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Wildish: A Story Concerning Different Kinds of Love Paperback – May 4, 2014
'Wildish is Robert Parry's third, and best novel. Hefty, descriptive, brilliant, and elegant ... with witty repartee, delicious and sumptuous characters, vivid and palpable surroundings. Each scenario is fleshed out with reverence and respect ... teasing his readers to remain fixated until the end.' Claudia Robinson - 'Luxury Reading'
'I savored every word of this wonderful book. The story is perfectly balanced with intrigue, humor, excitement, and mystery ... a personal quest for discovering love, not just any love, but love that transcends reality.' Charla Wilson - 'Book Talk with Charla.'
'Set in 1745 during the Jacobean uprising led by Bonnie Prince Charlie. Wildish is a big novel that goes by in a heartbeat ... filled with lust, bravery, honour, hope and as many different kinds of love as there are colours in the rainbow.' Kirsty Stonell Walker - author
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- For lovers of romance, comedy and adventure
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Matthew Wildish, our main character, is a poet on a mission - a mission to find love that transcends the real world. He is surrounded by women but comes to have feelings for his best friend's wife, something which gave me pause. In the meantime, he continues his career as a wigmaker. He often finds himself in amusing but tricky situations.
The middle part of the story was really when I stopped reading - there's a lot of history, which was interesting, but I struggled with the plot which I felt wasn't going anywhere and I struggled with the lack of storyline moving along. The book is shocking at times, but because of that, it helps you to keep going with the parts that feel like they are dragging.
It's no coincidence that Mr Wildish also makes masks for use at masquerades, as hiding and pretence are themes of the book. The Jacobite rebels that march towards London are led by `The Young Pretender' and Mr Wildish himself is pretending to be merely a dissolute libertine when he continues to curtail his seductions with acts of kindness and bravery. The charm and appeal of Wildish is that the central character is a good person, albeit hidden inside a reckless saucepot. In order to follow him through almost 600 pages of his life, you need to feel able to invest and Matthew Wildish is definitely worthy of your time. He is a marvelous, mixed-up man, who is brave enough to risk his life in order to infiltrate a brutal army of rebels, but feels powerless in the face of a determined woman.
The things I love the most about Wildish are the contrasts. The descriptions of the excesses of London are personified in characters such as Lucy Armstrong, who is a gorgeously presented woman, Matthew's `Sun', whose business is pleasure of all types. Against this are the passages regarding life in the Jacobite army, desperate yet determined, driven on through all manner of dehumanizing plights by the claim of a beautiful young man who would be King.
The continued themes of escape and survival threads through the book, from `the man who would fly' in the opening chapter, to Matthew's dealings with Lady Snatchal, then the rather more serious affairs of war, dealing with those that live and the fate of those at Culloden. Just as Mr Parry never stints on the romance, he also reports war in the most certain terms for the visceral sack of nasty it is.
I was surprised by a couple of things when reading Wildish. Firstly, it is a very funny book. I didn't expect to laugh so much and one of my favorite quotes has to be:
`Expired in the arms of a whore; lying all cold in that horrid place while I have been here listening to a hornpipe with a man under my skirts. I am so ashamed!'
Thank you Mr Parry for the amount of snorty-sniggering I did at that.
The other thing I didn't expect was just how saucy it was. In an age when I roll my eyes at the books on display in the supermarket, it was a pleasure to read something that reminded me of some of the naughtier 18th century novels I have read. I giggled, blushed and learnt something, which is how it should be.
To sum up, Wildish is a big novel that goes by in a heartbeat. You feel investment in the characters, even the less obvious ones touch your heart with their victories and tragedies. The humor of it all highlights how damn cruel life can be at times, and how the most wicked actions betray a desire for hope. Robert Parry has done the unthinkable in my mind, which is to surpass The Arrow Chest with a hefty romp filled with lust, bravery, honor, hope and as many different kinds of love as there are colors in the rainbow.