In Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, Sydney Carton is an almost ancillary character. Dickens' novel tells us the stories of Charles Darnay, Lucie Manette, and Alexandre Manette. Carton disappears from the novel for eleven chapters and several years, reappearing without warning to bring the novel to its chilling and heartbreaking end. Yet Dickens is silent about the circumstances that transformed Carton from a promising youth to an embittered alcoholic and finally to the man who makes the ultimate sacrifice for love. A Far Better Rest imagines his missing personal history and makes him the center of this tragic tale.
Born in England of a wealthy, unloving father and a French mother, Sydney is sent to study in Paris, where he meets Charles Darnay and the other students—Robespierre and Camille Desmoulins among them—who will have enormous influence on his life and alter the course of French history. Years later, when Sydney, disinherited, is living a lonely and purposeless existence in London, Charles reenters his life. The beauty and kindness of Charles's wife, Lucie Manette, affects Sydney so deeply that he secretly devotes his life to her happiness.
At last abandoning London for Paris, Sydney becomes a witness to the formation of the French Republic at the end of the eighteenth century and also to one of the most turbulent periods in history. A Far Better Rest is a novel of passion, identity, and history that stands fully in its own right.
Der Verlag über das Buch
"Though we know what will happen at the end, Alleyn's command of French culture and historical detail brings the story to life in a fresh new way: she puts flesh and bone on Carton and we can literally inhale the atmosphere of revolutionary Paris." --Katherine Neville, "The Eight" and "The Magic Circle"
"Once you start reading, you simply can't put down Susanne Alleyn's 'A Far Better Rest.' The past come alive, not merely through the vividly depicted events, but also through the carefully crafted period language that seems to capture the essence of the French Revolutionary era." --Doris Y. Kadish, Prof. of French & Women's Studies, University of Georgia