Circle of Pearls

Rosalind Laker, Author Doubleday Books $19.95 (519p) ISBN 978-0-385-26305-4
As British writer Laker's To Dance with Kings illuminated court life in Versailles during the reign of Louis XIV, her latest work strikingly depicts 17th- and 18th-century England during the Cromwell interregnum and the Restoration. And as her earlier heroine was a practitioner of the art of fan-making, the protagonist of this engaging historical novel starts a cottage industry of ribbon embroidery after Cromwell and his Puritan regime are succeeded by luxury-loving Charles II. Through her account of the fortunes of a Royalist family, the Pallisters of Sotherleigh manor in Sussex, Laker animates the civil strife that set Cavaliers versus Roundheads, neighbor against neighbor. Julia Pallister is fated to love two men: her brother's Oxford friend Christopher Wren, and Adam Warrender, the Puritan scion of the adjoining estate. Hot-tempered, impetuous Julia, whose traits betray her into regrettable situations, is an appealing character. If her plotting is cliched and overly sentimental, Laker's well-integrated research (details of political turmoil and domestic customs, of the Great Plague and the Fire of London) make up for the sometimes cloying love story. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/05/1990
Release date: 06/01/1990
Hardcover - 825 pages - 978-0-8161-5098-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-553-29423-1
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