In this sequel to Restoration, court physician Robert Merivel has a middle age crisis and sets off for Versailles where he meets Madame de Flamanville, a Swiss botanist, and rescues a captive bear to take back to Bidnold Manor. - (Baker & Taylor)
Court physician Robert Merivel has a middle age crisis and sets off for Versailles where he meets Madame de Flamanville, a Swiss botanist, and rescues a captive bear to take back to Bidnold Manor. - (Baker & Taylor)
The gaudy years of the Restoration are long gone. Robert Merivel, physician and courtier to Charles II, loved for his gift for turning sorrow into laughter, now faces the agitations and anxieties of middle age. Questions crowd his mind: has he been a good father? Is he a fair master? Is he the King’s friend or the King’s slave?In search of answers, Merivel sets off for the French court. But Versailles—all glitter in front and squalor behind—leaves Merivel in despair, until a chance encounter with Madame de Flamanville, a seductive Swiss botanist, allows him to dream of an honorable future.Yet will that future ever be his? Back home at Bidnold Manor, his loyalty and medical skills are tested to their limits, while the captive bear he has brought back from France begins to cause havoc in his heart and on his estate.With a cascade of lace at his neck and a laugh that can burst out of him in the midst of torment, Merivel is a uniquely brilliant creation—soulful, funny, outrageous, and achingly sad. He is Everyman. His unmistakable, self-mocking voice speaks directly to us down the centuries. - (WW Norton)
Get ready to laugh, prepare to weep—Robert Merivel is back in Rose Tremain’s magical sequel to Restoration. - (WW Norton)
*Starred Review* In this wonderful sequel to Restoration (1990), set 16 years later, Tremain's lovingly flawed protagonist, Sir Robert Merivel, pens a second riveting memoir. He aspires to leave nothing out, and readers will be the grateful beneficiaries of his witty, observant reflections and self-deprecating honesty. By 1683, Merivel has ripened into late middle age, but neither his love for his beautiful daughter, Margaret, nor his comfortable existence at Norfolk's Bidnold Manor relieves his melancholy. Wanting to be "dazzled by Wonders," he travels to Versailles, hoping to become a court physician, but is let down by its glittering emptiness and his own sartorial foibles. His affair with an unhappily married Swiss noblewoman brings him happiness but comes with unexpected burdens. Whether facing the illnesses of those closest to him, acting upon his lustful impulses, or pondering his responsibilities to his servants and king, Merivel finds that the compassionate and selfish aspects of his character are inextricably tangled. In a tone moving from contemplative and sad to uproariously funny and back again, Tremain masterfully captures the voice of a man searching for a satisfying and meaningful life as Charles II's once-glorious reign winds down. It's an absolute pleasure to spend time in Merivel's company. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The publisher plans to trade on the popularity of the previous Merivel novel, and librarians can imagine the excitement this new one will create among serious historical-fiction readers. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.