In 1944, Kathleen Winsor first released her book, “Forever Amber.” This book became an instant sensation and Winsor was catapulted into fame.
This book is about a young girl named Amber St. Clare, the niece of a farmer who climbs her way from a country bumpkin to a duchess using her wits and allured behavior. While status and money are aspirations of hers, her true desire is the love of Lord Bruce Carlton, a man she met while still working on her uncle’s farm.
However, this love may not come as easily to Amber as she might wish. Throughout her time in London, Amber braves being abandoned while pregnant, the Great Plague, and the Fire of London. She faces conspiracies and betrayal at every point in her journey.
Though this book comes close to a thousand pages long, it is enticing the whole way through. It is gratifying to read how Amber finds ways to overcome every obstacle that greets her. Despite otherwise reprehensible acts Amber commits, her love for her children shines through and gives her some restoration of character. And reprehensible acts notwithstanding, you eventually come to root for her happiness.
Much like anyone with Imposter Syndrome, she constantly doubts and second-guesses herself and those around her. Her distrust of others is palpable. Her intense desire to be happy and her longing to be with the one she loves is evident throughout the entirety of the book, despite its length. At many times, you long with her.
Winsor succeeds in drawing the reader in from the moment they open the book to the first page. The emphasis she puts on seemingly unimportant details only aids in the reader’s immersion of the book. If anything, these details only proves the importance Winsor placed on historical accuracy.
While I, on several occasions, needed to pause my reading to look up unknown words, I found that I enjoyed the vocabulary lessons. Because the book is so long, Winsor has the time to flesh out every character.
This book certainly takes time to read; but it’s worth it.