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The Players Paperback – September 4, 2009
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
"A florid and engaging read." (Amie Ronald-Morgan Scene 2013-01-15)
"The tale of a young woman, determined, scrappy, hungry. And with its tantalizing ending, the totemic publishing word trilogy comes to mind. Sweatman seems to reach for more than just a good story. She wants to explore the power gap between men and women, the clash of cultures, the greed and curiosity behind the business venture that led to the Hudson Bay Company. The result is a detailed, sometimes effusive telling of the tale of a young woman, determined, scrappy, hungry. And with its tantalizing ending, the totemic publishing word trilogy comes to mind." (Ron Robinson Winnipeg Free Press 2013-01-15)
"Sweatman does not shrink from presenting the times in all their brazen glory. She writes erotic with the best. Bursting with good humour and refreshing in its willful ignorance of political correctness, Sweatman's writing flows as smoothly as a muscular northern river, with a stunning control of voice. She keeps the reader engaged every moment, introducing us to a company of intriguing characters, and makes good use of fastidious detail." (The Globe and Mail 2009-09-04)
"Richly set in Restoration England and Canada's then virtually unknown northern wilds, this is a wonderfully humourous tale filled with playful language." (The Sun Times 2009-09-04)
"An eloquent and suspenceful work that captures the realities of three different worlds, showing us the glimpses of the world in transition — the unstable motherland, the liminal space of the voyage, and the unforging wilderness — and the adaptability of humans that survive them." (Maple Tree Literary Supplement 2009-09-04)
"The Players tells the artful, awful truth about Canadian history. In getting to this truth, it uncovers history as a haunting of all of our stories." (Malahat Review 2009-09-04)
"Women and their interior lives are Sweatman's territory and she treats these familiar subjects with depth, beauty and tenderness." (>i>Prairie Fire Review of Books 2009-09-04)
"Sweatman provides many moments of poetically rendered insights in the novel. Readers will glean from The Players the kind of fraught satisfaction that defines memorably fine fiction." (Event Magazine 2009-09-04)
"Sweatman often ficionalizes Manitoban and Canadian history in her novels. With The Players, she widens her focus. The result is a rollicking ride, with intrigue, comedy and strong characters. It's delicious." (Uptown Magazine 2009-09-04)
"Beautifully crafted, carefully researched." (Calgary Beacon 2009-09-04)
"If it is true that 'a storyteller carries his house on his back,' Sweatman must sport a spectacular dowager's hump. The Players is a story of survival, laced with political, physical and spiritual dangers. By the time the cast of characters look for their exits, we need no further convincing of Sweatman's talent as a wordsmith." (Telegraph-Journal 2009-09-04)
From the Inside Flap
Two French explorers arrive in Court to charm two ships from the English King. The rest, as they say, is history . . . or perhaps not. In this tale of beginnings and invention, actress-turned-explorer Lilly Cole takes on 17th century society with a provocative modern sensibility. Lilly must outperform and outfox — in Court, on stage, in private quarters, and in the brutal cold of James Bay — if she is to live at all.
The Players is a voyage of discovery straddling libertine Restoration England and Canada's northern wilds — a magical tale chock-full of memorable characters, stunning imagery and burgeoning life force.
In this sly, provocative and ingeniously funny novel, Margaret Sweatman explores the deep well of human motivation, how instinct trumps reason when survival is in question.
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