Now We Shall Be Entirely Free by Andrew Miller

1. First lines 2. Publisher: Hachette 3. Scotland Image by simple from Pixabay 4. Mrs. Froude, née Phyllis Hurrell By Joshua Reynolds – ArtsConnectEd, a joint project of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, [Public Domain] via Wikimedia
I really enjoyed this book.

John Lecroix, an English captain fighting in Spain, is brought back wounded in 1809. He is nursed back to health in England, but he flees north intending to live alone somewhere in the Scottish islands, shattered by his experiences. Unbeknownst to him, an English soldier has been tasked with hunting him down.

He lengthened his stride. The lantern swung, the candle flame flying within the glass like a terrified bird. All the voices in his head fell silent. He had neither name nor history. He was a shadow. A ghost fleeing before dawn. He was the done-with, the uninvented. A freedom of sorts?

“The last part of the journey was the most tedious. They felt they were close but they weren’t, not yet. They crossed the border, crossed a line of hills, crossed another ….. There was something military about it”

Quotes from the book.
  • The Guardian: Now We Shall Be Entirely Free is a novel of delicately shifting moods, a pastoral comedy and passionate romance story alternating with a blackly menacing thriller.”
  • Readings: “Miller is in full command of his varied ensemble cast, which ranges from dangerous sticklers to frolicking freethinkers. All prompt consideration of what humans are capable of in war – and in peace. Now We Shall Be Entirely Free is a page-turning novel that will engage historical fiction readers, as well as those seeking an immersive adventure tale.”
  • Sydney Morning Herald: “On one level Now We Shall Be Entirely Free is a thriller, a classic cat and mouse chase, full of suspense. On another it’s a slow, meditative exploration with plenty of time for Miller’s characteristically vivid observations, and other happenings: a quirky religious sect, a love affair, a dangerous surgical operation, and above all, a journey into the heart of a man who has to find out how to live with his past and go on.”

Awards: 2019 Longlist Walter Scott Prize

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