* SPOILER *
It took a couple hundred pages before I got absorbed in this story. I was counting down to just get to page 215-ish and I would turn off the light to sleep but right about there was when things got interesting and I simply couldn’t stop until I knew how it ended.
The blurb on the back makes it sound like finding the orchid was a bad thing. After reading and thinking about it, I think the only way that Alice could have found happiness and for Wheeler to survive the backlash was her taking of the flower.
Swift has done an amazing job of portraying the time period and bringing a sense of individuality to the people on both the Roundhead and Restoration sides from English history. The insight she brings to the Quakers and the problems they faced from within, from each other, and the political climate was also fascinating.
One can’t help but become passionate about the wrongs done to others, the ignorance of so many, the murderous, selfish cruelties inflicted onto people. Makes you understand better why we fought the Revolution a hundred years later.
The primary sour note for me was how is it that Alice grew so rich that she could afford to return to England with servants and a coach. Admittedly it was 39 years later, but after so much earlier detail, how did she and Richard accumulate so much…and in New Hampshire of all places??? And the comment Alice makes about having gotten used to a so much warmer New Hampshire when she does return to England…um…no, this doesn’t ring through for me. And her reasoning for neither her nor Richard getting in touch with Sam to learn if her husband was still around…oh, please… And wouldn’t Sam have figured out that they would want to know. It’s not like he doesn’t live in the same neck of the woods??!!