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The Sparks Fly Upward (Makepeace Hedley #3)

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  265 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
A new novel of love and courage in a time of war, from the author of A Catch of Consequence and Taking Liberties. Few of those Philippa loves in London return her affection. Not the love of her life, who has a new bride. Not even her widowed mother, Makepeace Burke. So Philippa decides on a marriage of convenience to a prudish, if kind, man. Across the Channel in France, t ...more
ebook, 432 pages
Published September 5th 2006 by Berkley (first published 2006)
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I've read all three of the books in Diana Norman's historical trilogy. I did like the first two but I thought this was a much more satisfying read.

While this book focuses on the same themes as the other two; freedom, abolition and suffrage, the depiction of these issues was much more dramatic in this story.

We return to find Makepeace Burke and her always eventful life in England welcoming home her brother, the famous actor Aaron Burke and his theatre troupe, including Sir Michael Murrough, an
Sep 15, 2015 Monica rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't finish this book. The premise appealed to me; a historical novel set in the era of the French Revolution, a female character who admired Wollstonecraft, some cloak-and-dagger stuff a la The Scarlet Pimpernel. Yet after the first few chapter, my disgust with the characters became too much to overcome.

There's nothing really wrong with these characters. They're likable, even interesting. But they are twenty-first century people in period garb. Norman is the victim of what I have come to
Jamie Collins
Nov 19, 2015 Jamie Collins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This historical fiction trilogy is one of my favorite reads of this year. Norman’s writing is impressive, and Makepeace Hedley is something special, more than just a “strong female character”. Her flaws give her a wonderful depth - she suffers, as well as prospers, from her stubbornness and her fierce independence and her Puritan disapproval.

This final book is set in England during the French Revolution, where the widowed Makepeace is horrified to find her daughter and foster son risking their l
Jul 31, 2007 CLM rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Deb, Betsy, Kelly
This is the third in a trilogy (A Catch of Consequence, Taking Liberties) and Norman has not missed a beat. Her characters are unusual but very convincing. I expected this book to be primarily about Makepeace's daughter but Makepeace herself is still a major character, and is as candid and opinionated at 50 as ever. Philippa has developed into a thoughtful and mature woman, if perhaps anachronistic. I highly recommend this author but do suggest these books be read in order.
Aug 13, 2009 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 13, 2017 Lia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A satisfying, amazing end to this trio of novels. Makepeace is a role model for the modern age, as is Philippa. I so enjoyed getting to know the Dapifer girl and one of my few gripes with this conclusion to the series is that Jenny is not like her mother.
Nov 06, 2008 Marleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I immensely enjoyed this third and last book in the Makepeace Burke series. If you've read the two previous Diana Norman books in this series (A Catch of Consequence and Taking Liberties) then this is a must. I’d recommend reading the books in sequence since they have many characters returning (and really growing on you). And the fact of having these characters return, offers the author the chance to give them more color and depth and make their life-story so much richer. And what endearing char ...more
Roman Clodia
Jun 09, 2016 Roman Clodia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you've read the two previous Diana Norman books in this series (A Catch of Consequence and Taking Liberties) then this is a must. While not a trilogy, the three books do follow in sequence and have some of the same characters, but unlike many series the author hasn't got stuck into a rut, and doesn't simply churn out the same story with different names.

We're now in the late C18th during the French revolution: Makepeace Hedley, the 'heroine' of the two other books is widowed and in London and
Lynda Toews
Oct 20, 2016 Lynda Toews rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a sad day when I finished this novel because I thought it was the last novel of Diana Norman's that I hadn't read, and since she passed away in 2011, there was little hope of any more gems to come, however, I have since discovered a more complete list of titles and now I have at least three more to look forward to! I spent two days in a funk over this, and over the humanitarian disaster that was the French Revolution--the time period in which this novel is set.

This novel is the third in N
Aug 26, 2015 Colleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If Ms. Norman were still alive, I'd be writing her and sending many thanks and accolades for her wonderful books and writing!

This is the third in the Makepeace Burke trilogy and it's one FABULOUS book! I won't go into descriptions as you can check out other reviews for that - BUT, If you love history, if you love strong and feisty female characters, if you love a great yarn that keeps you begging for more - then I have three words for you - READ THIS BOOK!

As stated earlier this is the third bo
I read this with some trepidation, fearing that Philippa would be another hard-luck hero (like her mother in the A Catch of Consequence), but thankfully not. Philippa does go through a lot, but there is a HEA.

