Now We Shall Be Entirely Free: The Waterstones Scottish Book of the Year 2019

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Now We Shall Be Entirely Free: The Waterstones Scottish Book of the Year 2019

Now We Shall Be Entirely Free: The Waterstones Scottish Book of the Year 2019

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In the course of his journey, Lacroix experiences both the best and worst of humanity, experiencing violence but also the kindness of strangers. But the focus falls on Emily, whose sight is failing and who fears the loss of her “small independence”. I appreciated the inclusion of the Hebrides, but having holidayed on various of those stunning islands for many years, I couldn't understand the lack of detail and almost sparseness of the prose in those parts. It is a four-square adventure story, with an intrepid male hero, a supporting cast of women who are either meekly servile or scrabbling rather prettily at the bars of convention, landscapes that are rugged but essentially benevolent, and a villain who – although allowed some reason for being so – is a real bastard.

Exhausted and hurt, he is nursed back to something like his former self by his trusty housekeeper, Nell, but remains “absent” in mind. there is a love story of sorts, a look into the mind of a man desperate to find peace and a meaning to his life after the horrific futility of war, and, the constant threat of a damaged, amoral man who will stop at nothing to achieve his evil intentions. Miller hat einen ganz wunderbaren Historischen Roman geschrieben, der vor allem durch seine kunstvoll gesetzten Auslassungen, Leerstellen, Perspektiv-, Orts- und Zeitwechsel besticht und den Leser in eine nicht nachlassende Grundspannung versetzt. Not only that, the historical reenactment of the early 19th century, when Britain is enmeshed in war with Napoleon, feels so real that I felt I had time-travelled to the period. All Miller’s novels create alternative worlds in which their author experiments with emotional and moral concerns.There is a lot of suffering in the novel: that harsh experience, grief, and failure should make us welcome, not turn away from, joy is one of the lessons Lacroix struggles to learn and that Miller, indirectly, offers us in our turn. John soon finds himself enthralled by this forthright, complex woman and, when they travel to Glasgow for a high-risk eye operation, the air is thick with both sexual tension and carbolic acid. John has been brought home from Spain and the Peninsular War in a bad way, and is left with his housekeeper in rural Somerset. From the opening paragraphs the reader is informed that the setting is 1809, more than two centuries ago.

He has a felicitous ability to give a real sense of the suck and slick of mud, the damp chill of a long unused room, the sensuous feel of silk, the rawness of fustian; he has a felicitous ability to conjure a charming turn of phrase, he skilfully manages shifts in perspective, he steals in close to his characters, he has the confidence to leave some of the action offstage, let the reader make up her own mind as to what happened to the warm-hearted, sensible housekeeper (nothing good I fear).I don’t feel the need to fact-check novels, whether set contemporaneously or in the early nineteenth century.

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  • EAN: 764486781913
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