"A welcome topical pivot from gifted Gregory, the first entry in her promising Fairmile Series sets the stage for a multigenerational, multivolume saga about the rise of a family from rags to riches."--Booklist
"Dynamic...History buffs and Gregory's fans alike will be anticipating the next installment."--Publishers Weekly
"A gripping novel...With her usual meticulous attention to detail, the author easily elicits the chaos and dangers of the mid-17th century...This book will leave readers eagerly awaiting the next installment in the series. Fans of Gregory's works and of historicals in general will delight in this page-turning tale."--Library Journal (starred review)
"The author crafts her material with effortless ease. Her grasp of social mores is brilliant, the love story rings true and the research is, as ever, of the highest calibre."--Daily Mail (UK)
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.
Praise for Philippa Gregory:
‘Popular historical fiction at its finest, immaculately researched and superbly told’ The Times
'Philippa Gregory is truly the mistress of the historical novel. It would be hard to make history more entertaining, lively or engaging' Sunday Express
‘Gregory has popularised Tudor history perhaps more than any other living fiction writer . . . All of her books feature strong, complex women, doing their best to improve their lives in worlds dominated by men’ Sunday Times
'Immaculate research, pacy narratives and a stubborn insistence that history is not only about men . . . a powerful reminder of how precarious the lives of the Tudor women could be' Daily Mail
‘Superb … A searing portrait of a woman that resonates across the ages’ People
‘This is Gregory par excellence. A promising start to a family saga about ordinary people’ Kirkus Reviews
‘A welcome topical pivot from gifted Gregory, the first entry in her promising Fairmile series sets the stage for a multigenerational, multivolume saga about the rise of a family from rags to riches’ Booklist
‘Dynamic ... History buffs and Gregory’s fans alike will be anticipating the next installment’ Publishers Weekly
‘Richly detailed and brimming with secrets’ Shelf Awareness