I'll leave it to other reviewers to summarize the plot of this excellent novel, instead calling your attention to the significant episode when Milton disappears from his Puritan village for 6 weeks, regains his lost sight, and is welcomed as an equal when adopted by an native tribe--whose mysterious animism he, in turn, adopts. We see a great 17th-century intellect overwhelmed by a 21st-century spirituality, and we contemplate the structure of faith, intellect, history and truth. Structure is a theme, too, as again Ackroyd's modus operandi is a strand of narratives and narrators whose knot of stories are worth the reader's untying. Of course, Ackroyd's protagonist is a Milton, not the Milton; and this Milton is a doer, not a writer. As another English revolutionary, GBS's John Tanner, said, "He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches." So the novel never mentions "Paradise Lost" because Ackroyd's Milton has come to America to regain the paradise--to 'do' paradise--rather than stagnate in Restoration London to teach about a paradise in an epic poem. To take off from Stanley Fish's title on "Paradise Lost," we are surprised by Milton's virtue when he becomes our post-Christian co-religionist. By far, this is Ackroyd's best book from the 14 novels, biographies and critical studies of his that I've read. And the best Milton I've read in a many a year.