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THERE’S NOTHING LIKE A ROLLICKING GREAT ADVENTURE, particularly one with rich historical and global context. The Outrageous Fortune of Abel Morgan, veteran author Cynthia Jefferies’ first foray into adult fiction, is one such tale.

Set just after the end of the English Civil War, the story opens with Christopher Morgan returning from exile in Europe to reclaim his family and make a new life. Tired of war, Christopher has turned his back on Charles II’s court to start over in in Dario, in the wilds of the West Country, as the new owner of the wonderfully named Rumfustian Inn.

From the first pages, when Christopher arrives at his new home, it’s clear that not all is as it should be. Christopher is numb with grief, his wife dead and his baby seemingly not long for this world. Then there’s the inn and its frightened, secretive occupants. And yet young Abel rallies and father and son forge a strong bond as they settle into country life.

However, when Christopher crosses Daniel Johnson, a malevolent local smuggler, he pays the ultimate price, his son sold into slavery.

Jefferies employs dual narratives to weave the Morgans’ stories. As a heartsick Christopher endeavours to find his son, often at great personal risk, crossing continents in the hope of being reunited with him, Abel, in turn, must use all his wits to survive the various challenges thrown at him, all the while believing his father dead.

Beautifully told, in the vein of the best historical writers, du Maurier and J. Meade Falkner among them, Abel Morgan is a fantastic novel, full of wild adventures in exotic locales. It is also a story of the indomitable human spirit and the staggering power of parental love. Actually, you know what? It’s just a rollicking good tale.

 

The Outrageous Fortune of Abel Morgan | Cynthia Jefferies | Paperback | Allison & Busby | 22nd August 2019

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Acknowledgements: Many thanks to Anne Cater, as always, and to Allison & Busby for sending a review copy and jacket image. All opinions are our own. All rights reserved.

 

Also of interest:Juan Villaro’s The Wild Book‘; ‘By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept’;‘Yvonne Battle-Fenton’s Rememembered‘; ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised‘; ‘We should all be feminists‘; The not-so-invisible woman: 150 greats in their own words’;Permission by Saskia Vogel‘; ‘Lisa Ko’s The Leavers, Dialogue’s brilliant debut; ‘RW Kwon’s The Incendiaries’; ‘Beauty in translation – Roxanne Bouchard’s French Canadian noir‘; ‘How Penguin learned to fly – Allen Lane and the Original “Penguin Ten”‘; Dorothy L. Sayer’s Busman’s Holiday – Romek Marber for Penguin Crime (book covers we love).

See author interviews/Q&As:Meet Mary Balogh

This review is © 2019 by The Literary Shed. All rights reserved. All opinions are our own. We welcome your feedback and comments. If you wish to reproduce this piece, please do contact us to request permission. Thank you so much.

 

 

 

 

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