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A Far Better Rest [NOOK Book]

Overview

The French Revolution is vividly brought to life in a brilliant retelling of the classic story that has captured the imagination of readers since the 1850s.
In Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, Sydney Carton is an almost ancillary character. Dickens' novel tells us the stories of Charles Darnay, Lucie Manette, and Alexandre Manette. Carton disappears from the novel for eleven chapters and several years, reappearing without warning to bring the novel to its chilling and ...
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A Far Better Rest

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Overview

The French Revolution is vividly brought to life in a brilliant retelling of the classic story that has captured the imagination of readers since the 1850s.
In Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, Sydney Carton is an almost ancillary character. Dickens' novel tells us the stories of Charles Darnay, Lucie Manette, and Alexandre Manette. Carton disappears from the novel for eleven chapters and several years, reappearing without warning to bring the novel to its chilling and heartbreaking end. Yet Dickens is silent about the circumstances that transformed Carton from a promising youth to an embittered alcoholic and finally to the man who makes the ultimate sacrifice for love. A Far Better Rest imagines his missing personal history and makes him the center of this tragic tale.

Born in England of a wealthy, unloving father and a French mother, Sydney is sent to study in Paris, where he meets Charles Darnay and the other students—Robespierre and Camille Desmoulins among them—who will have enormous influence on his life and alter the course of French history. Years later, when Sydney, disinherited, is living a lonely and purposeless existence in London, Charles reenters his life. The beauty and kindness of Charles's wife, Lucie Manette, affects Sydney so deeply that he secretly devotes his life to her happiness.

At last abandoning London for Paris, Sydney becomes a witness to the formation of the French Republic at the end of the eighteenth century and also to one of the most turbulent periods in history. A Far Better Rest is a novel of passion, identity, and history that stands fully in its own right.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940012937001
  • Publisher: Bella Rosa Books
  • Publication date: 6/7/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

The granddaughter of children's author Lillie V. Albrecht (author of Deborah Remembers, The Spinning Wheel Secret, and three other historicals), Susanne Alleyn definitely doesn't write for children, unless, like her, they have found guillotines, high drama, and the French Revolution fascinating since the age of ten or so.

Susanne was born in Munich, Germany, and grew up in Massachusetts and New York City. After studying acting and singing, and earning a B.F.A. in theater from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Susanne eventually came to the conclusion that, as an actor, she was quite a good writer, and that sending out manuscripts to editors and agents was still easier on the nerves than going to auditions. (She can, nevertheless, still sing a high C when requested.) Having been unwholesomely fascinated by the French Revolution since she read the Classics Illustrated comic-book version of A Tale of Two Cities, she set out to write about it. Her debut novel, A Far Better Rest, a reimagining of A Tale of Two Cities (what else?) from the point of view of Sydney Carton, was published in 2000.

Though a longtime fan, she had never considered writing mysteries, however, until she suddenly found herself creating a historical mystery plot suggested by an actual series of murders committed in Paris in the early 1800s. Police agent Aristide Ravel made his first appearance in Game of Patience and returned in A Treasury of Regrets, both set in Paris in the Directoire period of 1796-97.

The Cavalier of the Apocalypse and Palace of Justice, the third and fourth mysteries in the series and both prequels, appeared in 2009 and 2010. Susanne intends to cover the entire Revolutionary period in future novels. She would like to add that she speaks French very badly.

Susanne and her three cats live in Albany, NY.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

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(6)

4 Star

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(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2001

    Concerned Professor

    I have submitted at least two reviews for this work. While I realise that my views may not be uniform with others expressed on this site, I still do not feel that is adequate reason to discount my vote. I was apalled to read 'Cookie or Candy or Buttercup' recite a basically meaningless review, while my review, the work of much thought and thorough research throughout A FAR BETTER REST was discounted. I felt slighted, as a 5-star review, utterly mindless in objective, surpass my 3-star review, which, again, while not the majority opinion, still deserved some measure of recognition. I remain convinced, however, that there was merely some misunderstanding. I trust that the Barnes and Noble webmasters will expediently correct this error. Thank you for your consideration and time.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2000

    Wonderful novel of the French Revolution

    A Far Better Rest is a wonderful retelling of A Tale of Two Cities from Sydney Carton's point of view. It tells the story of Carton's entire life, filling in the gaps in A Tale of Two Cities, where Carton disappears for several years. But not only does Susanne Alleyn do a great job at filling in Carton's 'missing years', but she also writes an excellent novel of the French Revolution that stands completely on its own. Yes, it does help if you've read A Tale of Two Cities first, but it is not absolutely necessary. I have not read it for several years, and it's amazing how much I had forgotten. (For example, I had forgotten that Sydney Carton had gone to school in France.) Alleyn's description of the events of the Revolution is far more accurate than Dickens', as she explains in the afterword. Also, I love the way Alleyn introduces historical figures into her narrative; it was a clever touch, to have Carton and Darnay go to school with Robespierre and Desmoulins,for example. And Alleyn's original characters, especially Eleonore, are great additions to the story. I have read many historical novels about the French Revolution; this is one of the best.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2001

    I LOVE JUNK BOOKS

    I hated A TALE OF TWO CITIES. It was too good and sofistikated for mee. But mrs. suzannes FAR BETTA REST was soooooooooo good. Itt apeeled to a lazee reader like me. Good jub, mrs. suzannes. LUV YA

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2000

    In A Word 'Outstanding'!

    Absolutely wonderful reading. Susanne Alleyn¿s style brings you accurately into the world of the French revolution even deeper than Dickens¿ 'Two Cities'. It does stand on its own. Susanne's approach and writing brings us a story which is fresh and alive. Her story is one into which you can sink you teeth. Its beefy and deep. Even for those who are not necessarily into historic novels or romance A' Far Better Rest' offers excellent reading. Outstanding work by a first time novelists! ONE WARNING: Be sure you are comfortable, with your favorite beverage and munchies near by. Once you pick it up and start reading you won¿t want to put it down! Five stars or two thumbs -up on this one. You¿ll love it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2000

    Adds believability to Dickens' classic tale

    For anyone who found the plot and ambiance of A Tale of Two Cities exhilarating but was somewhat disappointed by Dickens' lack of depth in characters and blatant misportrayal of historical fact, Susanne Alleyn's vivid reimagining of Dickens' classic does much to enhance the believability of the original work. While maintaining Dickens' air of tense and high drama, as well as (quite incredibly) Dickens' language, Alleyn adds depth and background to Sydney Carton's ultimate self-sacrifice and does pays much attention to the historical details of the French Revolution, something Dickens himself scrupulously neglected. By weaving compelling strands of Dickens' original plot together with some brilliant ones of her own (including Eleanore d'Ambert, Carton's brilliant and brave lover who I like a lot more than Lucie :)) , Alleyn makes Carton's final decision more understandable, and yet, far more laudable. A Far Better Rest is an exquisitely crafted page-turner that will have surprises even for the most avid reader of Dickens.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2000

    a great story!

    Susanne Alleyn's debut novel is a virtual time machine that transports the reader to the 18th century.You feel as if you are really there in this retelling of Dickens' Tale.Sydney Carton narrates the story of his life and the part he plays in the French Revolution.There are many historical and fictional characters woven together in this riveting account of love and sacrifice.If you like A Tale of Two Cities, then A Far Better Rest is a must read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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