Forever Amber

Forever Amber

4.6 102
by Kathleen Winsor

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Abandoned pregnant and penniless on the teeming streets of London, 16-year-old Amber St. Clare manages, by using her wits, beauty, and courage, to climb to the highest position a woman could achieve in Restoration England—that of favorite mistress of the Merry Monarch, Charles II. From whores and highwaymen to courtiers and noblemen, from events such as the…  See more details below


Abandoned pregnant and penniless on the teeming streets of London, 16-year-old Amber St. Clare manages, by using her wits, beauty, and courage, to climb to the highest position a woman could achieve in Restoration England—that of favorite mistress of the Merry Monarch, Charles II. From whores and highwaymen to courtiers and noblemen, from events such as the Great Plague and the Fire of London to the intimate passions of ordinary—and extraordinary—men and women, Amber experiences it all. But throughout her trials and escapades, she remains, in her heart, true to the one man she really loves, the one man she can never have. Frequently compared to Gone with the Wind, Forever Amber is the other great historical romance, outselling every other American novel of the 1940s—despite being banned in Boston for its sheer sexiness. A book to read and reread, this edition brings back to print an unforgettable romance and a timeless masterpiece.

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Editorial Reviews

Seattle Post-Intelligencer
A lusty historical novel.
As a feat of storytelling, Forever Amber is irresistible.
Gale Research
"It wasn't such a daring book, " maintains Kathleen Winsor in defense of her first novel, Forever Amber. "I wrote only two sexy passages, and my publishers took both of them out. They put in ellipses instead. In those days, you could solve everything with an ellipse." Regardless of both her own opinion and her publisher's attempts to cool the passionate episodes, Forever Amber caused a nationwide scandal and was banned in Boston, Massachusetts, as an obscene and offensive book.

Product Details

Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
Rediscovered Classics Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 2.00(d)

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I first read Forever Amber when I was a teenager and I remember that I could not put it down. In fact, I read it so quickly, I immediately re-read it, to be certain I hadn't missed anything important. At the time, all of my girlfriends had their noses buried in it, and like me they found it compulsive and compelling reading. I became a fan of the author and read all of her other novels as they were published over the years, from Star Money to Calais. But Forever Amber has remained a particular favorite of mine.When I was recently asked to write an introduction to this new edition I picked up the novel again, and once more I discovered it was a genuine page-turner that had lost nothing over the years. Time had not dimmed it, nor had the changing fashions in fiction diminished it. The book remains a smashing read, as compelling now as it was all those years ago. -Barbara Taylor Bradford

