1816: Napoleon has at last been defeateed, but victory brings no peace to the English.
The cost of war strikes deep into the country- there is a raging inflation, discharged soldiers join the ranks of the unemployed, wages tumble and the bread price soars- and hungry men are easily stirred to protest.
Amid this turbulence, Heloise and James stand guard over Morland Place- for its spirit as much as its fortunes- when a tragic accident strikes at the very heart of the family, taking one person on whom they all depend. On top of this, a devastating scandal brings the Morland name into the glare of public notoriety, so that Sophie and Rosamund are forced to learn the difference between real love and its enticing but dangerous illusion.
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#15: 1816-1820; covers the post-war depressionThe Reckoning takes up where The Campaigners left off. In the aftermath of the war, England experiences a postwar slump, and riots threaten to break out all over the country. Meanwhile, Sophie and Rosamund are thrust back into the social life of Manchester and, inevitably, the marriage market; Rosamund is all set to marry her cousin Marcus, while Sophie forms a friendship with Jasper Hobsbawm (the more I read this series, the more I like him, actually). But a couple of tragedies strike the Morland family, one of which threatens to destroy the family¿s reputation¿.This is another strong addition to the series, with the emotions and thoughts of the Morlands taking front stage. James and Heloise¿s story takes the back seat in favor of the younger generation, paving the way for followers of the series to become attached to these newer characters. Of these, my favorite is Sophie, who always seemed a great deal more intelligent than Rosamund. The historical bits of the book are not as front and center as it is in other books, but this in no way detracted from my enjoyment of the book. I¿m not quite sure that I understand why Rosamund¿s feelings for Marcus changed so quickly before she married him, but other than that, this is a really great addition to the series¿rather soap opera-ish at times, but a lot of fun nonetheless.