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John Swynfen, a rising young MP and one of the leaders of the moderate party, is working for peace, but only if safeguards can be established to protect Parliament and control the powers of the king. Ranged against him and his friends are Oliver Cromwell and his son-in-law Henry Ireton, intent on seizing power by the sword and destroying not only the monarchy but the elected government. Within a few weeks, London is occupied by Cromwell's army, parliamentary government is in ruins, the king is executed. And John Swynfen is a prisoner.
Anne Swynfen travels home from Westminster to Staffordshire with her young children through a desperate winter. There, uncertain whether she will ever see her husband again, she takes charge of the large estate, where starvation looms due to bad harvests, and violent danger threatens from outlaws and the armies of both sides. While she struggles against prejudice to do a man's job, John is shot, beaten, shackled, humiliated, and tortured. Tempted by golden promises if he recants, threatened with death if he does not, he tries to cling to his sanity and his beliefs. When he finally escapes, he begins a terrible journey home across war-torn England to find his wife.
This is a story about keeping faith - many kinds of faith - in the face of terror, anguish, and despair.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Cate F. on 01-27-18
Epic Love Story. Beautifully written & narrated.
An English Odysseus suffers the ordeals of imprisonment, torture, and wandering in frozen wilderness on his journey home. His Penelope, Ann Swinfen, suffers her own ordeals as she fights to preserve their family and estate.
It took me a bit of time to enter into the story as I am not very familiar with the events of the period. Once I did the time flew and I listened every possible moment to this long and gripping tale. Highly recommended!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
By Thel on 04-19-18
A Great Story
A terrific story; the characters were upper crust but then as the story progresses, they are less so. I thoroughly enjoyed the scope of this book. And I liked that the main character was a woman; she had the struggles which no man in the 17th century could understand. How lonely was her life.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Annie on 03-23-18
A wonderful gripping read
Would you listen to This Rough Ocean again? Why?
Yes. The historic detail of the period portrayed is educational and the minutiae of domestic life in the seventeenth century is fascinating
What did you like best about this story?
The contrast between the lives of Ann and John
What does Philip Battley bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
His various different accents were spot on
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
The end, without giving anything away
Any additional comments?
A wonderful book, for anyone who is a fan of Norah Lofts, this book is a must. Can't wait to try some of her other novels.