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Forever Amber (Rediscovered Classics) Paperback – September 1, 2000
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The Secret Healer
In the fourteenth century, opportunities for women are limited. But spirited young Madlen can't resist her gift for healing, even if it puts her life in danger. Learn More
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"A prototype for the modern blockbuster." -- Los Angeles Times May 31, 2003
"As a feat of storytelling, Forever Amber is irresistible." -- Salon
"Miss Winsor could justifiably claim to be the woman who invented the modern best seller." -- New York Times May 28, 2003
"One of the first of the modern bodice-ripping romance novels." -- The Daily Review May 29, 2003
"The first real historical romance. This is the book that started it all for me!" -- Bertrice Small
"[Winsor is] Americas most notorious novel." -- Washington Post May 29, 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
I thought that the authors writing style was brilliant. The book is mainly about the life of a girl called Amber St. Clare. The thing about Amber is that she is not easy to like..in fact..I was appalled by her often, but at the same time I found myself admiring her determination, rooting for her, and pitying her as well. The book goes on for 972 pages and at the end of it all I actually wanted MORE. The descriptions were so vivid that I felt like I could see, smell, TASTE London as it was in the 1660s. I am so happy to have experienced this tale. I plan to look for more of Kathleen Winsors work and I wholeheartedly recommend this book to any lover of Historical Fiction.
I first read this book when I was 17, over 32 years ago, having received the book from my mom who read it when she was in her early 20's. Since then I have read it again and again every year, sometimes reading it twice within a year, especially during periods when I needed to go into another place and time away from my real life.
I neither condone, agree nor disagree with all that is written by Ms. Winsor in this book. It is what it is, a spider web of interesting places, facts, people, cultures and society during the reign of King Charles II. I am a reader that wants to be entertained; wants to be enveloped inside a story or novel, and I believe any potential readers will experience this by reading it.
Forever Amber was the catalyst to my developing interest in England, in all things British. I love reading about England and have studied it extensively since first reading the book in high school.
I traveled to England in 1997 to fulfill a lifelong dream of visiting the places written about in the book. I wanted to see the green countrysides and English village towns, the tower of London, Whitehall palace, the beautiful flowers, the architecture, paintings, Royals, food, and people, so vividly described to me in her book. I am and will probably always be (ask anyone who knows me) a lover of all things British, an Anglophile and serious Royal researcher and London enthusiast because of Forever Amber.Read more ›
The historical detail in this book is astounding. No history book has ever made the period so gloriously alive, warts and all. Few books provide a better understanding of the Restoration, of the way its people thought, lived, dressed, ate--everything.
One other thing that I liked about the book was the sexuality without the gory details. I read this book nearly 20 years ago, and I can STILL remember the veiled reference to a night Amber spent with the Duke of Buckingham. No details were provided, just that even Amber was disgusted with what happened (which means it must have been really perverted). It was left to the imagination what really happened, which is much more effective than spelling it all out. I can't say that I remember ANY sex scene from a modern romance novel, not even the one I finished this morning. After a while, they're all pretty much the same--and they're boring.
For those who clamor for a sequel, one was written, but I can't remember the name of it (I found it in a South Dakota library about 15 years ago). Amber followed Bruce to America, and I believe she finally got him. The main problem with the book, as with Winsor's other subsequent efforts, was that it just didn't live up to Forever Amber. There is something about this book that is simply magical.
Unfortunately, the story of Amber is not nearly as romantic, compelling, or even heartbreaking as her parents' was. Also unfortunately, Amber doesn't seem to mature beyond the self-absorbed, pretty teenager she is in the beginning of FOREVER AMBER, although she's well into her '20's at its close (and has had enough experiences to gain some wisdom).
The hero, Bruce Carleton, is also to my mind a staggeringly poor sort of "hero". Amber's love for him is blind, I suppose; but need it be stupid? Amber is relentless in her love for Bruce, who never, ever gives her a break. Bruce impregnates Amber and leaves her. He ends up taking their son away from her. He marries another woman but comes back for quick beddings with Amber (just enough to keep Amber hoping that he'll leave his wife & live with her permanently). And, last but not least, when Amber nurses and saves him from the plague (the PLAGUE, mind you) -- he doesn't even think THEN, it might be a *nice* thing to make Amber his wife? What a heartless, cheating, miserable bastard of a "hero".
Taking, for example, Rhett Butler: At least Rhett Butler loved Scarlett - the reader wants to conk Scarlett over the head for not seeing Rhett's value until it was too late and she loses him forever. But Scarlett had other qualities; was given strength and determination and makes her own way in the world, which does somewhat make up for her lack of wisdom with Rhett.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I can see why Ms. Winsor had trouble with the censors of the early 1940's. This novel is one of my all time favorites! Read morePublished 12 days ago by Amazon Customer
such an engaging story I couldn't wait to revisit this book, and I was so glad I didPublished 17 days ago by Citizen Smiff
One of the first classics I ever read, it was in Dutch at the time. I truly enjoyed reading it again in English this time. It deserves the name "classic".Published 1 month ago by Berendina Rahimtoola
This was a good book, it was a bit different from what I'd read before, & the characters were well developed, & backdrop well portrayed. It was hard to put down. Read morePublished 1 month ago by ruth robin
Not usually my chosen reading genre, but I enjoyed this novel very much. The historical information is fascinating.
An abrupt ending which may surprise. Read more
This is one of those books that would have benefited immensely from a better editor (too many typos) and from a firm storyline editor (too predictable). Read morePublished 2 months ago by Suzanne Titkemeyer
The different characters are a study in sociology. The descriptive methods of the author are excellent. I'm sorry I reached the end of it, you want to continue. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Yoyi Perea
Fast paced, entertaining "historical fiction". Much more romance novel than history based. The characters are very simple and cliche, so there is not a depth to the... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Betty Boop
This was one long book to read. It was fascinating and I could never guess how things would turn out from one moment to the next. Read morePublished 3 months ago by S. Freud