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Publisher's Summary

Featuring a foreword recorded exclusively for Audible by Philippa Gregory and an interview with the author.
Philippa Gregory's first story in the best-selling Wideacre trilogy. A compelling tale of passion and intrigue set in the 18th century. From the author of The Other Boleyn Girl and The Virgin's Lover.
Wideacre Hall, set in the heart of the English countryside, is the ancestral home that Beatrice Lacey loves. But as a woman of the 18th century, she has no right of inheritance. Corrupted by a world that mistreats women, she sets out to corrupt others.
Sexual and willful, she believes that the only way to achieve control over Wideacre is through a series of horrible crimes, and no-one escapes the consequences of her need to possess the land.
©2006 Philippa Gregory (P)2017 Audible, Ltd
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Critic Reviews

"The eighteenth-century woman is a neglected creature but, in the figure of her heroine, Philippa Gregory has defined a certain kind of wildness.... This is a novel written from instinct, not out of calculation, and it shows." (Peter Ackroyd, The Times)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Ruth on 11-11-17


I enjoy fiction from this time period and found the story refreshing in a genre oversaturated with the same boring plots. Honestly I don't understand all the negative reviews. Incest? A character with bad intentions? Come on people, this is storytelling, not a handbook on morality!

Normally main female characters in historical fiction fit one of two personalities - 1) the modest mouse with hidden fire or 2) the fierce heroine with a soft side - and Beatrice fits neither. While I hold no sympathy for her, I also found myself intrigued and curious by her obsession with the land.

I think you have to approach this book with a different kind of perspective. Don't expect so much innocent goodness and just let yourself listen openly. The book brings up a lot of the darkness in humanity which we are afraid of, and I appreciated the author's ability to unveil this while simultaneously painting such a beautiful portrait of the countryside. I found her writing lovely.

Overall I saw a lot of contrasts in this book and would definitely recommend it for someone who wants something different from the same old storyline.

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful

By Amazon Customer on 09-21-17

Beatrice is no heroine!

Could not find one redeeming trait in the main character and disliking her was not enough to make the story compelling. The descriptions of the countryside were very well written but at times made the book tedious in their repetitiveness. The family dynamics were unsettling as was Beatrice throughout. The behavior of the like able characters puzzling. Why did her husband stay? Was Celia that naive? I finished listening but only because I increased the speed of the narration(which was very well done). Disappointing

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Amazon Customer on 10-14-17

More like "50 shades of grey".....

I have never written a review, despite going through at least 2-3 books a months. But being such a huge fun Philippa Gregory, this book was SUCH a disappointment! A peculiar story, devious main character and disturbing details.... Not the Philippa Gregory I love...

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39 of 40 people found this review helpful

By Wonder Woman on 12-16-17

Awful read

I do not know where Philippa Gregory was going with this and I'm not sure she did either. It certainly is a great lesson in people sticking to what they are good at. The plot lacked direction throughout, was extremely awkwardly written and ended in a predictable fashion. Disappointing and while there were flashes of brilliant prose throughout it lacked the quintessential element of a believable plot. It was neither fiction nor fantasy fiction. Immensely disappointed.

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33 of 34 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Erica on 01-09-18

The main character is horrible

I've read lots of Philippa Gregory so was excited to read this one. The narrator was excellent and the story was intriguing but the main character was so awful that I finished it with mixed feelings. I'm not sure I can be bothered to read the next in the series.

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