Book - 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: New York : Atria Books, ©2019.
ISBN: 9781501187155
Characteristics: 455 pages :,map ;,24 cm.


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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".

Sep 06, 2019

Not what I expected. Gregory has great writing skills and knowledge of Great Britain history.

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

debwalker Aug 27, 2019

New series from Gregory - set during the English Civil War. Back to the 17th century!

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