One warning, once opened this book will lose you hours, as you will not want to put this book down until the last page has been read. The story flows from the first page and sub plots like in real life are interwoven throughout. A must read.
It is a great read and inspiration, as it will no doubt be for my daughter, as this is Amber's 21st birthday present....
Normally I dislike reading fiction when there is so much interesting non-fiction to go round. However "Forever Amber" reminds me a lot of some of the pop-history books I have enjoyed in the past - incredibly detailed, going into lascivious detail about the period and about all walks of life, from the poor in Newgate to the upper echelons of the court. It's also heartening to read that the Stuart royal family was just as decadent as our own, and it actually makes Charles, Camilla and Diana look positively virtuous by comparison.
Amber is a very unsympathetic heroine and the end is very abrupt (there is another doorstop of a sequel here for anyone who cares to write it, about what Amber finds when she disembarks in America). Until she and Lord Bruce Carlton recover from the plague, they are both admirable characters; they seem to lose their gloss after this escapade leaves both in turn fighting for their lives, as if the Black Death has taken some of their soul away. All of the characters - including the non-fictional ones such as Nell Gwynne, who makes a cameo, the King, his mistress Barbara Palmer and her rival Frances Stewart - are three-dimensional with their own lusts, needs and station in society to maintain. While seeming beyond the pale to modern readers (or those reading the book when it was first published in 1944) they are all in their own way genuine, honest and open: Amber's only flaws are her naivete and her extravagance, which looks set to ruin her at every turn.Read more ›