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Publisher Description

England 1648. A dangerous time for a woman to be different . . .

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

Fiction & Literature
20 August
Simon & Schuster Australia
Simon and Schuster Australia Pty Ltd.

Customer Reviews

Food'Flowers ,

Very disappointing!

I’ve read a lot of Philippa Gregory’s books and loved every single one. This, on the other hand, was very very disappointing. The story itself was fascinating and had so much promise. But the excessive level of historical detail was a constant distraction from the story. A little bit of historical context relevant to the story is useful but I was left with the distinct impression that Philippa’s primary focus was parading her historical knowledge under the guise of a story. The story itself came in a poor second place and it really showed in the end. The end itself was incredibly disappointing. Made me regret reading the book. All that reading investment for that ending? It was as if Philippa woke one morning and decided she’d had enough of writing the book, yawned which resulted in an involuntary movement of her hand which in turn wrote the last paragraph. I’m now weary of reading anything new from this author,

cat264 ,


Stupid ending. I have read all Phillipa Gregory books and I really dint enjoy this

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