Ambitious, extensively researched, and deeply engrossing…
Linde uses an intriguing blend of magic realism, lyrical prose, and imagery and weaves a complex tapestry of a family’s history from 65 BCE through sixty generations. William Terrill, the retired Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, moves to a condo/apartment/assisted living center half-way between Mineral Point and Dodgeville after his wife’s death and becomes friends with Reverend Mike Thomas, one of the building’s residents. As the two men become close friends, William decides to share a secret he has kept hidden all his life, unaware his connection with Mike is more than their newly formed friendship. William’s reflective, thoughtful nature makes him shine without drawing attention from other characters, including the sensible and grounded Mike with whom he shares a beautiful bond of friendship, and the several generations of the Terrills, whose intriguing stories slowly unfold alongside William’s. Set in Belgium, France, England, Cornwall, and Mineral Point, Wisconsin, the story boasts a huge cast: there are knights, barons, kings, and ordinary people trying to make their living. Linde places his large cast of characters in an intriguing world marked by political power play and personal intrigue. He skillfully weaves in deeper themes of love, loss, the transient nature of life, mortality, organized religion versus spirituality, and the complexities of human relations. Linde’s narration elevates an already-intriguing story to a complex examination of how people live and die generation after generation and how their actions shape the lives of those born after them. A story founded on history, which also boasts grand events and ideas. Exhilarating.
The King of Hearts