Most of Philippa's story takes place in Revolutionary France, and the author shines at depicting the daily grinding oppression of The Terror. (It reminds me of how well she evokes 1920-30 Berlin in City of Shadows: A Novel of Suspense )

There's also a lot of Makepeace in this one, having be
I liked it, but not nearly as much as the other two in this series. I think Diana Norman is a really great writer. She's also a really great historian so I learned a lot about the French revolution I never knew before. I actually don't know much about it at all. The characters are still likable, especially Phillipa. Makepeace was a little more likable this time around. I really love the secondary characters in all the books. It just wasn't as captivating this time around. I mean, the main plot a ...more
Jul 13, 2010 Sue rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I want to be just like Makepeace when I grow up! I love this character - another strong, determined woman, much like Sarah Agnes Prine in "These Is My Words." However, this third book was not as good as the previous two. Mostly about the Terror following the French Revolution. As with the other books, her main theme is freedom. She just writes about freedom in several different setting: in America, in England, and now in France. The author left the door open for another book if she chooses to wr ...more
S Beverage
Jun 15, 2016 S Beverage rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am sad that this is the last in this series. Diana Norman (aka Ariana Franklin) has been one of my favorite authors. Makepeace Burke Dapifer Hedley is one of my all time favorite characters - strong, funny, passionate, flawed, but totally human. And her children and family are equally enjoyable and real. I liked the overlap of history here - the French Revolution during the Terror and the English reaction to it, all were well done.
I seem to be getting drawn to historical fiction these days. This one concerns two women, both a feisty daughter and her tenacious mother. But it's the guy who physically shows up at the last few pages who intrigues me. That short, infamous tyrant who went by the kingly name of Maximilien Robespierre. I intend to learn more of this fellow, and of the Terror he unleashed throughout France. Fact IS more interesting than fiction.
Apr 15, 2013 Prestoni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always enjoy the Diana. Norman books, and this one didn't disappoint either.
Makepeace Burke and her daughter and their story set during the French Revolution this time still grip the imagination until the end.
For me, it's one of the ones you continue to think about days after finishing - wondering how all the characters are and what they're doing.
Would read more, if there were more to read!
Aug 07, 2015 Denise rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read and enjoyed the first two of the trilogy; could not finish the third. Makepeace is more crotchety and cynical than brazen and strong. The third of the trilogy does not have the same sparkle and rhythm. I wanted to like it, but only finished half before I finally could not force myself to read more.
Dec 09, 2015 Jane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
You have to applaud Diana Norman's fertile imagination. Who else could take a heroine from the Boston Tea Party to the upper strata of British society, then plunge her into the business of coal in the industrial north, whisk her off to a den of smugglers in Devon, and then pop her into a London theater group bent on abolition and adulation? A most amusing series.
Nov 06, 2014 Anna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish I could give this book 2.5 stars. It dragged for most of the story and the best parts were Makepeace Hedley's, then only towards the end did the pace pick up. This gets 3 stars only on account of Ariana Franlin's skill at spinning good yarn.
Lian Tanner
Mar 28, 2012 Lian Tanner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Diana Norman is an exceptional writer, and this is one of her best books. Wonderful characterisation, and a deep thoughtfulness that lifts it far above other historical novels. The dash of romance makes it even better.
Mar 12, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this series. I really liked the way it covered different times in Makepeace's life and the skillful way that Diana Norman wove the story around historical events. Egads, makes you think about today and the heart of man. Satisfying conclusion. If only we still had Diana Norman!
Jan 17, 2009 Ruth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book, but did not read it with as much enthusiasm as the first 2 books in this series. It seemed a bit of a slog, but I still cared enough to finish it. THis is certainly a well researched historical picture of the times.
Jenny Q
Apr 14, 2010 Jenny Q marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Another Borders bargain rack find. Norman also writes as Ariana Franklin, whom I have not read yet, but I know she's quite popular. This one's about the French Revolution, which is a time period I like to read about.
Jul 30, 2010 Jana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jana by: Christy
Shelves: around-the-world
This had a little less of Makepeace and more of Philippa which was refreshing and it focused on the French Revolution and the Terror. Seems like most revolutions go too far and times don't really change.
Jun 22, 2011 Maudie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The last book in Diana Norman's "Makepeace Burke" trilogy and it was an excellent read in MHO. "Sparks" is a little slow in some places, but Makepeace, her family and her extended family continues to intrigue.

Thank you, Diana, for your wonderful legacy of books and the stories they contain.
Jul 30, 2011 Lori rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-quit
Boring. I made it half-way and decided that life is too short to read such dull books.
May 12, 2009 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tri-quel to "Catch of Consequence"
Sep 27, 2012 Deb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't realize until now that the author also published under the name Ariana Franklin--I've read a bunch of her mysteries and liked them alot! This was good too
Mar 15, 2013 Mary rated it really liked it
there are 3 books in this series and I enjoyed them all very much but this one is real grabber. As it got closer to the end I had a hard time putting it down to do other things.
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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)
  • Taking Liberties (Makepeace Hedley)

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