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Restoration Paperback – April 15, 2013
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"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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“Nothing less than superb.”
- New York Times
“A regal work―here, brought to triumphant attainment, are those elusive ideals of the historical novelist.”
- Ruth Rendel, Sunday Telegraph
About the Author
Rose Tremain's prize-winning books, including The Road Home, The Gustav Sonata, Merivel, and The American Lover, have been published in thirty countries. Chancellor of the University of East Anglia, Commander of the Order of the British Empire, and member of the Royal Society of Literature, she lives in Norfolk, England with the biographer Richard Holmes.
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Rose Tremain’s writing puts us right in the middle of Restoration England’s (many times unpleasant) sights, smells and tastes. Historical fiction is never so satisfying to me as when an author skillfully establishes the context through which characters actions can be understood. Tremain does this wonderfully. Through Merivel’s eyes we see life back as it was back then, a time when, whether rich or poor, good health and good fortune hung precariously from the thinnest thread. We follow Merivel's journey from obscurity to a place at the court of King Charles II. The king becomes the sun around which Merivel’s life orbits and a good portion of the book revolves around his obsession with staying in the His Highness’ good graces. Merivel’s tribulations begin when he decides to surrender his dignity so that he may hold the king’s approval.
A movie based on this book was made in the nineties which told Merivel’s story as one of a linear journey from dissolution to absolute redemption. The book’s story is not that one. While Merivel’s trials do transform him into someone who defines his worth according to something other than his standing at Whitehall Palace, the journey is uneven. At the end of the book Merivel remains a complicated bundle of contradictions, which is what makes him such a very good read.