shortlisted for Book of the Month
English Civil War
Book 2 of 2 in The Lydiard Chronicles (2 Book Series)
How interesting that Elizabeth St. John is able to write about her ancestors. And what an interesting story she has presented. Lucy St. John-Apsley, now a widow, is forced to watch her family splinter as civil war rends the country. Bookish, sensible Lucy and her husband favour parliament, while Allen and James are attracted to the court. As the civil war progresses, the divisions become more acute. When the family comes together, there is friction. But when tragedy strikes, when one or another is in need, they prove that family loyalty and love transcends any political or religious affiliation.
Although the book is not fast paced and has several points of view, it is a well-told story examining in detail the impact of civil war on a family. The characters are entirely credible. Allen's growth from irresponsible courtier to bitter, broken soldier is a wonderful example of the art of character development. I will pay Ms. St. John the ultimate compliment by admitting that when one of the characters tragically dies, I shed a tear.
© Susan Appleyard