Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Monmouth Summer ~ A Unique Read!

The summer of 1685 in Monmouth may be significant for my family. Much, if not most, of my reading is geared to significant events represented in historical fiction. I jumped at the chance to get this book for free, but was not expecting to become so engrossed in it that I would not put it down until I finished.

Tim Vicary has written a fine novel about this brief moment in time that was so catastrophic for many in the West Country. The history seemed impeccable and writing about common men and women and their reasons for rebelling made an effective tale.

James Scott, Duke of Monmouth, had tried and failed to get prominent people to join in his rebellions, so he wooed the West County peasants and tradespeople. They had the Civil War strife, which had enveloped their lives a generation before, as background.

Ann Carter and her father Adam were well developed characters although their motivation was discordant by today's politics. The day to day life of the villagers of Colyton was descriptive and compelling. Robert Pole, an officer in King James militia, opens the tale as Ann's love interest.

The ending, we know, is disastrous for thousands of persons involved. It is terrifying to read of how little justice was dispensed for misguided men who were manipulated by their dreams for a better life.
My own research has shown me that family members fled the area at that time for anyplace that gave them some protection.

I recommend this book for history enthusiasts.

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