Pamela Hill, one of the masters of Gothic romance, has turned her pen to a long, tumultuous novel of three families in seventeenth century England and Scotland. At the center of her wide and colorful canvas stands Honor Sawtrey-wise, kind and steady, a good wife, suffering mother, enduring widow, and then, late in life, wife and mother again. Ms. Hill paints unforgettablyPamela Hill, one of the masters of Gothic romance, has turned her pen to a long, tumultuous novel of three families in seventeenth century England and Scotland. At the center of her wide and colorful canvas stands Honor Sawtrey-wise, kind and steady, a good wife, suffering mother, enduring widow, and then, late in life, wife and mother again. Ms. Hill paints unforgettably the special cruelties of the Civil War, and the hardships and satisfaction of manor life three hundred years ago. We see too the bizarre passions and sexuality of the time-an era of child abuse, open prostitution, and covert affairs among the gentry. It is a tale spread over sixty absorbing years, and by its last page we feel we know the Sawtreys, the Thwaites, and the Farmiloes with the same intimacy, attraction and anguish we feel fore families of our own....
|Number of Pages||:||297 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
2 Stars:1- For the story1- For the coverOnly on page 7, I knew I wouldnt like the characters nor their stories.Honor who is supposedly wise, kind and steady, a good wife? A suffering mother?"She turned her eyes back to the child, with a fuzz of light-brown hair on it's scalp, looking like Richard's. Suddenly she knew that she had no love for it, any more than she had for it's father." I'm suppose to feel sympathetic for this woman? Well never mind.. the rest of the players here are just as bad.Cruelties, hardships, bizarre passions and sex,child abuse, open prostitution, covert affairs...did I leave anything out?Probably, but if the above mentioned isn't your "cuppa" nothing else in this book will be either.I just hope the other books by this author aren't like this one..otherwise they too will end up donated.
Bleh. I don't mind the darkness of the story, but the prose is annoying. Distant characters, confusing dialogue (e.g., switching speakers mid-paragraph... whut?), an army of barely-described faces with too-similar names, history that is vague & yet uber-important to the bland characters' reactions. And did I mention the time gaps? Irregular, random gaps of hours or months in the middle of chapters, with *years* between Parts 1-2. Even worse, they're years which create significant change in personality & circumstance. Nope. DNF.
Honor Thwaite is of more ordinary stock, but her father has enough money to get her *married up* to Richard Sawtrey of Daneclere. Not exactly a happy marriage, it isn't a terrible one either and she does her duty seeing to the family manor and raising her children. Honor's story begins at the time of England's Civil Wars, and continues through those of Cromwell (well, he wasn't exactly king but you know what I mean), Charles II, brother Jamie, the glorious revolution and more. That's a very brief run down, but this is one of those hard to put into words kind of books. Honor is good, steadfast and honest, but her children and others around her don't always play according to Hoyle and there's plenty of bad deeds, rapes, betrayals, theft, dirty dealings and more. Sounds like wicked good fun and it almost was - BUT - the book is unfortunately not long enough nor is it fleshed out enough to fully satisfy the reader. I really didn't find myself emotionally attached with any of the characters, I should have been rooting for Honor and Maude and loathing the baddies, but in the end I was rather *meh* about them all. While tame on the descriptions, there is a lot of sex and rape, but again I thought it would have come off better if written in a more bawdy, tongue in cheek manner instead of the dry just-the-facts-ma'am rendition I got here. Not great, but not bad either.
Okay, so you'd think a family saga set in Cromwell's (and post-Cromwell) England would score a big hit with me, but this fell very much short for me. I don't have a problem with the nitty-gritty rapes that occasionally took place, but just about every one (female and male) who was raped ended up *enjoying* it and begging for more. Really?Really?I still can't get past that and it ruined the rest of the story for me. All the good period dialog and setting got buried in this ridiculous rape stuff. Ugh. Pass on this one, trust me.
Dark and depressing. No happy endings for anyone. I really hate it when I pick up a book that looks interesting, read the whole darned thing, and then wish I could have that time back. Are we supposed to believe that the majority of people back then were that awful? Including Honor Sawtrey. Since I've marked this as containing spoilers, here we go......Honor Sawtrey is described as good & kind, a good wife & mother......really? She privately despised her husband, and as soon as she gave birth to her first child, decided she didn't love him because he looked like his father's family. Wow. As a mom I found that bit hard to swallow. Of course she had no problem accepting Ned, her husband's illegitimate oldest child, who of course resembles him. Was rape the only way to have enjoyable sex back in Merry Ole England? Well according to this book, it was.......excepting Gwenllian, the maid, and her daughter, Gwenny, coincidentally also a maid. They did not enjoy it. They were also the only 2 characters in this awful story that I felt any compassion for.Barbary Mountchurch, Honor's cousin-in-law, that girl was a mess. Orphaned, penniless, and sent to live with her hateful Aunt Anna (Honor's mother-in-law), I at first did feel sorry for her. She was madly in love with Ned, but they are separated by the sneaky, snake-y bailiff, who manipulates Barbary into sleeping with him. She hates him and is unwilling, but she decides she really likes sex with him???!!! Ugh!!! I kept seeing Piper Laurie from "Carrie" saying maniacally, "I liked it, I liked it!!!" Her story, along with the others, only gets worse from there. Big Hint: It does not end well for any of these people.There is one high point to this book: I bought it at a thrift store for a quarter. But I really wish I could have my quarter back!
I love the concept of many lives under one roof, and seeing how they all branch out in different directions. This book has some uncomfortable and disturbing parts to it, but I still like it because it represents real issues. I have read this book about 5 times and I love it each time.