Now We Shall Be Entirely Free: The Waterstones Scottish Book of the Year 2019

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Now We Shall Be Entirely Free: The Waterstones Scottish Book of the Year 2019

Now We Shall Be Entirely Free: The Waterstones Scottish Book of the Year 2019

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To appease Spanish outrage an English corporal and a Spanish officer are commissioned to track down and kill the English captain in charge of the guilty soldiers. There might have been a couple of places that my interest was flagging but it was a page each at best–so not an issue! Miller also intentionally or unintentionally repurposes the My Lai massacre as part of his historical fantasy, even incorporating the names of three court martialed US Army officers. Exactly what, and how bad, we are left to imagine, while a fellow officer arrives to remind him that he is still a soldier and should report for duty when recovered. Having spent many happy holidays on Hebridean islands, I was frustrated for a while by not knowing on which island Lacroix lands because I wanted to be able to picture it and not have it as a generic Scottish island.

He was afraid he would say it – that Emily would ask some perfectly innocent question and he would say it. But the focus falls on Emily, whose sight is failing and who fears the loss of her “small independence”. The All Seeing Eye represents a higher power keeping watch over humankind - a symbol of protection, good karma and inner peace. It’s equally interested in its villains and it’s heroes, and gives a lot of energy to its peripheral figures.I became aware of this book through the November 11, 2019 issue of the New Yorker in its Briefly Noted section. The concept of “total war” was articulated by Carl von Clausewitz, (in his book On War ) immediately after the Napoleonic wars, published in 1832).

I liked Oxygen and Pure; I really liked his earlier Ingenious Pain; I felt The Crossing, his last novel, was a breakthrough.There is a villain but one gets acquainted with this villain’s childhood, and…well I won’t say anything more because I don’t want to include any spoilers about this book.

A Spanish officer, Medina, is sent along to bear witness to the execution, though he suspects they’re on a fool’s errand. In practice though I discovered that this was the type of book that I do not enjoy when it is longlisted – The North Water being the closest parallel. I didn’t like the writing style and at page 219 I still hadn’t connected with any the characters, I just didn’t care about anything or anyone.The Frend family are foragers for historical evidence; they study rocks and are ardently opposed to meat eating. This book has many layers, Lacroix’s convoluted journey is peopled by some very interesting characters, and is full of many surprising twists and turns. John Lacroix, a wounded British officer in his early 30s, is being transported back to the barely inhabited Somerset estate of his deceased father.

In luminous prose, Miller portrays a man shattered by what he has witnessed, on a journey that leads to unexpected friendships, even to love. What makes other times and places recognisable and relevant is the similarity to us of the people who inhabit them. Having finished Now We Shall Be Entirely Free, I am further impressed and really need to seek out the ones I haven’t read. Andrew Miller's talent for immersive world-building, fully-rounded characterizations, profound emotional and philisophical meditations, combined with exciting plotting are all on display in this novel.The second sentence in the book makes reference to the left hand horse of a pair in tandem and this simply makes no sense. So, when both parallel stories take their characters to the same location, you have to initially assume they are there at the same time because there is no way to know that, but the book would make little sense if it were not the case.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
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