Circles of Time

Circles of Time is Phillip Rock’s second book in his trilogy of Abingdon Pryory. You can read it without having read the first (there’s enough overlap of info that you won’t be confused as to who’s who and what’s what) but I suggest you start at the beginning. It’s like trying to watch season 2 of Downton Abbey without having watched season 1 – why would you? Time marches on at Abingdon Pryory, the Greville family are coping with the aftermath of WWI, rebuilding their precious “estate” to it’s former glory. William and Charles, both of who were wounded in battle – in different ways (I don’t like to give anything away) get on with dealing with their demons. Beautiful, smart Alex comes to admit to her mother’s desire for a proper marriage to a proper British gentleman, and along with Martin, the American cousin who has become an international success as a journalist, they all figure large in the book and it’s a great read. It’s the age of jazz, looser morals, changing ideas and ideals. But all is not good. On the horizon is the problem of what to do about Germany, left battered and broken by the war. Someone named Hitler has appeared on the scene and he’s slowly winning over the minds of the broken, hungry, and destitute. I love the book, maybe even more than book #1 (less war stuff) but it’s hard to say since that one was a favourite too. I just wonder why we’ve never heard of these books before. Rock wrote this book in 1981-  he died in 2004. I bet it’s the Downton Abbey craze that has brought them to the forefront now. Better late than never is what I say. The writing is terrific, and you’ll get just as caught up in his 3 books as the blockbuster TV series. I want to keep book #3  to read when I’m away in a few weeks, but it’s going to be really hard to keep from peeking.

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