Forever Amber: The whore is a bore

The period of the English Restoration, when England rejected the Puritan Oliver Cromwell Puritanism in favor of the profligate Charles II, is the setting for Kathleen Winsor’s Forever Amber.

Amber St. Clair is the orphaned love child of a couple whose families were on opposite sides during the English Civil War. When the Cavaliers come through town, Amber is seduced at 16 by Bruce, Lord Carlton, who tells her he won’t marry her and proves it by going off privateering.

Left to her own resources, Amber marries for money a man who marries her for her money.

Both are disillusioned.

Amber winds up in debtor’s prison. She escapes through her sexual prowess and begins a series of alliances designed to raise her social status and income.

“The brilliant, lavish, exciting life of an exclusive harlot seemed to her a most pleasant one,” Windsor says.

From then on, Amber’s life is a series of sexual alliances that ultimately take her to the bedchamber of the king himself.

When Amber’s enemies finally figure how to get rid of her, it is 450 pages too late to do readers any good.

Forever Amber is simply an interminable bore.

Forever Amber
By Kathleen Winsor
Macmillan, 1944
652 pages
Bestseller #4 for 1944
Bestseller #1 for 1945
My grade: D+

© 2014 Linda Gorton Aragoni

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Linda Aragoni

I read. I write. I think. I make big ideas simple. I help teachers teach expository writing to teens and adults. In my free time, I read and review old novels.

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