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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
60
4.7 out of 5 stars


on 2 January 2017
I found this slow going initially - the multiplicity of characters and the detail of the political manoeuvring of the different settlements - but after a while I became enthralled by Elizabeth's story and wanted to find out how it ended.
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on 13 August 2017
Good read,especially if you come from Massachusetts and Suffolk,based on the true story of Governor Winthrop.
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on 19 August 2017
I've reviewed this before. Excellent
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on 2 September 2017
Good read it was very engrossing and told harshness that women were treated by men and religion
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on 22 May 2017
Got this for my mother, who enjoyed it but found the description of the harsh lives of Puritans in the New World rather disturbing. Haven't read it myself, but Seton's writing is usually good, so recommended.
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on 30 January 2007
What an incredible story of an amazing woman. Elizabeth Fones, married into the Winthrop family, the leader of that being John Winthrop who took his family to New England to govern the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Elizabeth was a rare woman indeed, going on to being one of the few women of her times to be a large landholder, married three times and finally finding great happiness and love in the last one to Will Hallet.

This book has it all -- passion, madness, bigotry, ignorant superstitions and religious persecution. The author beautifully weaves her story so that you feel you are there, from terrors of sailing the Atlantic, small pox, the sights, sounds and smells of the times, everything is perfectly melded to entertain and educate you about this period. I was also sorrowed at the eventual treatment of the Native Americans, from originally friendly terms, then to end so tragically. I found out much about a period in our nation's history that I only had the briefest of recollections from those long ago history lessons in school.

Anyone who enjoys historical fiction should put this one on their list. Highly recommended.
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on 24 June 2013
The typographical errors in this book were truly awful, detracting at times from the wonderful story. The Americanisation of the spelling added nothing to the story and is unnecessary. This is a book that should first be read in book form to really appreciate it.
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on 15 May 2007
This is a dazzling work of historical fiction that I first read as a young adult. Now, over thirty years after first reading it, I find that time has not diminished the power and passion of this exquisitely written work of historical fiction. At the heart of this fine novel, is Elizabeth Fones, an Englishwoman who would marry her first cousin, Harry Winthrop, and would go on to lead a life of which few of us would dream.

As a member of the austerely Puritan Winthrop family, Elizabeth would chafe under its restrictive influences. When the family fortunes abated in England due to the religious beliefs of the family patriarch, John Winthrop, Elizabeth's uncle and father-in-law, the entire family sets off for the New World to become founding members of the Massachusetts Bay colony, a theocracy under which Elizabeth was to know much heartache.

A passionate and vibrant woman, Elizabeth would have a number of personal situations that would cause her to become notorious amongst the Puritan colonists. She would be both reviled and admired for her actions, which were singular for those times. This is an absorbing, page turner of a book that takes a look at sixteenth century England during the tumultuous time that preceded the civil war that would see an act of regicide and the rise of Puritan Oliver Cromwell. It also relates the turmoil that underlay the government of the nascent Massachusetts Bay colony with all its factionalism, restrictive practices, and bigotry.

The novel, set against a historical backdrop filled with well known personages of the time, both English and Dutch, lovingly chronicles and explores Elizabeth's passage in life as a member of the illustrious Winthrop family, her troubled marriages, her relationship with the Siwanot Indians, and the trials and tribulations that she underwent as a compassionate, independent woman in a time when to be such was to destine oneself to become a pariah within the larger community.

This is a historical novel that is epic in its telling, beautifully written, and one to be savored until the very last page is turned. Bravo!
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on 3 February 2009
This is a dazzling work of historical fiction that I first read as a young adult. Now, over thirty years after first reading it, I find that time has not diminished the power and passion of this exquisitely written work of historical fiction. At the heart of this fine novel, is Elizabeth Fones, an Englishwoman who would marry her first cousin, Harry Winthrop, and would go on to lead a life of which few of us would dream.

As a member of the austerely Puritan Winthrop family, Elizabeth would chafe under its restrictive influences. When the family fortunes abated in England due to the religious beliefs of the family patriarch, John Winthrop, Elizabeth's uncle and father-in-law, the entire family sets off for the New World to become founding members of the Massachusetts Bay colony, a theocracy under which Elizabeth was to know much heartache.

A passionate and vibrant woman, Elizabeth would have a number of personal situations that would cause her to become notorious amongst the Puritan colonists. She would be both reviled and admired for her actions, which were singular for those times. This is an absorbing, page turner of a book that takes a look at sixteenth century England during the tumultuous time that preceded the civil war that would see an act of regicide and the rise of Puritan Oliver Cromwell. It also relates the turmoil that underlay the government of the nascent Massachusetts Bay colony with all its factionalism, restrictive practices, and bigotry.

The novel, set against a historical backdrop filled with well known personages of the time, both English and Dutch, lovingly chronicles and explores Elizabeth's passage in life as a member of the illustrious Winthrop family, her troubled marriages, her relationship with the Siwanot Indians, and the trials and tribulations that she underwent as a compassionate, independent woman in a time when to be such was to destine oneself to become a pariah within the larger community.

This is a historical novel that is epic in its telling, beautifully written, and one to be savored until the very last page is turned. Bravo!
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on 30 November 2003
This is a dazzling work of historical fiction that I first read as a young adult. Now, over thirty years after first reading it, I find that time has not diminished the power and passion of this exquisitely written work of historical fiction. At the heart of this fine novel, is Elizabeth Fones, an Englishwoman who would marry her first cousin, Harry Winthrop, and would go on to lead a life of which few of us would dream.
As a member of the austerely Puritan Winthrop family, Elizabeth would chafe under its restrictive influences. When the family fortunes abated in England due to the religious beliefs of the family patriarch, John Winthrop, Elizabeth's uncle and father-in-law, the entire family sets off for the New World to become founding members of the Massachusetts Bay colony, a theocracy under which Elizabeth was to know much heartache.
A passionate and vibrant woman, Elizabeth would have a number of personal situations that would cause her to become notorious amongst the Puritan colonists. She would be both reviled and admired for her actions, which were singular for those times. This is an absorbing, page turner of a book that takes a look at sixteenth century England during the tumultuous time that preceded the civil war that would see an act of regicide and the rise of Puritan Oliver Cromwell. It also relates the turmoil that underlay the government of the nascent Massachusetts Bay colony with all its factionalism, restrictive practices, and bigotry.
The novel, set against a historical backdrop filled with well known personages of the time, both English and Dutch, lovingly chronicles and explores Elizabeth's passage in life as a member of the illustrious Winthrop family, her troubled marriages, her relationship with the Siwanot Indians, and the trials and tribulations that she underwent as a compassionate, independent woman in a time when to be such was to destine oneself to become a pariah within the larger community.
This is a historical novel that is epic in its telling, beautifully written, and one to be savored until the very last page is turned. Bravo!
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