Audible Pargeters: An Historical Novel of Seventeenth-Century England –

In A Largely Puritan Section Of England, Strong Willed Sarah Woodley S Royalist Leanings Trapped Her In A Dangerous Web Of Political Intrigue And When She Saved A Handsome Young Man With A Puritan Price On His Head, She Knew If They Were Caught, Both Would Die But Neither War Nor Tyranny Would Take Away The Man She Loved Or The House She So Proudly Possessed Excellent historical novel, very entertaining I always enjoy this book which I have read about 5 times but I am fortunate enough to forget so much of it that its easy for me to read it again I never forget Eli Smith as he is so horrible I don t forget Sarah either but sometimes she behaves like an idiot I am very glad each time that she finds true love at the end Her daughter is an amazing person and I wish that Norah Lofts had written about her She goes off with Sarah s best friend and her son when their property is restored You also get to read about Lady Alice Rowhedge who is a witch and appears in other Norah Lofts books Her legend lingers on in many of them. 3.5 star rounded up for the skilled and exact ways in which Lofts cores the mood, purposes, and translations into daily acts for the beliefs and entire cognition of Cromwell s Roundheads and the fanatic Puritan changes within England She begins to grab those opposite and sometimes effete aspects of the manners for the Restoration period that followed with a return to monarchy too.It s about a house named Pargeters After the skilled and beautiful work of pargeting that our plasterer has adorned with love upon the trim and sides of the house.It s mainly the story of Sarah too This is a departure for Lofts house books Most follow the house through generations This one NO This one, it is only the one woman s lifetime and the changes in the country, ownership, manners, and every aspect of class hierarchy, as well that comes with the Civil War, success of the Roundheads, and then the eventual return to monarchy after 1660 with the restoration of the monarchy.Pargeters is grabbed by a heavy and cruel taskmaster during the Roundheads rule.Many readers who love action and plot foremost will not like this novel Here we have page after page of what the reality has been and then become within husbandry, sheep farming, dairy progression, crop changes, use of foodstuffs etc etc etc It s about England as much as it is about Pargeters Here we actually have characters trying TEA for the first time, for instance Our heroine is 17th century She shows no druthers for most issues that would be center core emotional for a 21st century reader She even marries the enemy and suffers near slavery conditions to keep her lodging Good read Especially excellent as a superb sample of having to walk a politico line of access or ownership during this severe division to family, neighbor, town, boss of trade And religion intrinsically at core but not only the entire issue either Tradition is assaulted No Maypoles, no crosses, no wedding celebrations, no saint days, funerals not recognizable Joy outlawed Another slant of Pargeters is that it is the ending of Lofts career and it has dozens of cross over characters from her other house books of Suffolk or of Baildon In fact, there are characters in this one of portent connection and than under character role that are main protagonist or homeowner or farmer supreme of and within other books People from Old Vine, Hawk in Hand, Mortiboys, and especially in this Pargeters, Lady Anne They all play roles here than rounded out, we are detailed about their motives, outcomes And of course the horse breeder Tom Throughgood and Hattons are also throughout this novel again And to greater detail for this exact era of the Civil War In some of the other house books they did things or made connections that seemed odd or manners out of order Now in this one, for that time when lines of life and death are draw on the sides of either Parliament or King, we understand some of those inexplicable nuances of other Lofts books Very, very few people, regardless of class or condition, could balance between on an impartiality line as Sir Walter did in this Pargeters novel And even two centuries later, memory served exact on who wore ribbons and used Papist oaths like By my Lady for a knocked funny bone of the elbow or which family deemed it innocently to frame the face in curls So acts of descendants, or patterns of trade or bargaining for the next 2 or 3 hundred years, they are easily understood. Pargeters I had to look up the pronunciation on that one is an English manor house built in the 17th century Adam Woodley, the pargeter plasterer who works on the house in a very personal and artistic way, catches the eye of the owner s daughter This novel takes place during several generations of residents at Pargeters which begins in 17th century England Times are difficult on so many levels, which includes the Civil War between Royalists and Roundheads The village is Baildon, in northern England where the daughter of Adam Woodley, Sarah Woodley Mercer, struggles to hang onto her beloved Pargeters though women of that time held no rights Forced into a loveless marriage in order to keep her home and care for those closest to her, she hangs onto hope Her verbally cruel Puritan husband makes life miserable for everyone in his path A child is born from this hatefilled marriage which will ultimately change the future for all connected to Pargeters Sarah maintains the responsibility for Pargeters and those under her care Dealing with backbreaking day to day chores, a mean spirited husband and his mother, and the needs of her aging grandfather all take their toll on her To add a cherry on top, she often thinks of the one man she ever loved and wonders what happened to him When he left to go to war before she met her cruel husband , he said he would be back.Although this story has plenty of dark moments, it proves that through perseverance you just keep on going The characters have strong personalities and I had a hard time putting the book down I was not totally pleased with the ending, but that s just me It is a wonderful novel to read if you want to see how life was lived in that time period the prejudice against women, the cruelties of certain denominations of faith, and the hardships endured Norah Lofts weaves a masterful tale in her own unique voice It s definitely worth a read.