- Paperback: 640 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins - GB (4 December 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780007230020
- ISBN-13: 978-0007230020
- ASIN: 0007230028
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.9 x 19.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 399 g
- Customer Reviews: 307 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 125,857 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Favoured Child Paperback – 4 December 2006
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Praise for ‘The Favoured Child’:
‘For sheer pace and percussive drama it will take a lot of beating.’
Praise for ‘Wideacre’:
‘This is a story of violent love and unsettling passions. It will never let you rest for a page as you wait for the climax that must come for the people and the land.’
‘Amid all the social upheaval strides Beatrice Lacey, who, for singlemindedness, tempestuousness, passion, amorality, sensuality and plain old-fashioned evil, knocks Scarlet O’Hara into short cotton socks.’
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Top international reviews
Julia and Richard have been brought up as cousins and joint heirs to the Wideacre estate. But what dark secrets lie in their past? If you've read Wideacre then you know. If you read The Favoured Child as a standalone novel then you don't - but it works either way. The historical setting of rural England at the turn of the 19th century, its rampant poverty, class and gender injustice is captured superbly. Five stars to Philippa Gregory for that. Gregory's descriptions of the Sussex countryside are also stunning and make the book worth reading for this alone.
Where this book fails overall though, I think, is in the narration. The first novel, Wideacre, is told through the viewpoint of the villainess, Beatrice, and she is thoroughly convincing and very real. The Favoured Child is told through Julia's narration and the villain, Richard, seen only through her eyes. We hear nothing of his thoughts and motivations. Consequently I found him quite unconvincing and implausible. He's almost a stereotypical villain. There are, furthermore, no plot twists (not, at least, if you have read the prequel) or major surprises.
It's a decent, but not great read. Skip this one and read Wideacre instead, if you haven't already.
I can't rememebr exactly how it all ends so I look forward to finishing and starting Meridon!