Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Duking Days Revolution

Anita Davison takes us back to 17th century England in her second novel, Duking Days Rebellion. Married to prosperous Guy Palmer and the mother of twin sons, Helena Woulfe Palmer unravels the secrets of her family's past and finds an unexpected future.

In the wake of the failed rebellion against Catholic King James II's rule, Helena has settled into a comfortable London life but the mystery of her father and brother's fates haunt her. Worse, the betrayer of her family still lives in her ancestral home at Loxsbeare. Her brother Henry enjoys success in his apprenticeship to an architect, but suffers his own unhappiness for loving a woman who is trapped in a loveless, arranged marriage. Tobias, a longtime family servant revealed to be Helena's illegitimate half-brother, fares no better.

Familial concerns are influenced by the turbulent politics of the time, when the king's actions test the loyalty of his subjects. He fathers a son, likely to be the next Catholic ruler of England, while his daughter Mary who is Protestant lives in the Netherlands with her husband Prince William of Orange. There are rumblings of anti-Catholic sentiment and the Dutch invade, spurring the king to flight. The new monarchs arrive to claim their throne, and accompanying them, Helena's long-lost elder brother Aaron.

Her shock at his return is mixed with resentment but when Aaron shares the details of his fate after the battle of Sedgemoor, Helena is moved to forgiveness. Though their father's missing, his final fate unknown,the reunited children set about regaining their treasured ancestral home, lost during the Rebellion. Helena suffers further betrayal and turns to an unexpected source of comfort. In the prequel, Duking Days Rebellion, Helena matured in the bitterness of civil war and sacrifice,but in her quest to restore their family's honor, she proves her strength. She's a remarkable, enduring heroine and Duking Days Revolution offers a poignant ending for her and the reader.

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