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Taking Liberties (Makepeace Hedley #2)

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  372 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
From the author also known as Ariana Franklin-the thrilling sequel to A Catch of Consequence that "moves at a cracking pace."( London Times)

Makepeace Hedley is frantic when she learns that her young daughter, sailing home to England from the rebelling American colonies, has been taken prisoner by the British. With her usual determination, Makepeace sets out for Plymouth t
Paperback, 464 pages
Published October 5th 2004 by Berkley (first published 2003)
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Deborah I agree with you! And I'm sad to see that the next book in the series focuses on an adult Philippa. Too bad Norman passed away--no chance for a Diana…moreI agree with you! And I'm sad to see that the next book in the series focuses on an adult Philippa. Too bad Norman passed away--no chance for a Diana sequel. :(

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Community Reviews

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Jamie Collins
Sep 06, 2015 Jamie Collins rated it really liked it
Very much enjoyed the second novel in this historical fiction trilogy, set during the American Revolution.

Makepeace leaves her business in York for Plymouth, where she struggles to free an imprisoned American friend whose ship was captured by the British - who aren’t exchanging prisoners because to do so would acknowledge America’s sovereignty.

The book introduces a great new main character, a countess who has been freed from a virtual prison by the death of her miserable husband. Makepeace and t
Aug 31, 2008 Barb rated it liked it
Recommends it for: serious lovers of historical fiction
I was really excited about reading this, the continuation of Makepeace Burke's story that started out in 'A Catch of Consequence' but I found myself a little disappointed.

Diana Norman left us hanging at the end of 'Consequence' with an unfinished story and I was hoping that this book would pick up closer to where we left off with the first one.

Instead we learn that the recently widowed Countess Diana Stacpoole finds herself doing a favor for a childhood friend and in the process she meets Makep
Aug 13, 2009 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-edition
I loved this one, the 2nd in the Makepeace Burke series. I loved this tale of two women from completely different worlds, ultimately becoming friends through a shared humanitarian goal. I love how well Diana Norman weaves history lessons into all of her novels especially since I have a special fondness for smuggling stories!

