September 6th, 2012: Love Saves the World
When her mother dies, Sarah is left alone and uncertain of what to do next. Opportunity comes in the form of Walter Carey, current Earl of Linfield -- recently returned from his exile in France. He is impressed with this clever and beautiful girl and invites her to stay at Linfield Grange as the housekeeper.
Her idyllic life and relationship with Walter is tested when Walter's younger brother, Richard, arrives from France. And history threatens to repeat itself as Sarah is seduced by Richard's sophisticated ways.
Richard is clear that he only wants Sarah as a mistress so Sarah runs away to London where she finds work in the tavern. But not long after, she catches the eye of Charles Hart, who happens to work for Sir Thomas Killigrew of the royal theatre.
Reminiscent of Bertrice Small's Blaze Wyndham -- this is a sweeping story that takes the reader from the Civil War to Cromwell's England and finally to the Restoration and tells the story of Sarah Jennings.
It takes Sarah and Richard over a decade to discover a love that overcomes class difference. In that period, Fleming treats us to historical tidbits about the royal court, theatre life and the Great Fire of London.
This book has a lot to recommend it: it was a fascinating read. I loved how Fleming was able to blend the fictitious life of Sarah Jennings into the very historical world of Nell Gwynne and the court of Charles II.