Thursday, April 3, 2008

Duking Days Rebellion by Anita Davison

The cruelty and aftermath of Monmouth's rebellion left havoc in the wake of many a noble's life and family. For Helena Woulfe, the daughter of a wealthy Exeter nobleman, the complete destruction of her previous privileged life became her reality.

Shunned by society because of her rebel father and brother after the bloody defeat in the battle of Sedgemoor, Helena leaves behind her destitute family. Somewhere amid the devastation is her father and brother and she is determined to find them and bring them home.

But while she is away, misfortune once again strikes her family. Soldiers enter her home to arrest her traitor father. When he cannot be located, they tear the family home apart and confiscate it on behalf of the crown. During the ransacking, her mother loses her life. Helena and her younger brother, Henry, flees to the safety of a family who are willing to give them shelter, but as danger draws ever closer, Helena and Henry depart for London where it is easier to hide among the large crowds.
Labeled as a traitor's daughter, Helena does her best to restore her life, but her family's reputation continues to haunt her as King James wants revenge on all who opposed him.

Through all the death and destruction of her life, Helena finally meets Guy, a young man who offers her love and security and hope to restore her respectability.
Anita Davison has skillfully brought to life the realities of this brutal time in England's history. Well researched, the novel evokes strong emotion pertaining to the rebellion and the state of the country afterwards. I enjoyed the perseverance and strength of the characters, especially that of Helena. A tremendous novel that accurately depicts the era.

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