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Circle Of Pearls

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  390 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
The life of Julia Pallister in 17th century England (1641-1670 with Prologue set in 1723) includes her grandmother's ties with Queen Elizabeth, her father's fighting for Charles II in England's bloody civil war and her first love in famous architect-to-be Christopher Wren.
Paperback, 624 pages
Published 1991 by Corgi; New Ed edition (first published 1990)
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The story begins with Julia, youngest child of Royalists Robert and Anne Pallister, and her older brother Michael as they live in the constant fear of their estate being taken from them by Cromwell's Parliamentarians, as England's civil war rages around them. Michael and Robert both join Charles II's cause and subsequent tragedies strike the family leaving Robert's widow Anne to make a drastic choice to avoid loosing her family home forever to a Cromwell supporter. As Julia matures, the story fo ...more
Not so bad considering the last part of the book, describing the Plague and the London's fire.
Sep 17, 2016 Kristina rated it it was amazing
I first read this book when I was in my twenties and discovered Rosalind Laker’s novels in my local library. I then proceeded to read every book that my library had in stock. I was delighted when I had a chance to read this book again. Ms. Laker does a remarkable job of making you feel that you are in that historical time period. Amazing detail such as the beautifully embroidered ribbons (I wanted them). From Ms. Laker’s descriptions you can see what she is describing. You will feel swept up in ...more
Jul 17, 2012 Jessica rated it really liked it
Characterizing this book as simply a romance is definitely a misrepresentation. Though there are some love stories throughout, I would not say they are the complete focus. I loved reading about the English revolution and the familial divisions and devastation it caused. I really enjoyed this book, but two complaints. The first is that it took way too long to get me engrossed. At times in the beginning it seemed hokey. My second qualm was the in many of the situations presented the author seemed ...more
Rachel Gorman
Jul 13, 2014 Rachel Gorman rated it it was amazing
I fell in love with this author as a young teen. This book was a part of readers digest condensed books. After this I devoured any book and bought what ever I could get my hands on by her.
mari dewitt
Feb 19, 2017 mari dewitt rated it it was amazing
Great book! Love historical novels with strong women.
Disclaimer: I received this book for free through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Circle of Pearls follows the life of Julia Pallister, a 17th century woman living during the Commonwealth period of English history. Her family are Royalist sympathizers and thus punished for their support of the king. While their estate has not been claimed by Cromwell's government, certain restrictions are placed on them. For example: her father cannot go beyond a certain distance from the house. Julia
Aug 07, 2016 Kimberly rated it it was amazing
I love novels about strong women who are met with seemingly insurmountable obstacles, and yet are still able to gather their strength and push through. Circle of Pearls involves three women who are able to do just that. Julia is by far the strongest and most complex character in this novel, and it's impossible not to admire her as she helps her family make it through the fire that destroyed England, Cromwell and the English Civil War, as well as personal tragedies. Circle of Pearls takes place d ...more
Andrea Way
I normally try to stay away from books that have been based around the time of the Civil War in the UK and US. I don't normally find them interesting and I struggle to get into the long descriptions of the books. But there was something about this book that said read me. I know that the first was down to the cover it's re-release cover is amazing. Also the fact that the book was also based on a dress owned by Elizabeth the 1st.

I was an interesting book it did not blow my socks of but it was a g
Jan 30, 2016 Memphistigergal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I must admit that the cover of this re-release of Rosalind Laker's novel was what drew me to this book. When I first started reading this book, I expected it to be just a regular historical romance. This book emerged as more of an epic historical novel. It did take my reading about 20% of the book to grab my interest, but then I couldn't wait to come back to it.

