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This Rough Ocean

Narrated by: Philip Battley
Length: 23 hrs and 57 mins
5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)
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Summary

It is December, 1648, and England faces one of the greatest crises in its history. Bands of renegade soldiers and broken men roam the countryside, looting, burning, and raping. In Parliament, former allies are torn apart after six years of bloody conflict. Will there be peace instead of war, or a military takeover of the country? 

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.

©2015 Ann Swinfen (P)2018 Ann Swinfen

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A great storyteller, thoroughly enjoyed it

Loved this tale, it was a great eyeopener on the historical time period, and the description of the characters and their lives was vivid.
It takes quite a lot to keep me interested in an almost 24 hour listen as it is in-car commute mostly, and at first the narrator's style did not suit me, however by adjusting the speed to 1,25 it soon became familiar and I couldn't wait for my next "episode"

Nothing negative for me, if you love historical novels with a basis on fact and real characters you will love this book and end up knowing a bit more about the tumultuous Cromwellian era.

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  • Annie
  • Montignac sur Charente, France
  • 23-03-18

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.

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  • Cate F.
  • 27-01-18

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

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  • mimi
  • 01-12-18

Wonderful

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I spent every available minute listening. It is a great historical novel.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 11-11-18

The overcoming power of love

This book was fantastic. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time worrying for the poor Swinfens. I enjoyed hearing about both the husband’s and the wife’s difficult journeys. They were both compelling characters and I enjoyed both points of view equally.

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  • Thel
  • 19-04-18

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.

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  • stefani
  • 13-03-18

Don't miss this true story!

Incredible story! It took awhile to get into the story but then it took off. The narrator is fantastic as always.