From the early 1400s to the 21st century, the island of Guernsey was a microcosm of society edging its way from feudalism towards democracy. During those 500 years, the Lihou family worked and lived on the island and their story is woven into many of the great events that have shaped, not just the island, but the wider world.
Sixteen generations of the Lihou family span the half-millennium of this story and with each generation, a unique view of the society and context of their everyday lives unfolds.
Where historical records have established the facts, as with Parish registers, they have been included. Oral history, books and reports have also provided much of the historical detail. But where no such records exist, conjecture has been used to create a possible version of events, which affords a rare glimpse into the lives of our ancestors.
From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.
Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.
It is 19th century London and transportation to Australia for petty crimes remains the easy option for the English judiciary. So when young Matt Tobin becomes embroiled in the crimes of his older brother, he is forced to leave London aboard a transport ship and start a new life in the Antipodes.
Unlike his older brother, Matt is ambitious and strives to make a success of his life. Working hard to acquire a range of skills and cast off the shame of his convict background, the boy grows into an industrious employee and settles into life on one of the new colony’s sprawling sheep stations.
Things go well for Matt until he meets Sarah, the spoilt and determined daughter of his employer. Despite his single-minded focus, Matt is unable to ignore her amorous advances and the heat of their desire soon results in the announcement of an unplanned pregnancy, and the wrath of Sarah’s self-righteous father.
The couple marry, and after their attempts to turn virgin bush into a profitable sheep property fail, they set off for a new life in a burgeoning gold mining town. But soon Matt’s past revisits him, with a force so powerful that everything he values, including his marriage, will be tested to the limit.
The Path to Redemption is a thrilling page turner of heroism, prophecy, intrigue and power struggles set against the devastating back drop of the Crusades. It is also a story of an ordinary man who becomes inextricably entwined in a world he wants no part of nor fully understands to protect those he loves.
The date is 1145 – The long shadow of all consuming war hangs over the Christian Kingdoms of Outremer…Pope Eugenius III proclaims a second Crusade as the self-proclaimed Lion of Islam; Zengi captures the city of Edessa and amply avenges the European atrocities in Jerusalem some forty years previously….
As Conrad III of the Holy Roman Empire and Louis VII of France answer the call to arms and lead new legions of Crusaders to the Holy Land, one man; James Rose, leads a simplistic life as a horse trader away from the swirling maelstrom of religious fervour and political uncertainty of the age. Part Venetian and part English, friend of Muslim, Jew and Christian but void of religion himself, a peace loving family man who becomes embroiled in a truly frantic individual battle for vengeance. One simple act of compassion leads to a devastating series of events and adventures which will change the course of history itself.
Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin tales are widely acknowledged to be the greatest series of historical novels ever written. Now, for the first time, they are available in electronic book format, so a whole new generation of readers can be swept away on the adventure of a lifetime. This is the twelfth book in the series.
Jack Aubrey is a naval officer, a post-captain of experience and capacity. When The Letter of Marque opens he has been struck off the Navy List for a crime he has not committed. With Aubrey is his friend and ship’s surgeon Stephen Maturin, who is also an unofficial British intelligence agent. Maturin has bought for Aubrey his old ship the Surprise, so that the misery of ejection from the service can be palliated by the command of what Aubrey calls a ‘private man-of-war’ – a letter of marque, a privateer. Together they sail on a voyage which, if successful, might restore Aubrey to the rank, and the raison d’etre, whose loss he so much regrets.
Around these simple, ostensibly familar elements Patrick O’Brian has written a novel of great narrative power, exploring his extraordinary world once more, in a tale full of human feeling and rarely matched in its drama.