This is the 2nd in the Makepeace Burke series, yet stands very well on its own. There are so many layers to this tale I don't think I have the writing ability to do them all
Aug 20, 2008 Misfit rated it liked it
Not great, but not that bad either. This book continues the story of Makepeace Burke and her family as the Revolutionary War begins. Her daughter is missing off a ship headed back to England and her journey to find Phillippa ends up dragging her into treatment of the American prisoners and smuggling. I'm in agreement with another reviewer, it took at least 300 pages to get things cooking, and with a 450 page book that's way too long for me. I also felt there were too many secondary characters, I ...more
Jan 28, 2017 Deborah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book in Diana Norman's "Makepeace Hedley" series. You may be familiar with Norman's alter ego, Ariana Franklin (Mistress of the Art of Death). In the first novel, A Catch of Consequence, we met Makepeace, a redheaded pubkeeper in colonial Boston. Her adventures took her to England, where she married first a nobleman and then a rugged miner. Near the end of the book, Makepeace sent her eldest daughter back to the colonies, accompanied by her friend Susan and Josh, the artistic ...more
Roman Clodia
Jun 09, 2016 Roman Clodia rated it really liked it
If you've read Norman's 'Catch of Consequence' then you have to read this as it continues the life and adventures of Makepeace Hedley (although it's no problem at all to read this as a stand-alone novel). Set in the late C18th during the American war of independance, it engages with serious ethical issues of liberty - both personal and political - prejudice, honour, obligation vs. duty, but has them underlie the novel and its characters rather than become a moralising sermon, bludgeoning the rea ...more
Rosina Lippi
Jan 11, 2010 Rosina Lippi rated it it was amazing
This novel is a sequel to Norman’s A Catch of Consequence. We pick up the story of Makepeace Burke’s life, and find that she hasn’t got any more mellow with age; she’s driven, and she drives everyone around her, though with a basic goodness of heart and the best of intentions. In this novel she sets out to find her eleven year old daughter, who was on board an American ship sunk by the British (this is the War of 1812, and sea travel is dangerous). At the same time a new character — Lady Diana S ...more
Jan 14, 2013 John rated it really liked it
“As the immediate family and the priest emerged from the crypt in which they had delivered the corpse of the Earl of Stacpoole to its last resting place, his Countess met the gaze of the rest of the mourners in the chapel and saw not one wet eye. Which made it unanimous.”
And that opening is the reason I picked this book up in the first place (and its prequel) For this is the sequel to A Catch of Consequences. In her second Makepeace novel, Norman crafts a narrative that brings together two women
Torn between 4 & 5 stars. I really enjoyed this book; more than the preceding book A Catch of Consequence. For one thing, the main character, Diana, Dowager Countess of Stacpoole, is not subjected to as much real-time adversity as Makepeace was in the first book. There is still tragedy, but much of it either happens before the book starts, or to supporting characters. In this story, Diana newly widowed, emotionally frozen after years of surviving an abusive marriage. Society and family would ...more
Jul 20, 2011 Denise rated it liked it
#2 in the Makepeace Burke trilogy. The story continues with Makepeace (now married to her Northumberland coal mine manager) who has become one of the wealthiest women in England. She is soon to make the acquaintance of Diana, the Countess of Stacpoole. It's a clash of classes as the fiery, red-haired Makepeace clashes with the blonde and dignified blue blood. I didn't enjoy this book as much as the first because the plot ran "back/forth" too much. But I did appreciate the part where Makepeace (w ...more
Nov 01, 2008 Marleen rated it really liked it
Recommended to Marleen by: Leuven Library
Shelves: favorites
This is a wonderful sequel to "A Catch of Consequence" and another sparkling historical winner from Diana Norman. Makepeace Burke (now Mrs Hedley) is as wonderful and as tempestuous, although tougher, as in the first book. She's just one of the most treasured female characters I've come across in a very long time. We also meet Lady Diana Stacpole, another remarkable and sympathetic heroine of her time, who is in all ways, Makepeace's opposite.
The two female lead characters take us on believable
Lynda Toews
Sep 27, 2016 Lynda Toews rated it really liked it
This book is the second in the series of the adventures of Makepeace Burke. Without including too much in the way of spoilers for book 1, I can say that in the search for her eldest daughter Philippa, the heroine discovers and experiences life in 17th Century British prisons, including those for prisoners of war. Likewise, she becomes enmeshed in the smugglers' trade. The reader sees the heroine sometimes from the perspective of an upper class widow by the name of Diana, Dowager Countess of Stac ...more
Alethea White-Previs
Jan 17, 2016 Alethea White-Previs rated it really liked it
This book is the sequel to A CATCH OF CONSEQUENCE that I read in August. I was very much looking forward to it, and I thought it was fantastic. Not only did it focus on the continuing life of Makepeace Hedley (nee Burke), but it also introduced the character of Countess Diana Stacpoole. This latter undergoes a radical transformation from oppressed wife of a sadistic earl to free-thinking reformer. It was nice to read a continuation that opened up a new character's life and seamlessly blends it w ...more
Jul 28, 2009 Christy rated it it was amazing
I love this book too! It's funny because in the first book it was Makepeace who really was the center of the story and I just loved her. I didn't like her nearly as much in this book, but I loved the other lead character, Diana. I learned lots of really cool things about smuggling, the Revolutionary War (mostly from the British point of view), and the role of women in 1770 England. I'm so thankful to my Goodreads friend Renae for her review of the first book that led me to these books. I already ...more
Sep 17, 2014 Karen rated it liked it
I don't like her writing style, but the story was good. It took about three chapters to really get sucked in, but went pretty quickly after that. I enjoyed the strong female characters, especially The Missus. However, I related personally so much more with Her Ladyship. I think Norman was very realistic in her portrayal of what it is like to try to find ones self after living in a state of bondage to another person.
Mar 13, 2010 Joy rated it really liked it
Another wonderful, interesting book from Diana Norman/Ariana Franklin! This one, similar to her others was a little slow in the beginning, but picked up about 1/3 of the way in. This is the 2nd of the Makepeace Headly series and takes place in Plymouth, England during the Revolutionary war (around 1778). This book really focuses on freedom and liberty (surprising given the title! ha) and what that means regarding race, gender, and class. Loved it.
Nov 29, 2016 Jackie rated it it was amazing
Loved loved loved, although I read it as a standalone. Other reviewers may want more from the first book? I haven't read that one. Characters, 11 out of 10. Plot, 11 out of 10. Writing, fabulous. Setting, so real. So original with two heroines and the ending was like Oceans eleven. Makes all the other historical fiction writers look like teeny boppers. Reminded me of My Name is Resolute but I think I liked the characters better here.
Jan 06, 2009 Jan rated it it was amazing
Two women, an American and an aristocrat, take an instant dislike to one another in Revolutionary War England, but end up risking life and limb for each other. The world is changing and these women are seeking liberty for themselves and others. Great plot, characters and setting. Engrossing and thought-provoking.
Jul 28, 2009 Renae rated it liked it
This was a really good follow up to A Catch of Consequence. I loved the first book and I wasn't expecting this to be as good, but it held it's own. I was more wrapped up in Diana's story than in Makepeace's story this time. I felt the first half of this book could have been shortened quite a bit with the same effect. Most annoying characters: Robert & Alice!!
May 12, 2009 Karen rated it it was ok
Wished I would have known this was #2 in a series. Good story line about a real prison in England during our Revoluntionary War where they have the American's locked up. Interesting insight to the plight of women during that time period as well. A little too frothy for me and didn't really like the author's writing style.
Jennifer Louden
Sep 18, 2012 Jennifer Louden rated it really liked it
Found this at a used bookstore bought in a whim. Really enjoyed it. The English pov of the American Revolution, the characters!, the Countess finding her soul, the class issues: a truly fun smart read.
Apr 15, 2013 Prestoni rated it it was amazing
Have just reread this book after many years and it is still a wonderful story told so vividly. Diana Norman is one of my favourite authors, and this book, a continuation of the story of Makepeace Burke is like checking in on an old friend to see how they are.
Loved it - again!
Jan 07, 2009 Ruth rated it it was amazing
This is another good book by Diana Norman. A great character,Makepeace Hedley is unique for her time but takes us through England in the late 1700's. I really enjoy these books. I have started the last in the group called The Sparks Fly Upwards".
Elizabeth Desole
May 14, 2013 Elizabeth Desole rated it really liked it
Probably more like a 3 1/2 stars. Very entertaining and exciting historical fiction. Have to admire that the "love interests" are not buff and glamorous. Some was a bit too far-fetched, but hey, maybe she's a Dickens fan.
Oct 23, 2013 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another fantastic novel from Diana Norman. I must admit that this entry did not grab me as quickly as A Catch of Consequence did, but once it got going I struggled to put it down.

