Set before, during and after the English Civil War this novel follows the fortunes of Thomas Chayne as he tries to negotiate the demands of his king as well as the expectations of his father. From the storming of Cirencester in the Cotswolds, to a windswept island off the coast of Scotland, Thomas finds that life does not turn out as he assumed it would, with a family, a name to be proud of, and a settled home. This is not a novel about Brexit, but while writing it, the author was forced to examine her own feelings about the turbulent times in England in the 21st Century, and to understand that hard choices both now and four centuries ago do not always lead to good decisions. Is it always right to stick to one's principles when everything else seems to be changing? How honourable is it to change one's mind? Does that demonstrate weakness or courage? And when your country slides into civil war is it always obvious which side to choose?
Out now in hardback and ebook. Paperback due in May 2020
"Magnificent...keeps you turning the pages" Andrew Taylor, author of The Ashes of London.
"Full of twists and turns, vibrant with action, life and colour." Celia Rees, author of Miss Graham's Cold War Cookbook.
"Cynthia Jefferies excels at the picaresque, taking the reader on a breathless ride through the adventures of a seventeenth-century Gloucestershire gentleman, who in his youth gets caught up in the Civil War on the opposite from his father. Later, he is a physician in Bristol and a plantation owner in Jamaica. But, before and after the Restoration, he is also a privateer, rewarded by his skills as a physician on board ship. An honourable life indeed." Mary Hoffman, author of David.
Thank you to the Corinium Museum, Cirencester for the opportunity to read and handle the documents below.