the next good book

Act of Oblivion

By Robert Harris


458 pages

What’s it about?

In 1660 The Oblivion and Indemnity Act was passed by the Parliament in England.  This act was intended as a general pardon to all those that had committed crimes during the previous civil war and Commonwealth period.  Exceptions were made for those involved in the arrest, trial, and murder of King Charles I.  Colonel Edward Whalley and his son-in-law Colonel William Goffe are two of the regicides who helped condemn Charles I.  They realize immediately that in order to save their own lives they must board a ship to America and escape.  Leaving behind all they know they make for the new world in hopes of finding a new life.

What did it make me think about?

What a brutal world it was in 1660.

Should I read it?

Robert Harris brings life in the 1600’s alive on the page- and may I say it does not always seem like a good life… It was a brutal, bleak, and punishing life from what I can see.  This book follows real life regicides Ned Whalley and Will Goffe and speculates what life in America may have been like for them.  This book may appeal especially to men, but is a good read for any lover of historical fiction.


“He transferred his gaze to the opposite bank, to the settlement of wooden houses dominated by a much grander building.  That must be Harvard College, where they produced the stern young sectaries who spread their dour religion across New England.  A strange country this, he thought, where two such conflicting races and philosophies, heathen and fanatics, existed side by side.  What good could ever come of it?”

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