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The Hearth and Eagle by Anya Seton
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The Hearth and Eagle (1948)

by Anya Seton

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191861,769 (3.68)18

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The historical novel The Hearth and Eagle by Anya Seton is set in the fishing village of Marblehead Massachusetts and is the life story of Hesper Honeywood. The Honeywoods have kept a tavern for generations, and Hester grew up hearing stories how the women in her family always put their husband’s wishes first, but strong-willed, impulsive Hesper dreams of a life of romance and passion. Unfortunately, she is disappointed time and again in romance. Her first love dies in the American Civil War, her second, a struggling artist, abandons her, her third, whom she marries and has children with, she allows to smother and mollycoddle her. Only when it is almost too late, does she show her husband her true inner strength and courage. The story covers a time period of between the mid-1800’s to 1910, and it’s clear that the author did her research on this New England town.

I am a fan of Anya Seton’s writing, but this particular book is not a favorite as it seems constrictive and very dependent upon actual events that occurred. Overall, the book places more attention on the setting than on the characters that people the story. The best part was when Hesper and her mother take part in the underground railway and hide a runaway slave and her baby. I would say that The Hearth and Eagle, although well-told, should not be one’s first experience with this author. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Mar 16, 2017 |
Setting starts in England in the 1500s and progresses to Massachusetts in the 1900s ( )
  FoxTribeMama | Sep 20, 2016 |
This is set in the 1850s in New England in the USA. Then it flashes back to 1630, and the family's arrival in America. Good picture of life of the times, and sympathetically drawn characters. Some drama and excitement - yet it all felt a bit long-winded and it was easy to put down! ( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |
Really disappointed in this book. Guess it's the more modern setting that threw me off. I have read her other books to pieces, especially Katherine and Green Darkness. ( )
  Amante | May 6, 2013 |
This is an enjoyable story of the growth of a girl's inner strength as she weathers storms, both real and emotional. Hesper Honeywood comes to appreciate her home and family, though she despised them as a young woman.

This is not my favorite by Anya Seton but I still enjoyed it. This book would be particularly interesting to people who have an interest in the fishing villages of New England in the 19th and early 20th centuries. ( )
  dkhiggin | Sep 9, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0449236412, Mass Market Paperback)

In the mid-1940s, the great historical novelist Anya Seton embarked on a fervent search for her forebears that led her to Marblehead, Massachusetts, a “sea-girdled town of rocks and winding lanes and clustered old houses.” There she found not only an ancestor, but also the setting for this, her fourth novel. It is not only the story of Marblehead, from its earliest settlement to the present, and of a family who settled and stayed there in the Hearth and Eagle Inn; it is also the story of Hesper Honeywood, a passionate young woman whose long and dramatic life, full of triumph and tragedy, contained the history of both. In one of her most ambitious novels, Anya Seton here created one of her most memorable heroines, and one of her most varied tales.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:30 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

This is the story of Marblehead, from its earliest settlement to the present, and of a family who settled and stayed there in the Hearth and Eagle Inn; it is also the story of Hesper Honeywood, a passionate young woman whose long and dramatic life, full of triumph and tragedy, contained the history of both.… (more)

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