Sunday, October 21, 2012

Wild for Wideacre

Wideacre by Philippa Gregory

I've always been a fan of Philippa Gregory, in fact she is probably my favorite author. So I have read several of her works including The Tudor Series and often wondered where did this passion and deftness she has in her craft come from? I had to start at the beginning. So, like any good fledgling historian I went back to the first thing she'd written. Wideacre, book number one in the Wideacre trilogy

The story takes place in the English countryside in the 18th century. The novel centers around young Beatrice Lacey and her family. She is part of the "quality" and her family has owned the land Wideacre Hall has sat on for generations. There are strict adherences to ones place in society during this time in England and Beatrice decides to break the rules for love. Not only her love for a certain village boy, but her love for the land as well.

Women in 18th century England did not have many rights. They could not inherit property and were utterly dependent on men for their livelihoods. Beatrice knows this reality, because she observes it with her mother and other wealthy women in her life. She is determined not to be subservient to any man and be the leader of her future. Because of this she eventually becomes obsessed with owning her ancestral home and becoming the ruler of the land and the people. She goes to great lengths to ensure that this happens and reaps the consequences of her reckless behavior. 

Philippa does a wonderful job, in her first novel as in her subsequent novels of writing in such a way that the reader becomes immersed in the world of the book. It was a joy to read and I give it five stars and recommend it for lovers of historical fiction and of course Philippa fans.

Have you read anything by Philippa?
Did you absolutely love it?
Do you think you'll read this novel?
Leave me a comment :)

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