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Philippa Gregory

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Simon & Schuster

Published : 2019

Copyright : Philippa Gregory 2019

ISBN-10 : PB 1-4711-7275-9
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-4711-7275-5

Publisher's Write-Up

England 1648. A dangerous time for a woman to be different...

Midsummer’s Eve, 1648, and England is in the grip of civil war between renegade King and rebellious Parliament. The struggle reaches every corner of the kingdom, even to the remote Tidelands – the marshy landscape of the south coast.

Alinor, a descendant of wise women, crushed by poverty and superstition, waits in the graveyard under the full moon for a ghost who will declare her free from her abusive husband. Instead she meets James, a young man on the run, and shows him the secret ways across the treacherous marsh, not knowing that she is leading disaster into the heart of her life.

Suspected of possessing dark secrets in superstitious times, Alinor’s ambition and determination mark her out from her neighbours. This is the time of witch-mania, and Alinor, a woman without a husband, skilled with herbs, suddenly enriched, arouses envy in her rivals and fear among the villagers, who are ready to take lethal action into their own hands.

'The novel's power lies in Gregory's evocative portrayal of the tidelands and the everyday lives of those who are bound to them.'

Sunday Express

'Gregory is an experienced storyteller and doesn’t let you down. Tidelands is a gripping and intelligent portrait of a woman fighting to survive in a hostile world.'

The Times
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Reader Reviews

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Review by Alison Berrieman (090621) Rating (9/10)

Review by Alison Berrieman
Book Source: Not Known

Rating 9/10
Set in Tidelands, an isolated locale, the year is 1648 during the midst of a civil war between the King and his supporters and parliament.

Alinor, neither wife or a widow when her husband is lost at sea, struggles to make a living to support her daughter Alys and son Rob. A midwife and herbalist, both dangerous occupations of the times, is constantly under scrutiny as locals suspect her of possessing dark secrets. However, ambition and determination brings them good fortune which fuels suspicion from the locals even further.

Alinors life becomes even more complicated when she encounters James, a catholic priest and helps him seek refuge. Little does she know that her life will never be the same again.

Times were tough and, when Alys agrees to marry a local farmer’s son, having no dowry, life becomes harder still as they try to raise the money.

Starting slowly but increasing in pace throughout this was a totally spellbinding read. The last few chapters are shocking and intense. A very late night was needed to get to the end as I couldn’t put it down.

Brilliantly researched with descriptions of daily life and surroundings. The characters may be fictional but their lives feel very real.

Phillippa Gregory never fails to bring history alive and makes it so interesting. This historical period is brought to life, balancing fact and fiction.

This book is totally engaging with vivid characters, I can’t wait to read the next book Dark Tides in this new Fairmile series. I am giving this a 9/10 purely because of the slow start but as this book sets the scene for future titles it really needs this extra time to set the scene.
Alison Berrieman (9th June 2021)

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