Book - 2019
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This New York Times bestseller from "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, living in a dangerous time for a woman to be different.

A country at war
A king beheaded
A woman with a dangerous secret

On Midsummer's Eve, Alinor waits in the church graveyard, hoping to encounter the ghost of her missing husband and thus confirm his death. Until she can, she is neither maiden nor wife nor widow, living in a perilous limbo. Instead she meets James, a young man on the run. She shows him the secret ways across the treacherous marshy landscape of the Tidelands, not knowing she is leading a spy and an enemy into her life.

England is in the grip of a bloody civil war that reaches into the most remote parts of the kingdom. Alinor's suspicious neighbors are watching each other for any sign that someone might be disloyal to the new parliament, and Alinor's ambition and determination mark her as a woman who doesn't follow the rules. They have always whispered about the sinister power of Alinor's beauty, but the secrets they don't know about her and James are far more damning. This is the time of witch-mania, and if the villagers discover the truth, they could take matters into their own hands.

"This is Gregory par excellence" ( Kirkus Reviews). "Fans of Gregory's works and of historicals in general will delight in this page-turning tale" ( Library Journal , starred review) that is "superb... A searing portrait of a woman that resonates across the ages" ( People).
Publisher: New York : Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2019.
Edition: First Atria Books hardcover edition.
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9781501187155
Branch Call Number: GREGORY
Characteristics: 455 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Alternative Title: Tide lands


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Feb 27, 2021

Philippa Gregory always delivers quality historical fiction. Living in changing times with the king in exile, the role of women is still very limited. An abandoned woman and her two children scratch out a living until a chance encounter with a persecuted priest changes all their lives. It ended rather abruptly but introduced the sequel, Darklands at the end of the book.

Feb 02, 2021

Interesting, different than her royal fiction. I always learn a lot of unknown history when I read her books. The story was interesting if a tad unrealistic. Started slow but I'm glad I kept going. Looking forward to Dark Tides.

Interesting insight into grinding poverty in the 17th century and the Cromwell rebellion from the perspective of the small land holders. The 22 year old 'priest' character was poorly drawn. The 27 year old protagonist/midwife is the mother of a 15or 16 year old? This daughter seems to have a 20th century consciousness and independent mind set.
Overall interesting history but characters are not realistic.

Nov 22, 2020

Read / returned to Inv Lib 12-21-20 (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.

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