Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Merivel by Rose Tremain

by Rose Tremain
W.W. Norton & Co.
ISBN: 978-0-393-07957-9
Buy from Indigo

Description: Get ready to laugh, prepare to weep -- Robert Merivel is back in Rose Tremain's magical sequel to "Restoration."
Robert Merivel, courtier to Charles II is no longer a young man -- but off he goes to France in search of the Sun King and to Switzerland in pursuit of a handsome woman. Versailles -- all glitter in front and squalor behind -- is a fiasco: Merivel is forced to share an attic (and a chamber pot) with a Dutch clock-maker while attempting to sustain himself on peas and jam and water from the fountains. Switzerland, by contrast, is perhaps a little too comfortable. But the lady, a clever botanist, leads Merivel deliciously on -- until her jealous husband bursts in with dueling pistols.
As he narrates the picaresque journey, Merivel gets into all sorts of scrapes; he is torn between enjoying himself and making something of his life, through medicine and the study of science. He tries to be diligent, but constantly backslides into laughter and laziness. A big-hearted rogue who loves his daughter, his country house and the English King... Merivel is Everyman -- and he speaks directly to us down the centuries.

The Good Stuff
  • Intrigued me enough to want to go out and get a copy of Restoration (Prequel to this story)
  • Although extremely slow at times it still kept me interested enough to keep reading & again regretting that I probably should have read Restoration first
  • Merivel is a likeable and easy to understand character and one that we can all see a bit of ourselves in
  • Drily witty - this author has a delightfully British sense of humour that I truly appreciated
  • Eloquent writing style
  • Historically accurate
The Not So Good Stuff
  • Extremely slow and depressing at times
  • I know I have mentioned this a thousand times during this review, I really think not reading the first book did a disservice to my enjoyment of this book
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"For the reason that you would not know of my falling, for I am a servant, Sir Robert, and have practiced the Art of Invisibility for these twenty years, so that the sight of me, whether upright or lying down, be never troubling to you."

"and this I find I do dislike among the very pious, that they must always assume a man's soul requires their Intervention, without first politely inquiring whether that soul wishes it or not."

"Of course. You held Wonder in your hands and than you lost it."

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • Although you can read this without reading Restoration first, I think it would be something enjoyed more if you did
  • Not your beach read sort of book, this is one to take slowly and just enjoy
  • Think this would appeal to a more mature reader 
  • Definitely for those who enjoy historical fiction

3 Dewey's

I received this from W.W. Norton in exchange for an honest review

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