by Rose Tremain
Category: Fiction / Historical
371 pages; ISBN: 0140244883
Rating: 10/10 (Ratings explained)
from the back cover: To young Robert Merivel, the court of Charles II seems like Paradise. Summoned to the court as doctor to the royal dogs, Merivel soons find himself married to the king's mistress and the recipient of a lavish estate. But his good fortune comes to an abrupt end when he make a serious mistake. Merivel falls in love with his own wife and he must escape or be punished. Laced with acutely observed historical detail, humor, and poignancy, RESTORATION is a dazzling and entertaining romp through seventeenth-century England.
RESTORATION is in many ways a serious book for serious readers. It's humorous but not light; heart-wrenching and heart-breaking as we watch Merivel fall from grace and redeem himself. He's a lovingly wrought character - unattractive, unsubtle, untalented, insensitive, imperfect, venial - yet ultimately loveable. I was constantly reminded of Samuel Pepys - Merivel shares his brashness and lust for life and, like Pepys, glories in his own imperfections.