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Now We Shall Be Entirely Free: The Waterstones Scottish Book of the Year 2019

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The All Seeing Eye represents a higher power keeping watch over humankind - a symbol of protection, good karma and inner peace.

The journey north gives Miller a chance to add some authenticating historical detail, most of which he does well, in a dry but observant style. At least historical fiction doesn’t have the haircut problem that historical television invariably suffers from.Miller makes good use of the common trope of a geographical voyage also being a voyage of personal discovery, so that the cat and mouse game over time becomes something at once subtler and more complex. What makes it stand out is it’s emotional and psychology delicacy, the very deliberate and respectful way in which the plot intrudes into people’s lives.

Now We Shall Be Entirely Free is a historical novel, a love story, an adventure yarn to rival the best, and a suspenseful thriller that kept me, many times, quickly turning the pages. The central character John Lacroix is a naive young gentleman cavalry officer who has just found his way home from the retreat that ended at Corunna. The device of a journey allows the author to explore a changing world – the brutalities of early industrialism, despoiled agriculture and millenarian sects. Miller's prose is stunning, and I found the story completely absorbing - the descriptions of Glasgow in the 1800s were some of the most striking for me.

The 103 third parties who use cookies on this service do so for their purposes of displaying and measuring personalized ads, generating audience insights, and developing and improving products. But what begins as if it might be a full-immersion historical novel (in the manner, say, of Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe series, also set during that war) quickly becomes instead a psychological mystery. As characters traverse the length and breadth of the country, a Britain is evoked that seems entirely plausible and yet frighteningly strange.

Die Handlung spielt 1809, zur Zeit der Napoleonischen Kriege, und der Krieg an sich und was er aus dem Menschen macht, ist das zentrale Thema. Having been raised in a foundlings’ gulag in London in which the children were given dangerous work and little food, he is a runtish, emotionally deadened character who nevertheless feels loyalty to the army, his adopted parent. Gradually Lacroix recovers his health, but not his peace of mind - he cannot talk about the war or face the memory of what happened in a village on the gruelling retreat to Corunna. Instead of rejoining his regiment, he decides, for reasons that are as unclear to him as they are to the reader, to travel to the Scottish islands, where he has never been.This was the tall one, this the sleek, this the bare, this like something made more entirely from light and water.

I enjoyed every line, every word of this novel set in 1809 about a soldier, John Lacroix, who has become a deserter.That section of The New Yorker is something I reliably go to for very issue…because I value their recommendations. There are some fanciful touches–I liked the description of the two pursuing soldiers walking in the woods with “the war spooling from their backs like silk,” for example. Andrew Miller’s new novel combines these two ideas and it initially seems a travesty that Edugyan’s book sits on the Man Booker list and Miller’s has been passed over. All wankers,” he says, “every one of them,” employing a word that surely won’t be used this way for another hundred years. By the end of the opening sentence of Andrew Miller's new novel, we're already knee-deep in fictional territory he has made his own.

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