eBook - 2019
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The #1 New York Times bestselling author and “one of the great storytellers of our time” (San Francisco Book Review) turns from the glamour of the royal courts to tell the story of an ordinary woman, Alinor, who cannot bear to conform to the life that lies before her. Midsummer’s Eve, 1648, England is in the grip of a civil war between renegade king and rebellious parliament. The struggle reaches every corner of the kingdom, even the remote tidelands —the marshy landscape of the south coast. Alinor, a descendant of wisewomen, trapped in 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 neighbors. 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. It is dangerous for a woman to be different.
Publisher: [S.l.]: Atria Books, 2019.
ISBN: 9781501187179
Characteristics: 464 p.
Additional Contributors: cloudLibrary

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Nov 22, 2020

Read before Dark Tides

Jun 25, 2020

4-4 1/2 star book. This book is the first in a new series by Gregory and it was a really good read. In Sussex, England in the 17th century, Alinor is a deserted wife, raising her son and daughter in abject poverty. A hard worker, Alinor does whatever is needed to feed her children. She's a midwife, a healer, and some say she is a witch. With her country in the middle of a civil war, Alinor is not political, she is just trying to make her way in the world. But then she meets James, a mystery man who is in truth a priest, a spy and a man of wealth. She and James fall in love, but neither can see a way to be together. But beautiful Alinor and her equally lovely young daughter Alys inspire lust in the men and jealousy in the women and when things get difficult, the old stories about her being a witch come back to haunt her. A compelling and very good book. I can't wait for the next book in the series.

Apr 21, 2020

If you enjoy historical fiction as I do, you will love this one. It is the story of the war in the 1640s between King Henry I and Oliver Cromwell. But that only sets the scene behind the real story, at least for me! The life, love, hurts, secrets, hope, failures, successes, fear, and more of Alinor and James and the 1640s people of England, is so well written by Phillipa Gregory that it may well be her very best ever! Typical of Gregory, don't assume you know where it will end.

LoganLib_Phoebe Mar 01, 2020

This engaging story is set at the conclusion of the English Civil War and explores the impact on the lives of ordinary people. Alinor, a midwife abandoned by her husband, finds herself drawn to a priest who is secretly working for the Royalists. This is a treacherous time, especially for a single mother who works with herbs...It was Alinor's daughter Alice who impressed me the most, she was a determined young woman who knew her own mind. The story finished very abruptly, but perhaps that will be resolved if it is part of a series.

Feb 13, 2020

This bodes well for an excellent historical fiction series: rich human portraits of everyday people (not to say they are ordinary!) set against the backdrop of the English Civil War. Strong female leads experience the ebb and flow of issues of class and party, church and state, gender politics and the place of "wise" women in society, set in a place in between sea and land, marsh and mud, where every tide shifts the very homeland on which people live.

Dec 28, 2019

another fabulous read from this author. Characters are gripping, the story line is easy to follow with great detail that keeps you reading. Interesting political background of times is shown. A super glimpse into times of poverty, strife and how the people perceived life during the years in the book. Would recommend it highly!!

Dec 24, 2019

It's good to read another series from the serial Tudor writer. This book also contains political context at the time which I don't have much knowledge about.

Nov 03, 2019

This was a mixed bag for me; on one hand, I was drawn to the perspective of average people, particularly Women living, surviving and coping in a world which ultimately doesn't value them. On the other, I felt that the lead character was incredibly naive and too submissive even for that time, especially because she was a Wise Woman and this was her inherited lineage. And I actually enjoyed and felt hopeful by the fiery determination of the secondary Female character, who I'm anticipating would be the main POV in the second installment of this series. The novel could have been about 100 pages shorter, which would have made it tighter and more cohesive, eliminating so much over descriptors and rehashing of the same thoughts. I felt that Philippa who normally writes for the intelligent reader was dumbing this story down and I certainly didn't appreciate that. Overall the climactic cliffhanger builds my anticipation for the sequel and I hope that the Author brings to that book the potency, fire and creative genius I know she is capable of.

Oct 04, 2019

A lot of themes are pulled together here, among them poverty, witches and magic, war, royalty, peasants, religion and a culture of male domination. It was an easy read; the book tried to take you in a lot of directions. The ending tone felt a little too modern. It is more a "girl" read and less a history read. It does speak to the plight of "the women left behind".

Aug 31, 2019

These books are so easy to read, the stories are so enjoyably it's hard to put them down. I love the timeframe and the history it provides

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