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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Review - Cynthia Harrod Eagles - THE RESTLESS SEA


Each book in the series though linked through the Morland dynasty can very well stand alone. The book will emphasize one or two characters who are the major stake holders in the book with a supplementary cast of actors as it were.

This particular book deals with the period 1910 onwards - where England and Europe though aware of the growing Nazi menace were not aware of the rapidity with which the war would come upon them. Life continued apace of course with huge strides in several fields. The development of Aviation was one - where flyers as pilots were called were considered eccentric and by the end of this book, aviation was here to stay. Towards the end of this book, the war seems to loom very close and conscription is spoken about and requisition particularly in the Morland context of their beloved horses.

The biggest story in this book for me was the suffragette movement and the struggle of women in England - from Mrs. Pankhurt to Anne Farradine to everyone big and small who fought, and indeed died in the process of trying to get the vote for women. This part of the story affected me very much because here in Sri Lanka we women did nothing, and still got the vote handed to us on a platter. The struggle through which all categories of women went through to fight the unfair attitude of the ruling aristocracy and the government who considered it just not right that women should not only have the franchise but also for fair wages which was even worse in my opinion. The Cat and Mouse Act which referred to the arbitrary persecution and imprisonment of women who then went on a hunger fast and who were then quickly released in case they died in prison and within ten to fourteen days were then again taken into custody where they continued their struggle is highlighted in this book.

It was horrifying to read about police brutality as somehow in my naivety I never thought about British police and such acts. I thought these were confined to our part of the world only! It was difficult to visualize this particularly in England of that time. It was an eye opener.

The story of the Titanic - from the inception of its design to the actual voyage is very much part of this story and the Morland connection of Teddy Morland who supplied all the linens for the liner and who made the maiden voyage along with his niece Lizza and Ashley and their family who were going to America in search of a new life is very much part of the story. The story of the Titanic hashed and rehashed so many times over, gets an absolutely new twist in the story but that would be a spoiler.

Unlike the other books the story of the Titanic and the Cat and Mouse Act dominate the story - of course with people from the Morland clan.

As usual an extremely enjoyable read. I am going to be sorry when I come to the end of all the books.

5 comments:

Blodeuedd said...

Great review as always :D What a family legacy these people have

chelleyreads said...

sounds interesting. i've seen this novel around but haven't read any reviews.

Amused said...

Oh I have the first book in the series! I can't wait to start reading these!

DCMetroreader said...

Fascinating time period & sounds like a great read!

Marie said...

this sounds like a great read! :-)