Monday, July 13, 2009

77. The Oak Apple, #4

By:  Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
Rated 4.5
From:  amazon

This is the fourth book in the Morland dynasty books.

AMAZON REVIEW:  The family is confronted with civil war, as the king and parliament fight for control of England in the 1640s.  The civil war also divides the family - Roundhead against Cavalier, Puritan against Catholic/Anglican. The family members are torn between family loyalty and individual conscience. As with previous books, the fortunes of the characters are well blended with actual historical people and events. The Morland heir Richard marries a Puritan, while his brother Kit fights for King Charles I and gives up his life at the battle of Marsden. Their cousins are sent to Virginia to claim land for the Morlands, and become American pioneers.

There is a large time gap between this book and the previous one "The Princeling". Characters that had just been born in the last few pages of book 3, are now middle aged adults with children of their own. It took some time to connect the current family members with those in the last book, but the family tree at the front was helpful.

This book also had more to offer than it's predecessor in terms of characters too. It wasn't just a series of births, death and marriages. The characters were individuals and tied to real events, something that was lacking in "The Princeling". In particular, the reclusive and mysterious cousin Ruth was a nice change to the line up. The Morlands have once again found their place at the forefront English historical fiction.
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