Preserved in Amber

Publisher: AuthorHouse

ISBN  1425919057

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Preserved in Amber.


The setting for Preserved in Amber is 17th century England, the civil war between supporters of the King, Charles I, and Oliver Cromwell’s Roundheads. Katherine, the teenage daughter of an innkeeper from the south coast of Devon begins a torrid affair with a French soldier of fortune. A naïve girl, raised in a strict catholic home, she is besotted by the French aristocrat, Anton De La Croix, who related by bloodline to the Queen, Henrietta Maria of Bourbon, has sworn allegiance to protect his cousin in the conflict with the parliamentarians.

Separated from him by his call of duty to the Royalist cause, Katherine realizes she is pregnant. Enlisting the aid of her sister they disguise the evidence from their parents, until hearing news of French spies captured in battle and certain that one is her lover, she realizes her only hope is to travel by foot to the city and appeal to the courts, begging his release. Two “ladies of the night,” discovering her plight, take her to their “house of ill repute” where, nursed back to health, she is coerced into joining their profession in the conviction that her parents had disowned her for her indiscretion over the affair. She accepts their lifestyle of prostitution as her own, which by contracting syphilis, leads to sickness and early death. Bitter with hate for Anton, the man she holds responsible for her plight, she vows on her deathbed to seek revenge on him in the next life.

The second thread, running in parallel with the first, and set in the present day, involves a middle-aged man’s meeting with Amber, an escort at a massage parlour. Richard Collins, a budding author, who has spent too many years in respectability, but refuses to “grow old gracefully,” is recently divorced. A series of strange coincidences convince him that he is the reincarnation of the French cavalier, and that Amber, the reincarnation of Katherine, is his link with the past. Feeling a sense of responsibility for her life, he decides to write their story in the hope of making enough money to enable Amber to give up her work thus placating the spirit of Katherine, to break the continual cycle of rebirth into which her traumatic experiences have locked them.

© 2008 Robert A Read. aka Mysteral.

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