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Forever Amber 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 101 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Amber is a less-likeable, English, Scarlett O'Hara, but that doesn't make this book 'Gone With the Wind.' I found her an utterly unsympathetic heroine. If she can't get her way by sleeping with somebody, she'll whine about it and throw things. The only time I really found myself enjoying reading this book was during the plague scene, where she and Bruce are quarantined together and forced to take turns nursing each other back to health. But after that, things get back to normal. I might have liked Bruce more if he didn't continue sleeping with Amber while professing to love his sweet, little American wife. Amber seems to get a come-uppance in the end, but the author leaves it ambiguous, as if she was planning some sequel that never got written. It left me shaking my head. I often see this book on the same lists as 'GWTW' and Anya Seton's 'Katherine.' It doesn't hold a candle to either of them. If you want a good historical romance read one of them.
ranger_doj More than 1 year ago
The heroism and ambition of Amber makes this book an automatic page turner and I found it very hard to put down. From just a dream and a longing to become more then a farm girl, she built her life and gained a title for herself in a time where ambition in females was extremely frowned on. Hands down one of the best books I've ever read!
eeyeager More than 1 year ago
This book has wonderful stories of adventure, romance and intrigue. I enjoyed the historical fiction of King Charles' court and time era. The problem with the book is that the characters go on forever (the book is appropriately named) without an ending and I require a happy ending to really enjoy a book. Call me unrealistic, but that's one of many reasons I read.
OceanJL More than 1 year ago
I read the flyleaf in Barnes & Noble and truly want to read the book, but I don't want to lug around a huge book when I could read it on my Nook. Please, please, please make it available on Nook!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have greatly enjoyed Forever Amber, which takes you through major happening of the 17th century (from the great fire of London to the Plague to the fashion of the era.) This book is recommended to anyone who loves the history of England mixed with a story of love and lust.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is exactly, but exactly, the kind of book they don¿t write any more¿big and lush, full of intrigue, and overflowing with romance and detail. Amber may not be the kind of woman who makes a good role model, but she makes a terrific heroine. Just about every page¿and there are a lot of pages in this huge book¿has a new turn of events, as Amber makes her ruthless way up the ladder of Restoration England. The case can be made that Winsor wrote this book to take advantage of the success a few years earlier of Gone With the Wind, but that doesn¿t detract one iota from its pleasures. You can¿t have too much of a good thing. An enormous spectacle, as dramatic as they come, this one shouldn¿t be missed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can't wait to find another book by this author
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I discovered Forever Amber MANY years ago as a teenager and have reread it dozens of times as well as loaned it to many others (often having to replace it when I didn't get it back). Truly a classic in that it never goes "out of style". Don't understand the review which stated it was written by a man-COME ON!!! This is so obviously a woman's story::Amber may be labelled as immoral but she loved one man and one only in her life-the others were poor substitutes for Bruce. His infidelity to his wife (who is one of the truly likeable characters in the book) seems shocking to us now but that wasn't so unusual in that time. Charles II is drawn as considerably more sympathetic than the history books describe him--his story and that of his mistresses is a great subplot. All in all an excellent adventure that stands the test of time. As usual the movie with Cornel Wilde and Linda Darnell couldn't begin to do justice to the book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
920 pages of historical fiction. Follows Amber during the restoration of Charles 2's decadent England. Packed with historical figures & lustful without any graffic loves scenes. Great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Banned in the 1950's considered too risqué-she does a great job describing the décor/habits/clothing/mileau of the time-King Charles Restoration-slightly bodice ripperish at times-but still what fun to read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this so long ago i had forggoten how captivating the strory is
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MarianaR More than 1 year ago
This book stays with you forever. My great aunt read this when she was 16, my mother after her at the same age, and then it was my turn a few years back to pick up this book. I was instantly drawn into the world of Amber and could not put it down! At frist the thickness of the novel had my 16 year old self doubtful but it went by too quickly. I'm 20 now and have given this book to many of my friends who also fell in love with the story. Amber to me wasn't "unsympathetic" at all. She loved only one man in her entire life and I'm sure will always love him, but he never loved her back. The characters were completely fleshed out and dynamic. Kathleen Winsor made this story feel real and true! I can see why in the 1940's this book was banned from the public but now in 2013 it isn't risque at all. A must read, you will not be disappointed!!  SPOILER ALERT** The ending however is a little unsatisfactory because she doesn't end up with the man she loves. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My all-time favorite historical romance. Amber is a 17th century Scarlett O'Hara; self-centered, vain, passionate, and courageous. She is one of those characters you love to hate, and yet you can't help but admire her. The book is also a wonderful and vivid - and fairly accurate - account of Restoration England.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KLS500 More than 1 year ago
Oh do I ever remember "Forever Amber" as being one of my all time favorite books that I just couldn't put down! I went into labor with my now 40 year old son when I was close to the end of reading it, and had my husband keep my place with every labor pain. It was finished before his birth and had he been a girl, she would have been named Amber. It's without a doubt one of the most memorable books of my life. Now it's long past time to read it again if only it was Nook available! We've come a long way baby. ;)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bought this book several years ago in hard cover, and just now read it on nook. Soo glad I did. Loved it!!!! Its a real classic. Want to keep the memory; forever .
goldieinaz More than 1 year ago
Have this book many times and just love it! Would love to have it on my nook to read. Pleassseeee do the book in nook form.