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Forever Amber by Kathleen Windsor

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LCW
Compulsive Reader
Location: Southern California

Forever Amber by Kathleen Windsor

Postby LCW » Tue August 26th, 2008, 5:28 pm

This is the story of Amber, a smart driven woman who is bound and determined to rise above her circumstances in life...by whatever means necessary. Raised in the country as a farm girl, the only means Amber has at her disposal are her beauty, wit, and a pair of cajones that the toughest man would envy!

Early in the story Amber meets Bruce, falls head over heels, and uses him as her ticket to London and a better life. Bruce thinks Amber is good enough to use and toss aside whenever she becomes an inconvenience to his plans. As Bruce drifts in and out of her life, Amber claws her way to the top eventually becoming the King's favorite mistress.

No matter who she marries or takes up with, her heart belongs to Bruce. Amber's enemies think she has become too powerful and ultimately use against her the one thing that causes her to take leave of her senses....her obsessive love for Bruce. The ending was priceless, I wanted to scream to her "No, don't do it!".

All in all this was an amazing novel. The decadent life of the rich contrasted with the miserable life of the poor. It had brilliantly detailed history, beautiful writing, and so many twists and turns that would each make their own stunning novel.

I absolutely loved Amber! Some of the time I wanted to cheer for her, other times I cringed at the choices she made but I just couldn't help but feel sympathy for her. She was a woman living in a man's world who wanted more than her lot in life would allow. She did what she had to do to get it. It may not have been "moral" as dictated by the times, but who in the novel was really moral? Bruce used and discarded Amber as a whore knowing that she really loved him, two of her husbands were more evil than Amber could ever dream of being, plots and schemes were everywhere, everyone stepping on everyone to get ahead. Wars were fought, people died and suffered to advance the schemes of the rich and powerful. Is it really all that different from today? It may be shocking to our modern sensibilities but if we are honest with ourselves, I think that deep down we'll all find a little bit of Amber in each of us.

5/5 stars

tsjmom
Reader

Postby tsjmom » Thu August 28th, 2008, 8:43 pm

OK I'll just go ahead and say it: ehhhhh. I found the main character very unlikable and her luck at coming out on top of any situation time and again (and again and again....) so improbable that it took away from the book. I guess I like to lose myself in a novel, so I expect it to be somewhat realistic. When the story line becomes too unbelievable to the point of being ludicrous, I get a little turned off. Same thing happened with me when I read the DaVinci Code :S

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donroc
Compulsive Reader
Location: Winter Haven, Florida
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Postby donroc » Thu August 28th, 2008, 11:36 pm

I read the book when I was a lad, which my mother had purchased when it first was released, and I remember enjoying it. The film disappointed me, except for George Sanders' performance as Charles II.
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Bodo the Apostate, a novel set during the reign of Louis the Pious and end of the Carolingian Empire.

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Fri August 29th, 2008, 12:25 am

I'm guessing FA is one of those novels you either love or hate. I do admit it is hard to get into a book where the main characters are so unlikeable (and not just Amber, Bruce is no peach either). What's nice about boards like this is we can agree to disagree without some of the nastiness and negative voting one finds at Amazon. :)

tsjmom
Reader

Postby tsjmom » Fri August 29th, 2008, 2:23 am

"Misfit" wrote:I'm guessing FA is one of those novels you either love or hate. I do admit it is hard to get into a book where the main characters are so unlikeable (and not just Amber, Bruce is no peach either). What's nice about boards like this is we can agree to disagree without some of the nastiness and negative voting one finds at Amazon. :)


I completely agree!

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diamondlil
Bibliomaniac

Postby diamondlil » Sat August 30th, 2008, 11:22 pm

I have a review of this onehere. Because I reviewed it for something where you had to use a specific format I am not going to post it here, as it is not as fluent or useful as I like to think my reviews are normally but if you are interested just click on the link above!

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love_uk
Reader
Location: Milwaukee & Northumberland

Postby love_uk » Thu September 24th, 2009, 10:51 pm

Read this as a teenager & at the time was most enthralled by the amount of sex in it :o

Have to agree that I always thought Bruce was a louse (and poorly played by Richard Greene, to boot).

Amber has always been for me, another Scarlett O'Hara - neither could ever deeply engage my feelings, except for contempt (narcissistic people drive me mad) & a contrary smidge of envy.

Still - I've re-read FA & GWTW many times over the years so it looks like the authors knew what they were doing!
Joan

My test of a good novel is dreading to begin the last chapter. ~Thomas Helm

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Thu September 24th, 2009, 11:57 pm

Winsor is good for not sugar coating her MC's. She's also written one set in 19C New York and Montana, Wanderers Eastward Wanderers West. Not a five star read but still very entertaining for those who like big fat books (and I do mean big fat books).
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

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Miss Moppet
Bibliophile
Location: North London
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Postby Miss Moppet » Sat September 26th, 2009, 1:35 pm

"Misfit" wrote:Winsor is good for not sugar coating her MC's.


Not at all, which is what I like about her. I think with Amber and Scarlett, you either love them or you hate them. Anyone who loves Amber would probably also enjoy KW's follow up novel, Star Money, although it's contemporary, set in 1940s New York. The main character is Shireen Delaney, who writes a novel much like FA, and the book deals with her rise to bestsellerdom and the price of her success, with a strong feminist slant. OOP but can be found second-hand.

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Elizabeth
Avid Reader
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Postby Elizabeth » Sat September 26th, 2009, 2:55 pm

I also like CALAIS, although like STAR MONEY it's not historical. The central character, a method actress, does play classic roles like Mary Queen of Scots, Lady Macbeth, Eustacia Vye, and lots of others, so there are bits and pieces of history and historical settings. Like most of Winsor's work, it's kind of a love-it-or-hate-it proposition.
THE RED LILY CROWN: A Novel of Medici Florence.
THE FLOWER READER.
THE SECOND DUCHESS.

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