Tidelands (The Fairmile Series #1) (Hardcover)
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September 2019 Indie Next List
“Philippa Gregory never fails to create beautifully written stories that suck you in and transport you back to the time and place the book is set. As always, her latest novel, Tidelands, is obviously thoroughly researched, with many historical facts sprinkled throughout. I highly recommend this book for fans of historical fiction.”
— Lisa Smegal, Rivendell Bookstore, Abilene, KS
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.
About the Author
Philippa Gregory is the author of many New York Times bestselling novels, including The Other Boleyn Girl, and is a recognized authority on women’s history. Many of her works have been adapted for the screen including The Other Boleyn Girl. Her most recent novel, The Last Tudor, is now in production for a television series. She graduated from the University of Sussex and received a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, where she is a Regent. She holds honorary degrees from Teesside University and the University of Sussex. She is a fellow of the Universities of Sussex and Cardiff and was awarded the 2016 Harrogate Festival Award for Contribution to Historical Fiction. She is an honorary research fellow at Birkbeck, University of London. She founded Gardens for the Gambia, a charity to dig wells in poor rural schools in The Gambia, and has provided nearly 200 wells. She welcomes visitors to her website PhilippaGregory.com.
“Superb. . . A searing portrait of a woman that resonates across the ages.”
“This is Gregory par excellence. A promising start to a family saga about ordinary people.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“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)
“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.”
"Dynamic...History buffs and Gregory’s fans alike will be anticipating the next installment.”
— Publishers Weekly
"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)
"As with all good historical fiction, the novel offers that uncanny combination of distancing detail and themes that feel only too close to us today....Tidelands is a spellbinding read and an evocative glimpse at our strangely familiar past."
— Independent (UK)
“Richly detailed and brimming with secrets (personal and political), Tidelands is a captivating portrait of a brave woman and a compelling start to a new series.”
— Shelf Awareness
"I adore the way Philippa Gregory tells a story. I especially love how she brings to life female characters and makes them queens in their own right, even if they are mere herbalists....What Gregory does so wonderfully, though, is make you see how unjust the world can be, especially for women of a particular time period."