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Posted August 11, 2012
This excellent book is about two young Dutch lovers, Gerard Eliason and Margaret Brandt, forced to separate by an avaricious burgomaster. Gerard makes his way to Rome after many adventures and encounters and starts saving for his triumphal return to claim Margret. He receives a forged letter telling him that Margret is dead and in despair, becomes a friar. Margret is not only alive but has given birth to thier son.
The plot's twists and turns as the lies are exposed and the lovers reunited are spellbinding. Fans of Ken Follett's writing will wonder if he ghost-wrote this novel till they remember that Reade wrote this novel approximately a century before Follett's birth. One giveaway is that Follett does not use humor and insight into human nature as well as Reade. As a Follett fan, I have to admit that this novel is better than anything Follett has done to date.