Top positive review
4 people found this helpful
on 7 January 2013
When Charles II died and was succeeded by his Catholic brother, James, England was torn between loyalty to the Crown and fear of papists. The Protestants, who had flourished under Cromwell and Charles, now had to worship in secret. When the inevitable rebellion came, in support of Charles' illegitimate son, James Duke of Monmouth, a great deal of the support came from these dissenting groups. This is the story of the people of the village of Colyton, `England's most rebellious town', and their struggle to defend their faith.
Caught in the middle of a war that is none of her making, Ann Carter knows she should support the Monmouth cause and the men of her village, including her betrothed, but she secretly hopes that the war will release her from her boring fiancé, leaving her free to follow her illicit love, the dashing Robert Pole, son of the local lord and an officer in the King's army.
Tim Vicary has captured the era with deadly accuracy. In those days life was brutal and held cheap. Women were chattels and any life other than that of dutiful wife was considered improper. Amid the violence and horror of the rebellion, Ann struggles with her conscience and her secret desires.
This is a beautifully-written and well-researched work full of fascinating detail about life in 17th century England. In fact, if you want to learn history without trying, this is the way to do it.
But you should read it for other reasons too. Mr Vicary knows how to write a good tale. His characters are utterly believable and the plot is exciting, drawing the reader in to an alternative world. This is what I believe fiction should do, and if it teaches you something about a very interesting period of history, then that is a bonus.
I recommend this book without reservation.