Wonderful characters, a plot that will keep you guessing and some issues that will make you think.
Feb 06, 2010 Trish rated it did not like it
I just couldn't get into this book. Tried picking it up repeatedly without success. One of the main characters would generate a little interest then subsequent chapters found me looking for something else to read. Eventually I accepted that I just didn't care what happened to either of them.
Aug 19, 2009 Emily rated it really liked it
This is the second in a trilogy about Makepeace- a strong American female character who has overcome great odds to make her own way and achieve wealth and happiness. It's a highly atmospheric novel taking place in England during the American Revolution.
Nov 22, 2011 Christy rated it liked it
This was a sequel to "A Catch of Consequence," which I really enjoyed. This one, however, I only felt lukewarm about. The biggest problem was that there wasn't enough distinction between the two women's storylines.
Nov 14, 2009 Jana rated it liked it
Recommended to Jana by: Christy
Shelves: around-the-world
I learned in Catch of Consequence that Makepeace was not an easy woman to like so I wasn't too upset that I didn't like her much in this one. I did, however, really like Diana and Philippa and the rest of the characters of this book. Plus, the story is good.
Jul 31, 2007 CLM rated it it was amazing
Wonderful second book of a trilogy that begins in Boston, at the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, and by book three is battering down the walls of the Bastile.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

British journalist Diana Norman also writes as Ariana Franklin.

Born Mary Diana Narracott, she grew up first in London and then in Devon, where her mother took her to escape the blitz. At the age of 15, she left school, but with journalism in her background (her father had be
More about Diana Norman...

Other Books in the Series

Makepeace Hedley (3 books)
  • A Catch of Consequence (Makepeace Hedley)
  • The Sparks Fly Upward (Makepeace Hedley)

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