královského vezíra. Je to syn šlechtice, který veškerý svůj majetek odevzdal klášteru. Vlastně tak připravil svého syna o příjmy, pozemky i rytířskou budoucnost. A mladý Thurstan chce být rytířem víc, než cokoliv jiného. Je to trochu až naivní donquijotovská postava, která touží po lásce krásných panen, bo [...]

    19. Although a winner of a Booker Prize (for the excellent Sacred Hunger), Barry Unsworth seems little known and under-appreciated. This may be because some are 'sniffy' about 'historical novels'. But Unsworth lifts the genre to a higher plane. There is the attention to historical detail that you would expect. But his central character always has a complex inner life; time and place are vividly described; and story lines are strong. All this is true of The Ruby in her Navel, a tale of 12th century d [...]

    20. The story is very predictable, from the beginning the author practically tells you how it ends. The story's background is very well carried, but the main character is naive to the point of stupid. He aspires to a position in which politcs and intrigue are a must but he falls in a clumsy trap that everybody can see miles aways but not him. His personality is very tiresome, as is his voice in the narrative.

    21. A very interesting and well-developed central character and plot line set in a time and place that I knew very little about -- I will be reading more by this author.

    22. I read it because I loved "Sacred Hunger" so much. I was disappointed , but I will read his 2 novels that were nominated for the Booker Prize.

    23. Barry Unsworth, despite having won the Booker Prize at one point in his nearly half-century of writing novels, does not seem to have ever risen to the peak of notability in the reading public's estimation (or, at least, he hasn't remained there over the years). He'd have warranted better on the strength of his historical novels, which are meticulously researched, extremely evocative of their time and place, and have a lyrical prose style that stays with the reader after the novel is done. In thi [...]

    24. A rare Could-Not-Finish. The characters and the plot were promising, but the writing was just so boring.One boring star.

    25. The prose is very good, and I like the setting, but it tends to drag a bit and the narrator is kind of an idiot. It's hard to watch him make all the mistakes he does.

    26. As afirmações contidas na capa do livro interessaram-me de imediato; os termos do título estimularam a minha imaginação; a imagem de um cavaleiro de outros tempos, em pose guerreira, transportou-me, sem querer, para a atmosfera de outros séculos, incitando-me a ler a contracapa de seguida, tudo o resto E o resto é a história de Thurstan Beauchamp, provedor e pagador real, na corte de Rogério, rei da Sicília do século XII.A narrativa retrata o ambiente de um período agitado da histór [...]

    27. Apesar de na capa se ler que o The Times considerou este livro como "Tão intenso como O Nome da Rosa", eu tenho de o negar pela simples razão que apesar do filme "O nome da rosa" ser um dos meus filmes favoritos, o livro que lhe deu origem já lhe peguei pelo menos 2 vezes e não consigo acabar de o ler; e sinceramente este livro do Barry Unsworth lê-se bastante bem. Este livro é um romance histórico na sua mais pura forma. É um livro que nos transporta para o século XII e que facilmente [...]

    28. 'The Ruby in her Navel' is set in the Norman kingdom of Sicily under King Roger II (the 12th century). Latin, Greek, Arab and Jew live together in precarious harmony in the city of Palermo. Due to the second crusade the opinion on the Muslims in Palermo has changed; they are seen more and more as a treat. The book is narrated by Thurstan Beauchamp, a Norman Christian who works for Yusuf, a Muslim Arab, in the palace‘s central finance office. The job includes the management of brides and blackm [...]

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