“The Monmouth Summer” is a gripping historical fiction set in England during the Monmouth Rebellion (The West Country rebellion) of 1685. It is also a novel of love and courage.
The first few pages we are introduced to the Carter family, especially 18 year old Ann and her father Adam and as we read on we follow their lives as it is turned upside down after James Scott, Duke of Monmouth, landed in Lyme Regis to lead a Protestant rebellion against his Catholic uncle, James 11. This story, like most English history, begins with a love affair and ends on the chopping block, in this case the gallows for some and exile for others.
In short words:
This is the story of a band of rebels that faces off English dragoons to unseat the papist king and return the country to puritanism.
Told from the point of views of Ann and Adam, the story is nicely written and is quite captivating in the long run. I found the opening chapters to be extremely slow and I was wondering if this book was some kind of Harlequin. I was so wrong thinking this, when the men were called into battle and all hell broke loose, I simply had to keep up with all the gripping action. Pages afters pages of combat depiction, what lead to it and the aftermath was really interesting. War of religions….and the fascination that drives followers is at the forefront…
Of course the story is layered with some romance and intrigue with Ann now betrothed to her childhood friend, a ridiculously religious conservative while at the same time is smitten by Robert, a handsome lord who supports the Catholic Church. Two opposites and two men who want more from her than she may be willing to offer but must……torn Ann had to make what she thought was the right decision but at what cost ….
Thousands of people were murdered or displaced…..seems things never changes…. This is not a story for everyone……