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Showing 1-10 of 143 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 150 reviews
on July 26, 2013
I like the idea and the setting but found it was too slow for me. I put it down after reading about a third of the book, maybe I will finish it. It's not a terrible book, too many battle scenes and not enough interpersonal dialogue with the two main characters.
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on June 2, 2014
An incredible tale of self doubt, religious war, deceit, courage and a little romance. The English have a long history of internal warfare between the ruling aristocracy heirs and the general innocent people who never knew if what they were fighting for was in truth a just cause. This story is a look at religious fervor between a Catholic King and his followers, who were thought to be idol worshipers and the Protestant Church followers, who believed that in God's eyes the wrong King was on the throne of England. The ending is of course not a happy ending for anyone and the small hamlet that this story is built around has many of the people convicted to a cruel punishment.
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on July 4, 2014
I just finished this wonderful book! Oh, yes, I like history and the lovely descriptions of the natural world of England, but his insight into the character of the Puritans and the "papists" is just beyond interesting. He makes the oxymoron of "CIVIL WAR" much more vivid in my mind. And the war scenes and the punishments for the "traitors" just made me so sad and disgusted while I still appreciated how vividly he worked the scenes. I would HIGHLY recommend his work!
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on September 3, 2014
Mercy, this is a long and involved tale that is related in such depth, I feel that I was there! If you like history, especially English history, and if you have any religious convictions at all, you will want to read this book. Tim Vicary must have spent years researching the English countryside and the activities of the English people during the religious conflict that saw the Protestants rise up against a Catholic King. He relates the intimate details of the events leading up to the battle along with each battle in minute detail. The characters are realistic--and their convictions are so deeply held that one cannot avoid compassion for them. The young heroine is beyond brave and always at war with herself. She has been pledged to a young man in her village for marriage, but she has slipped away from her very strict home to rendevous with a young man who is above her social class. Her love is returned, but he can only make her his mistress, not his wife. Therein is the major conflict. As she moves through the war and assists in tending the wounded, there is so much testing of her Christian beliefs and her morality, that one can become exhausted. The ending is a surprise that deserves your reading if you like history at all.
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on August 1, 2014
Though I'm a fan of historical fiction, I wasn't sure I was going to like The Monmouth Summer after reading the first chapter. The main character Ann seems to be in love with a young nobleman who is not a member of her Puritan faith. He asks her to be his mistress, because the difference in their social status prevents him from marrying her. But does he love her, or will he abandon her when he finds a more sumptuous object of desire? His request and her desire to be with him forces her to examine her beliefs about her personal relationships and her relationship with God.

As the story progresses we meet Ann's father Adam, who must face painful decisions he made in the past. Ann and Adam, and their community are caught up in the tragic historical events of the rebellion of the Duke of Monmouth's bid to become King of England. The more I came to know the characters, the more I became engaged in their story. Ann and Adam's connection and understanding of each other grows throughout the story. They come to understand themselves, and are able to decide how they will answer the most important questions anyone can ask about how they will express courage, love, and true faith making every page worth reading.

I highly recommend this book to fans of historical fiction.
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on December 28, 2013
Wars fought in the name of religion--anybody's religion, just pick one--are as old as time itself and are still going strong. War may be old, but the Monmouth Rebellion was short, timewise. In 1685, James Scott, Duke of Monmouth, and a small army of Protestants, mostly Presbyterians, sought to overthrow King James II from the English throne because he was Catholic. The rebel army was small and untrained, but it did win some skirmishes and could have possibly succeeded in its goal but for one wrong turn.
I gave the book four stars because the mechanics were good and the read was easy and never boring. The research was fine, but history itself had me in the encyclopedia much of the time. What had happened to Henry VIII's Church of England formed a century earlier? Was not this King James responsible for giving us THE HOLY BIBLE, KJV? Why did the ...? Enough questions! I could spend all my time being picky, but I require a basic historical background before I read historical fiction. It is amazing to learn how much I have forgotten through the years. So, dear author, thank you for making me refresh my memory.
This account of the Monmouth Rebellion was told through fictitious characters who delivered the story with heart. Adam was with the rebel army. He was afraid, and more afraid that his fellow soldiers would see that he was afraid. In the end, the thing he feared most became his desire. Death. There were many lessons to be learned from every character in the book. The sexual exploits were a bit graphic, but their graphic nature served a purpose.

Thank you, Mr. Vicary, for a good read.
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on November 22, 2013
The story, while having potential, is incomplete. Much happens during the Monmouth Summer, much of it provided through the thought process of two major characters (Ann and her father) and of the battles/horrors of war. The world will not be the same for any of the characters in the book, but pretty much every else's life is of no consequence as loose ends are left dangling. It seems that no one matters to the story except Ann. The book ends when Ann not only makes a life changing decision but she is also faced with another life changing event. I do want to know where this is going but I haven't read anything that indicates that a continuation novel is planned. If none is planned, three stars is as much as I can give a story that leaves me hanging and I will return to provide additional stars later if an additional novel completes the story. I don't need a happy ending but I need an ending that I don't have to make up myself!
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on May 12, 2013
I am an avid reader of quality historical fiction and really enjoyed this book. It appears to be well researched and once I started reading I struggled to put it down.
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on January 1, 2014
The Monmouth Summer by Tom Vicary deals with the Protestant uprising near the end of the seventeenth century to support the Duke of Monmouth, the oldest of the illegitimate children of Charles II in his bid to overthrow that monarch's Catholic brother James II. The rebellion was supported by the puritan dissenters of England, who were mainly non aristocratic farmers and artisans. Participating in this rebellion are two members of a puritan family, Adam Carter and his daughter Ann who has been caught up in the conflict after delivering horses to the rebels. Adam has joined partly for his religious beliefs and partly to quiet his long held belief that he is a coward. Ann though not an active combatant is equally conflicted. She has been courted by the aristocratic Rob who has offered to make her his mistress and the handsome but rather priggish shoemaker to whom she has become betrothed.. During the short-lived rebellion both have to make important life or death decisions. The author has a knowledge of the history of the times as well as of the rather narrow and harsh beliefs of those unfortunates who threw in their lot with Monmouth. He writes and presents his characters as believable persons. It is a complex book but a satisfying one.
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on April 20, 2012
The Monmouth Summer is a fascinating, richly-layered story that explores the inner conflicts of a father and his daughter. The story is set during a short-lived political and religious rebellion, which provides an appropriate backdrop. Mr. Vicary's depiction of the conflicts pulls you in and compels you to keep on reading. His telling of the tale from two viewpoints is well-done, and it is a great combination of history and love. If I didn't already have his other novels, I would buy them.
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