Tidelands :The Fairmile #1 @PhilippaGbooks @Schusterand #seventeenthcentury #historicalfiction #england #strongwomen #fictionfriends #duoreviews @JanBelisle @absltmom

“These were simple people: when someone told them that they had nothing to fear they knew that they were in trouble.”

When Jan and I heard that Philippa Gregory was working on a new series, we were quite anxious to give it a go as we both have enjoyed many of her previous works. We were not disappointed in this new beginning that promises to advocate for strength in women even through the hardships of being little more than chattel in seventeenth century Britain.

Jan’s review

The time is 1648, not an easy time to be a woman, especially a woman without a husband. Alinor is left a single mother of two when her husband goes out to sea and never returns. She ekes out a living as a midwife and herbalist, in a time when those activities were viewed with suspicion, and accusations of witchcraft were common.

Portrait of King Charles the First

The country is in the midst of a civil war between the King and his supporters and Parliament. Alinor’s path crosses with James, a young priest and a Royalist. She helps him find safe passage and their relationship forms the crux of the story. 

Meanwhile, Alinor’s children are presented with opportunities that will save them from a life of menial work and poverty.  Alinor is like all mothers everywhere who wants a better life for herself and her children. I admired her hard work, ambition and determination. But their good fortune only fuels the suspicions of the townspeople.

As with all the author’s books, this is hefty at 448 pages, and as it is the first book in a series, much time is spent setting up the background and life in the Tidelands. I listened to this on audio, which I highly recommend, as the narrator is excellent. Listening while multi-tasking made even the political maneuverings palatable. I appreciate the author’s attention to detail and historical accuracy, and it certainly made me appreciate my good fortune to live in the current times.

Driftwood On Shore Shine Tidelands State Stock Photo ...

The last half of the book moves along at a fast pace and the ending was a shocker. After so much time spent in the Tidelands, I’m looking forward to seeing where the next book in the series takes us.

·     This was a buddy read with Marialyce, one we both enjoyed on audio.

Marialyce’s review

One can always count on Philippa Gregory to write of women who are strong, determined, and courageous. With lots of evident research, she gives a human voice to these women, making them come alive as she imbues in them human frailties and an innate wisdom that came with living in the times that they did. From The Other Boleyn Woman to this current book, we meet women who are set in their determination and do all that is needed to succeed, to live another day.

Anyone For An Oliver Cromwell Gin? Aldi Didn't Think So

In this current outing, we meet Alinor, a woman who has to live by her wits and her innate abilities as a herbalist, midwife, and a mother of two, married to a disaster of a man. He deserts her and goes off to sea, and Alinor is alone, left to care for herself and her beloved children. One night in a graveyard, she sees and meets James a Royalist priest something that was a kiss of death in the times of Civil War in England when Oliver Cromwell was in power, and Charles the First was in exile. She guides James out of the marsh and starts down a path that is filled with danger as she allows her heart to be won by James.

Water Test Used On Mary Sutton Who Was Accused Of ...

Times were ever so difficult and with an aura of witchcraft surrounding her, Alinor and her children strive for peace and a sense of contentment. However, the road to their dreams has many pitfalls and as Alinor battles the times she lives in, she discovers a strength of heart and mind. She will survive and give her children a chance, a life beyond what the tidelands have given her.

This sweeping tale is long, setting up the scenario for the coming books in which we will again follow the life and times of Alinor and her offspring.

I recommend this book to those who so enjoy a novel that focuses on women that have met adversity and yet have been able to through strength of heart and mind to become resilient, tenacious and filled with resolve.

Remarkable perched dune above the sandy... © C Michael ...

and here’s the author


14 thoughts on “Tidelands :The Fairmile #1 @PhilippaGbooks @Schusterand #seventeenthcentury #historicalfiction #england #strongwomen #fictionfriends #duoreviews @JanBelisle @absltmom

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