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The Restless Sea by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
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The first half is stunning--the chapters involving the Titanic and the aftermath are some of the best in the series. However, the last half of the book is a let down. Most of the characters' situations haven't changed much since the last book, so it just feels like more of the same. And the large cast, spread out among several different sectors of society, means a lack of some of the detail that makes the best books in the series so good.

See my complete review at Shelf Love. ( )
  teresakayep | Mar 5, 2011 |
First Line: On the evening on which Mr. and Mrs. Edward Morland of Maystone Villa, Clifton, were to give the first dinner party of their married lives, Ned arrived home late.

The Morland Dynasty series, as it's called, begins in England at the time of Richard III, and it is the author's hope that it will continue through to the end of World War II. She's been having publisher problems, so keep your fingers crossed.

In The Restless Sea it is 1912. Jessie and childhood friend Violet are getting used to married life. Jack is now working with Thomas Sopwith on aeroplane design, and he's still got terrible taste in women. Teddy Morland has provided all the soft furnishings for the launch of the Titanic, and as a result he's been given free passage on her maiden voyage.

For anyone with any memory of history at all, what happens to the Titanic is known. What is also known is that soon all these people will be immersed in World War I. One of the major reasons why I love this series is because Harrod-Eagles personalizes history. She gives us a family, she puts this family in the midst of events, and we see these events from an entirely new perspective. The sinking of the Titanic takes on new meaning when a reader "knows" someone on board the ship:

" Those who had been saved had no choice but to listen to those who were doomed, with nothing to distract the mind from the knowledge that the crying was gradually fading away, as one by one they died, frozen to death, alone in the black water."

The Restless Sea is another strong entry in this long-running series, and World War I looming large in the shadows does create tension. Since some of the generations span more than one book, it would be a good idea to read them in order. Be brave. Like me, you'll always have something good waiting for you on your shelves.

Harrod-Eagles makes history live by making it personal. Like all families, there are going to be characters that you can't stand and characters that you love. And like all families, the bad things don't always happen to the characters you don't like; there are even characters that don't interest you one way or the other. All the appearance of real life, eh?

Reading this series from the beginning is like becoming a member of the Morland family. Morland Place is outside of York, and the first several books in the series included floor plans that let us see how the house changed throughout the generations.

Now the books contain family trees to help us remember how all the characters are connected. One of the author's strengths is her skill in characterization-- proof being that I seldom, if ever, refer to the family tree in order to keep everyone straight. After 27 books, I'm evidently a Morland by adoption.

If you love large, sprawling, generational, historical fiction sagas, you can't go wrong with this series. You won't like some books as well as you do others because of the changing characters and time periods, but taken as a whole, this series is remarkable. And wonderful. ( )
1 vote cathyskye | Aug 12, 2010 |
The Morland family deals with the voyage of the Titanic, women's suffrage, and the foreshadowing of World War I, and becomes involved in the beginnings of aviation. Of course, love stories take place as well. Another fine entry in the series. ( )
  auntieknickers | Mar 11, 2009 |
Another action packed chapter of the Morland family. This book looked at the Titanic sinking- an excellent piece of writing as well as votes for women and aviation. This is a brilliant series where you just happen to learn history along the way! ( )
  birdsam0307 | Mar 8, 2009 |
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March 1912
On the evening on which Mr and Mrs Edward Morland of Maystone Villa, Clifton, were to give the first dinner party of their married lives, Ned arrived home late.
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England 1912. The larges and most luxurious ship the world has ever seen is about to make its maiden voyage to New York. Teddy Morland, head of the Yorkshire dynasty, will be aboardTitanic - along with his niece Lizzie and her husband and her children, on their way to start a new life in Arizona. The nation thrills with patriotic pride in this masterwork of British engineering. But back home at Morland Place, Teddy's pregnant wife Alice is consumed with nameless anxiety, and Lizzie's mother Henrietta fears she will never see her daughter again.

The new century's wonder of science and technology promise mankind control over every aspect of life. but beneath the surface of English society the waters are far from calm. Strikes cripple the country, social unrest is widespread. The Suffragettes turn to arson and vandalism, and the Government's response is harsh. Morland cousin Anne Farraline, leader of the 'Hot Bloods', retreats into a shadowy world with her friend Vera Polk, playing a dangerous game under the menace of the Cat and Mouse Act, and it can only be a matter of time before someone is killed.

Other Morlands have their own struggles. Jessie and her childhood friend  Violet are adjusting to the restrictions of married life. Jessie has exchanged the grandeur of Morland Place for a small suburban villa. Violet commands Brancaster Hall, yet her freedom is even more curtailed by the caprice of her husband Lord Holkam. And for Jack, love and marriage remain an insoluble problem, though he finds freedom in the air, designing aircraft and training men for the newly formed flying corps.

But all personal problems are about to be subsumed by a greater tide of restlessness as the nations of Europe slide inexorably towards a war which no one wants, but which every day seems more inevitable...
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0751533440, Paperback)

In the Morland Dynasty series, the majestic sweep of English history is richly and movingly portrayed through the fictional lives of the Morland family. It is 1912, and England still conducts herself with Edwardian confidence; but beneath the surface cracks are breaking society apart. Socialism, strikes and riots, social unrest, and then the disasters of the Titanic and Captain Scott shake the ordered world. Among the Morlands, Jessie and Violet struggle to adapt to the demands of married life; Jack, unlucky in love, designs aeroplanes and trains pilots for the new Royal Flying Corps; and Anne, as the struggle for the Vote becomes more violent, takes comfort in the friendship of an unusual young woman. Meanwhile, the war no one wants comes ever closer.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:43 -0400)

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England in 1912 still bears itself with Edwardian confidence, but strikes, protests and public violence reveal the fault lines as Europe edges ever closer to the First World War. But for the many branches of the Morland family, national and international events play second fiddle to their own personal challenges.… (more)

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