Book Review: ‘Tidelands’ By Philippa Gregory

It’s 1648 in England and the small island of Sealsea Island, part of the Sussex Tidelands. King Charles has been overthrown by Parliament and is under arrest/being held on the local Isle of Wight. It’s midsummer’s eve and for Alinor she is at the chuch near the graveyard hoping to see the ghost of her missing husband. He has been gone for almost a year and no one knows if he is alive or dead. She is making a meager living to provide for her two children selling herbs and healing people and being a midwife. Her two kids work as well as her brother running the family ferry business.

This very night will change her very life. She meets a mysterious man named James and offers to help hide him for the night. He is one that is still loyal to the king and is also a Catholic priest. He is here to meet with Sir William (who runs the island) as a spy to help rescue the king. There is an instant attraction between the two which could be dangerous.

James has sway with Sir William and soon gets her son Rob a job with Sir William which pays well. Alinor soon finds herself in serious trouble as her involvement with James and is accused of being a witch after a theft and a shocking secret becomes known. This being 1648 and women really have to watch what they do and say. Alinor is put through an exam and test and the only question is will she survive and that of her family. And how will James play into this.

This is a great historical novel look at this time frame with King Charles (which I wasn’t even aware of). I learned a lot about the time but also found myself rooting for Alinor to succeed and to make a good life for her children. It is the start to a new series of books and I look forward to them. If the characters and plots are half as good as this one it will be great.

You can pick up Tidelands in stores on Tuesday, August 20th from Atria.

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