Wonderful read. I learned so much I never knew before about so many things, and the story line is compelling. It was hard to put this book down to go to sleep, so I found myself doing with less sleep till I finished it. It was well worth the sleep loss. Fantastic detail.
Some books you read, and you are entertained. Books by Edward Rutherford I like to savor. Painstakingly researched. For historical fiction fans, and for people who like a good story, you can get completely immersed in this book.
Historical fiction is one of my favorite genre, and this book captivated me from the beginning. The author traces several generations of families throughout this particular section of England. He not only spoke of the people but of the forest creatures, and indeed, the forest itself. He goes into a lot of detail much as Michener does in his books, but it held my interest, and I came away with a better understanding of what life was like from the 1500s to the 1800s in rural England.
Very interesting look at the common people of a certain area of England over a 900 year period. History in story form. I found it quite interesting.
Edward Rutherfurd supplies a very thorough historical background to this passionate fictional story that is worth exploring.
Definitely a good read if you like Rutherfurd, especially "London." It's a bit more heavy in the history department; Rutherfurd goes deep into the succession of Kings and the direct effects on the New Forest because of each reign, which I felt was a little overkill at times. I would suggest reading one of his other books first, probably Russka.
story of six families over a span of hundreds of years in england. interesting read. very long - almost 800 pages
A captivating story that covers nine centuries in the lives of several families and their descendants of the New Forest. The book contains love, deceit, courage and action as well as the well researched historical information that Edward Rutherford always brings to his novels. A great read!
In the style of James Michener, Edward Rutherford takes a location and washes the history with broad strokes of a fine painter's brush. In The Forest, he covers 900 hears in the history of a woodland in Southern England, telling its history through six fictional families from all walks of life.
Rutherfurd's novels are tops - this one covers 900 years in the history of the New Forest a 100,000 acre woodland in southern England. As entertaining as SARUM and LONDON.
The book description above is not correct about the timeframe of this book. It covers 9 centuries: It begins in the 12th century and culminates in the 21st century. If you like history, you will enjoy this book on tape. Read by Lynn Redgrave, this book is fiction but based on historical fact so the settings are accurate for each period. It follows the lives of a few English families throughout. The only thing I suggest is to listen to it all at once, or within a short period of time. Because there are so many stories interwoven, you will get lost and have to go back and review if you leave too much time in between listenings. All in all, a very good book.
The writing of "The Forest" is very rich and detailed. It is interesting to get glimpses of English history from each chapter but I found it confusing that each chapter is actually a different "book". I was expecting the storyline to flow from start to finish. Instead each chapter introduces new characters and a new era in English history.
Overall the book is interesting and full of descriptions.
A good historical novel, if you can keep reading at it every day. The book is about the families of the Forest and their lives down through the ages from 1099 through 2000. It's a very interesting and informative read. Altho the characters are fictitious I believe the history of the forest is roughly true. There's some humorous aspects in the book as well.
As always, Edward Rutherford writes a great historical novel; very entertaining and informative.
Big, sweeping epic. I liked this period read.
A delightful read that truly moves right along. One does not bog down as the book travels through the history of this area called the New Forest in southern England. The characters are real as they transcend time. The families interlink and yet are so different. Definitely recommend for anyone who loves history and people.
A good read. Does not qualify a 5 star rating but it does keep the reader engaged
In THE FOREST, Edward Rutherfurd unfolds the saga of nine turbulent centuries in the life of the quintessential English heartland: the New Forest.
The New Forest lies in a vast bowl scooped from England's southern coast. From the time of the Norman Conquest to the present day, the New Forest has remained a mysterious, powerful, almost mythical place. It is here that Saxon and Norman kings rode forth with their hunting parties, and where William the Conqueror's son Rufus was mysteriously killed. The New Forest is the perfect backdrop for the families who people this epic story--a story that makes clear the connections between the dark, dangerous, sensuous life of the primeval forest and the genteel life of Georgian and Regency society.
Edward Rutherfurd is a master storyteller whose sense of place and of character--whether fictional or historical--is at its most vibrant in THE FOREST. Like SARUM and LONDON, it is a gripping novel of living history.
Rutherford is a recognized British literary historian who takes a particular subject and does what James Michener does; this book starts in the medieval age and comes to 19th century. Since sections stand alone, it is a good book to have to dip into and save the rest for later; there's no point in trying to follow characters due to the time line having gaps.
His writing style is very readable and I really enjoyed the book; I think all Anglophiles would too.
Rutherfurd's book are a great way to learn or improve your understanding on English history. The characters make the historical events easier to understand and gives life to an otherwise dry topic. Fun and easy reading.
I thoroughly enjoyed Edward Rutherford's book, The Forest, so much so, that I have requested two more of his titles. It is the story of 'the forest' in England, and covers 1,000 years. It merges history with fiction perfectly.
The Amazon review:
"As he did most recently--and with greater success--in London, Rutherfurd offers a sweeping picture of an area of England by focusing on a few families who lived there. This time he concentrates on the New Forest, part of the southern coast of England bounded by the English Channel. Rutherfurd traces the lives of peasants, smugglers, churchmen, woodsmen, and upper-class families from the 11th to the 20th centuries. These assorted men and women take part in the events surrounding the death of King Rufus (William the Conqueror's son), the failure of the Spanish Armada, England's Civil War, and more. Rutherfurd has always used his characters more as placeholders in history than as living human beings, but those in The Forest are particularly one-dimensional. That, plus the annoyingly Michener-like didactic tone of the narrative, makes this a hard book to recommend, even for fans of Rutherfurd. Still, readers looking for a fictional overview of English history will find it here in spades."
This is a good book, not quite as good as London, though, in my opinion.
This is the second of Ruthfurd's books that I've read. Upon recommendation of a friend I picked them up and am happy I did. The writing is beautiful and forms the scene without overkill of detail. I like the sense of being transported through time as the 'forest' evolves and the dynamics of the people and the changes of the times trespass into its tranquility. In some places I laughed as, though I grew up in an area where there is an abundance of woods and hunting is 'the' sport, I learned more about forest life than I perhaps ever wanted to know. Great characters with engaging stories makes it almost like a collection of short stories which makes it less daunting to undertake during the school term, but sometimes it's hard to put it down and you feel compelled to read on!
One of the best novels I've ever read! This author writes epics similar to James Mitchner
Interesting subject and well written.
Excellent book based on the history of The New Forest of England. Tales of love and honor, deceit and violence, inheritance and loss