Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyAs 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)
School Library JournalA real gem. Julia, daughter in a Cavalier family, is charged to keep the only remaining Elizabethan gown and the family estate safe in Puritan England. This becomes especially difficult when the home is officially owned by a Roundhead fanatic. Julia is in love with the family friend, Christopher Wren, whose career grows from astronomer to architect. Laker presents the lifestyles of the rich and the lower class in detail. The entertaining plot unfolds realistically and logically, but with surprises, too. The reading level is not difficult; new vocabulary can be defined in context. There are relatively few characters, so readers come to know them well. The novel continues through the Restoration, the plague, and the great fire. The epilogue occurs 60 years later and ties up loose ends as Julia visits Wren's tomb at St. Paul's and then charges a daughter of the future to keep the circle unbroken, the present learning from the past through a beautiful gown of pearls. --Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA
- Random House Publishing Group
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Circle of Pearls based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
This book is so great. I have been reading this book for the last 24 years. I started at 12 and I am now 36. I have to read it twice a year. I can not count how many times I have had to replace my copy. Julia just steals your heart.
I've loved this book since I first read it right after it came out. I make it a point to read it once a year, it's like seeing an old friend. Rosalind is amazing at capturing history and historical figures, like Christpoher Wren in this book. As with all of her books she isn't afarid to be realistic with life's ups and downs. Her books are bitter sweet and hard not to shed at least some tears but always leave you with a warm feeling in your heart.