A story about history and architecture, a story that spans over 800 years. Historical events from the 13th century are described.
A much discussed book, some of our readers loved it, others didn't. They either couldn't get into it or they didn't like the mixture of fact and fiction or thought there was too much violence, the details too descriptive. The contrast was too big, everything was black and white.
However, the people who like it thought the author is a good storyteller, our memory of history was refreshed, the side subjects like reincarnation, genetic memory and the fact that several characters that resurfaced eight hundred years later was interesting.
Quite a few of us always loved historical novels. We thought the life of ordinary people was described very well. The plot seemed logical (though not always believable) which isn't always the case in these semi-fantasy novels. Even though some of us thought the story had a slow start, we liked the history very much, especially the characters in the past. We also thought, the turbulent times the Cathars went through, should be considered.
Some of our members had been in that area of France and especially Carcassonne is a great place to visit but also the church Notre Dame of Chartres where the labyrinth is situated. Kate Mosse has done a lot of research, and she has done that very well.
We also discussed the "Da Vinci Code" briefly. Several of us had read this novel and since it is about a similar subject, the comparison was there. We didn't like all the fuss that was made about that book. Some didn't really get the story at all. Also, he mixes up facts to create a story. Then he mentions some facts at the beginning, and tries to convince readers that everything in his book is true.
Anyway, we liked "Labyrinth" a lot better. I think this would make a great movie.
We discussed this in our book club in August 2006.