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(Beulah Quintet #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  47 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Prisons, the first volume of The Beulah Quintet - Mary Lee Settle's unforgettable generational saga about the roots of American culture, class, and identity and the meaning of freedom - follows the coming-of-age of Johnny Church from English youngster to dashing Oxford adolescent to idealistic Puritan in the service of Cromwell's Parliamentary Army. Throughout his evolutio ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 1st 1996 by University of South Carolina Press (first published March 12th 1981)
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Sep 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A must for those interested in American history. This novel (the first in the Beulah Quintet series) takes the reader to 17th century England, and the conflicts that led to our fuller realization of democracy (at great cost to some, one must say). The dynamics, threats and betrayals Ms. Settle evokes in such brilliant detail are as relevant now as they were 300 years ago. Her devotion to research, and keen, convincing voice, bring place and people to life so ably, the story completely transcends ...more
Oct 23, 2011 rated it liked it
fascinating, the way she wrote this; takes you back to a dreary chapter of war-history during Cromwell's England. evocative of the dirtiness and craziness of war, in my opinion. the writing shows meticulous research and love of history. ...more
Susan Beecher
Feb 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Fine novel that had me looking up my English history to figure out what they were fighting about in 1600s England.
Jim Grimsley
Jan 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was a good companion read to Morrison's A Mercy, from the same era of history, on the opposite side of the ocean, and with a different form of narrative. The voice of John Church tells the story, moving back and forth in time from childhood to his days in the parliamentarian army during the English civil war. Settle's writing is sure-handed and exact, and shares with Morrison the economy of its approach. The story is not drowned in historical detail but rather shapes itself precisely as if ...more
May 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm normally very skeptical of historical fiction, because half of the genre is dominated by pretentious stuffed shirts who know their history well and have a snooze-inducing narrative voice, while the other half is populated by people who know next to nothing about history at all and appear determined to display that ignorance proudly with little time spent constructing a story. I also tend to be suspicious of any series of novels longer than three books because that is usually a pretty good si ...more
Oct 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
The story was good. but the language made it a more challenging read. Also the reader needed to pay attention because the author would switch back and forth between the present and flashbacks without making it obvious.
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Graduate of Sweet Briar College. Winner of the National Book Award in 1978 for Blood Tie.

Other books in the series

Beulah Quintet (5 books)
  • O Beulah Land (Beulah Quintet #2)
  • Know Nothing (Beulah Quintet #3)
  • Scapegoat
  • The Killing Ground

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