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Ceremony of the Innocent
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Ceremony of the Innocent

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  724 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
Ellen was born into servanthood and this was the only life she ever knew.. until Jeremy..; this successful New York lawyer saw in Ellen a ravishingly beautiful woman: the woman he was going to marry; Ellen was catapulted into this unknown world of politics, wealth and power, where her loving innocence was threatened by hypocrisy and ruthless ambition: Jeremy was the only o ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 350 pages
Published September 12th 1983 by Fawcett (first published 1976)
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Sarah Mac
This book was ten kinds of painful.

I'm not sure exactly when it started to go wrong. All I know is the train dashed off the tracks somewhere around page 100 -- but contrary to known laws of physics, the caboose continued plowing through dirt at an obscene angle, squashing a bunch of hobos & donkeys before it ground to a halt in a grove of sickly apple trees.

So much minute examination of emotional response to the least little thing...yet the characters are either completely unpredictable or
...more
Laura
This book was first published in 1976. It took four years to be written. Some critics consider "Captains and the Kings (1972)" as its "sequel."

I would rate this book with 4 stars if the main characters were not so naive in my humble opinion.

Despite this fact, I still think that Taylor Caldwell is one of the great writers of the 20th century fiction.

4* The Arm and the Darkness
5* A Pillar of Iron
4* Dear and Glorious Physician
4* The Earth Is the Lord's: A Tale of the Rise of Genghis Khan
4* The Fina
...more
Salsadancer
May 16, 2009 rated it liked it
This quote from Taylor Caldwell is what this book is about:

“We, perhaps, have corrupted our children and our grandchildren by heedless affluence, by a lack of manliness, by giving the younger generation more money and liberty than their youth can handle, by indoctrinating them with sinister ideologies and false values, by permitting them, as young children, to indulge themselves in imprudence to superiors and defiance of duly constituted authority, by lack of prudent, swift punishment when the
...more
Dayle
Aug 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ms. Caldwell has one of the characters quote Aristotle:

"Politicians are not born. They are excreted."

Have things changed?
CindySlowReader
Mar 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
The main character Ellen is supposed to personify a young innocent America. There is a lot of politics written into the story, but to me it's not about politics at all. It's about a Barbie Doll of a woman who has some kind of learning disability, perhaps Asperger's Syndrome, that causes her to trust everyone and blinds her to the truth all her life. Women hate her and think she's ugly, men lust after her.

It's a totally depressing story but I liked how it was written and it moved along smoothly.
...more
Dianna
May 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first Taylor Caldwell book I have ever read. I loved it so much that I want to read it all over again, this time to look up all of the words I did not know!

Taylor Caldwell has such a way with words and it is obvious that she is extremely intelligent. If you have not read this book yet, I would not look at any other reviews on Goodreads, as I already noticed one spoiler in the reviews and it would be a shame to spoil the outcome of this story for yourself.
Rebecca Farrar
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
True today as yesterday.

Not enough can be said about how well written this book is or how accurate a description it gives of how American has deteriorated. It is a must read for every one that is concerned about their future.
Sara
Apr 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
When asked what my favorite Romance book is I always mention this book. This book brought up so many emotions in me that I caught myself crying one minute, laughing, and angry the next. Anytime I find this book I buy it and share it with friends.
V
Feb 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
I loved this book. It is my most favorite book by Taylor Caldwell. The intricacy of the story and main character are very timeless and applicable across many centuries.. Reasons why being an ostrich isn't a good method for happiness.
Deb
Nov 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
a protagonist who isn't one, except for maybe 5 minutes? Mix conspiracy theory with discussions of whether it is right to love & trust in a world full of manipulators & idiots.
Bette
Jul 29, 2011 added it
Sure has taken a long time for women to come into their own. Gives some insight to the fact that there were a few males that saw women as humans and not property
Rae
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maeve
Jul 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book was good. Highly political and very sad at times. It starts out early turn of the century, and end in the 20's.
A
Sep 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Love Caldwell's character development. Lovely novel!
Kim
Jun 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
LOVED IT! This was the book that started my love affair with Taylor Caldwell's books.
Debra
Jun 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
A very good but very sad book
Monica
Mar 09, 2018 rated it did not like it
Taylor Caldwell is always good for laughs. In this one, the main character's kids grow up to despise her - and actually go out of their way to literally destroy her - for no other reason but that she was too nice to them. We hate the woman for being a pin cushion her whole life, but we hate her bullies too since they are C. Montgomery Burns evil. It's an extreme example all of Caldwell's books: inter generational, historical family sagas - soap operas - where each character's personality and des ...more
Catherine Riley
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is my first introduction to this author. I really loved the book, it was rather long and covered lots of issues. the book has parallel themes, about a young servant girl, who marries above her " station" and never really adjust to her new role in life, and about the political currents in America at the beginning of the 19th century. The author writes really well. Even though Ellen is not a 20th century women , one felt a lot of sympathy towards her.
Karen
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read this book for the 1st time years ago. This book is sad but you keep rooting for the main character hoping for a different ending. Taylor Caldwell has a way of developing the reader’s emotional reactions to her characters, frustration & sympathy for the main character, Ellen, & hatred for others.
Mary
Jul 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In my youth Caldwell was my favorite author. She shaped my political views and influenced my world view. I was disappointed in this book as I found it laborious to read. It seemed disjointed and depressing.
Marilyn Souders
Jul 10, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Do not waste your time reading this unless you really like being frustrated and depressed. I usually like Taylor Caldwell, but this is a dud!!!
Coyney
Jan 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Gave up half way through it
Ruth Dean
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Reading this bio now made me feel that Taylor Caldwell was almost prophetic in her views of American politics.
Julie Smith
Jan 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Not sure how I felt about this book. Rather a long read to get to an unsatisfactory conclusion.
Janet Abbott
Poorly written

I know this book was written decades ago, but it's schlock. The main character weeps and moans throughout the entire book.
Viviana
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Relatable as Wharton's writing. Powerful
Rachelle Johns
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant!! The greatest love story. I cried at the end. An "older" book, but don't overlook this one.
Kclark
Jun 10, 2016 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Robert Kerlen
May 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love reading Taylor Caldwell's books since it gives you a real sense of actually being there as she describes the scene with vivid description that awaken all your senses that really adds to what is going on in the story plot between the characters. She is good at telling a story and describing how things are really done in Washington through secret meetings of the wealthy elite. Book as relevant today as when it was published almost 40 years ago.
Fleur
Sep 22, 2011 rated it really liked it


i love the book.but didn't like the ending.,wanted the children to be at least come out of their senses.

oh, how i despise christian!,
how can children be so cruel and regard their parents with so much contempt and anger in their hearts?>.

she gave it all, only to be mocked at on her innocense..
but she did nothing but just to trust and love..
and all she got was the wicked terrors of the human soul..


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Also known by the pen names Marcus Holland and Max Reiner.

Taylor Caldwell was born in Manchester, England. In 1907 she emigrated to the United States with her parents and younger brother. Her father died shortly after the move, and the family struggled. At the age of eight she started to write stories, and in fact wrote her first novel, The Romance of Atlantis, at the age of twelve (although it
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