This tale starts with the birth of the main character Julia, and takes you through her childhood then early adult life. What most surpri
Jul 03, 2008 Linda rated it really liked it
I enjoy finding new authors to read. Circle of Pearls is set in 17th century England in Sussex. A Royalist family tries to hold onto their beloved estate, Sotherleigh, under the iron-fisted rule of Cromwell and the Parliamentarians, looking forward to the day when King Charles will return to the throne. The narrative focuses on headstrong daughter, Julia, who grows up to be a beautiful, smart and ambitious woman. Laker incorporates key events of the time period like the achievements of Christoph ...more
Jun 11, 2008 Janille rated it it was amazing
I have read Rosalind Laker for years - I first read an excerpt of Circle of Pearls in the old Reader's Digest condensed versions (anybody remember those? Do they still sell them?) This one is probably my favorite of hers, so I bought the hardback cover. She writes amazing historical novels, some that just wrench your heart out (To Dance With Kings-tear jerker!) But Circle is set at the end of the Charles 1st rule in England, before the English Civil War, and during the Cromwellian years, to the ...more
Jul 06, 2008 Mrs. rated it really liked it
Circle of Pearls is set in 17th century England in Sussex. A Royalist family tries to hold onto their beloved estate, Sotherleigh, under the iron-fisted rule of Cromwell and the Parliamentarians, looking forward to the day when King Charles will return to the throne. The story focuses on headstrong daughter, Julia, who grows up to be a beautiful, smart and ambitious woman. Laker incorporates key events of the time period like the achievements of Christopher Wren, the plague and the great fire of ...more
Julie Barrett
Jun 03, 2015 Julie Barrett rated it really liked it
Circle of Pearls
Love how the pearls keep her on track as she finds out what they really mean as she grows older. Starts when she is born and the story continues and parallels the world she lives in, the war times and struggles.
Julia and others are able to save one woman who was being hanged and they didn't believe the punishment had fit the crime.
She becomes a seamstress and her expertise is valued. With the civil war there is much to lose. Love the parts of the inventions and learning sign lang
Jean Brandenburg
Feb 23, 2014 Jean Brandenburg rated it really liked it
This was also a Reader's Digest version and I think that may be a good thing for this one. It takes place in the mid 1600's in England. You follow a young girl and her family through the civil war (I didn't realize that was what it was called when King Charles was exiled) I guess basically it is a romance novel, but it doesn't really seem like one. It's more a story of Julia's life and family. I liked it. It's one failure, in my opinion was the girl, Mary. No one ever tried to marry her off. I d ...more
Mar 29, 2011 Linda rated it liked it
Julia Pallister was born in October 1641 to a family of staunch Royalists with connections back to Elizabeth I. The story of Julia's efforts to save the family estate and avoid marriage to the "boy next door" whom she has always hated, and who is anti Royalist. Her childhood friend Christopher Wren, the famous mathematician and architect, figures in the story, a good picture of 17th century England for historical fiction fans.

If I remember correctly, I was 13 or 14 when I read this. I thought this was like other romance books (J.Lindsey, J.McNaught, etc) but I was mistaken. This tale does not focus on a couple but different people and how they dealt challenges in their time. It's like a romance between man and woman, man and family, man and country.
Susan Brummett
May 29, 2016 Susan Brummett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A glorious book of a glorious time

This book was really enjoyable. I especially enjoyed the very real Sir Christopher Wren. The author did an excellent job of intertwining real people and events with the characters she created. I only just finished the book and I already miss the two main characters. Now, on to my next book, whatever it maybe.
Samantha Marti
Jul 07, 2013 Samantha Marti rated it really liked it
Always a good read. Love this author. I finish her books in two days usually because I can't put them down. Wonderful for a quick read. This is the 7th book I have read by her and I haven't been disappointed yet.
Lynne Coxen
Mar 10, 2016 Lynne Coxen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enchanting book

The author directed the reader through major historical events, by embellishing the intertwined lives and loves of the main characters. Their joys and tragedies resulted in memorable insight into the challenges they faced.
Sep 10, 2012 Connie rated it liked it
It was interesting to read about a family in the historical times when King Charles was murdered and King Charles II was exiled from England. I would like to read more about that time period.
The book left me wanting to know more.
Diane Wachter
RDC-M V 4 1990, 8/91. 17th century England in Puritan times and the restoration. Good.
Endeavour Press
This book is published by Endeavour Press.
Thom Swennes
May 10, 2010 Thom Swennes rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone that enjoys love stories set in the past.
This is a novel set in the time of the English Civil War. It is both informing and interesting.
May 04, 2011 Lorraine rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
Set in England, and features architect Christopher Wren and the Great Fire of London.
Oct 21, 2007 Kelly rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, historical
I read these books for the first time about ten years ago because R. Laker was mentioned as one of my favorite authors biggest influences. I really enjoy these books and reread them.
Aug 04, 2008 Karen rated it it was ok
Fluffy historical romance - got it for free at the train station - fine up until the end when it got too farfetched
Oct 27, 2008 Melissa rated it really liked it
Historical romance. Takes place in England during the time of Cromwell and Charles II. Very good!
Jan 03, 2013 Kim rated it really liked it
She writes great historical novels with strong female characters.
Sep 03, 2011 Peggy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So incredible! A must-read. The historical perspective is fascinating, a history lesson you cannot put down.
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A pseudonym used by Barbara Øvstedal.

Barbara Øvstedal was an author previously writing under the pseudonym Barbara Paul and Barbara Douglas. She wrote a few books under this pseudonym but later changed to Rosalind Laker when Barbara Paul gained recognition. Her many books include The Sugar Pavilion and To Dance with Kings.
More about Rosalind Laker...

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