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The Quality Of Mercy. Barry Unsworth (2012)

by Barry Unsworth(Favorite Author)
3.68 of 5 Votes: 2
0099538229 (ISBN13: 9780099538226)
Sacred Hunger
review 1: I am a huge fan of sacred hunger by Barry Unsworth and read this book with great delight. It continues on with some of the characters from the first book and is a compelling read. I was completely immersed in 18th century Britain, its politics and injustices. However, as the end of the book drew near, I couldn't imagine how the story could finish in such a short time..... and it didn't. It seemed an abrupt and unsatisfactory ending. I wanted to find out there was a third book in the series, but was disappointed to learn there is not.
review 2: I really enjoyed "Sacred Hunger" but thought "The Quality..." was even better. Michael Sullivan's journey north, and the stories of the miners and their families, were the best for me. When you realise that Kemp is going
... moreto see Sullivan in Thorpe - and then does - it's heart-pounding stuff. Kemp remains an enigmatic character, but with small insights so that at the end, despite all the misery (& death) he has caused, you want his future marriage with Jane to work, and not all for her sake. When he lets his guard down and can't help but show her feelings, it brings a little hope to us that he can be changed. He rejects revenge on Sullivan, and respects Michael Bordon's decision, so surely he is on the road to redemption. My favourite scene was in the alehouse, when Bordon says to Sullivan "tha brought me a gift, coming here" - these men would hardly speak so sentimentally if not driven to do so by compulsion, and Bordon's fate is heart-breaking. Unsworth carries the historical background lightly and the details, such as the nosegays in court, gently remind us of the cruelties of those times. My only criticism is that he doesn't always "show", he "tells" us sometimes of a character's disposition, but otherwise a great follow-up, showing us how the devastating slave trade was echoed & resonating throughout British society. He will be much missed. less
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This was hard to get into, but by the end I enjoyed it. Now I have to read Sacred Hunger.
Sea turtle loving woman meets researcher, love, loss, blah blah blah.
well, really it's 3.5 stars.
Great book
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