From New York Times Bestselling Author Philippa Gregory Comes The Stunning First Novel Of A Thrilling Trilogy About The Lacey Family, And The Captivating Woman At The Heart Of A Power Hungry Estate Willing To Go To Any Means To Protect Her Family NameBeatrice Lacey, As Strong Minded As She Is Beautiful, Refuses To Conform To The Social Customs Of Her Time Destined To Lose Her Heritage And Beloved Wideacre Estate Once She Is Wed, Beatrice Will Use Any Means Necessary To Protect Her Ancestral Name Seduction, Betrayal, Even Murder Beatrice S Passion Is Without Apology Or Conscience She Is A Lacey Of Wideacre, Her Father Warns, And Whatever She Does, However She Behaves, Will Always Be Fitting Yet Even As Beatrice S Scheming Seems About To Yield Her Dream, She Is Haunted By The One Living Person Who Knows The Extent Of Her Plansand Her Capacity For EvilSumptuously Set In Georgian England From The Queen Of Royal Fiction USA TODAY , Wideacre Is Intensely Gripping, Rich In Texture, And Full Of Color And Authenticity It Is A Saga As Irresistible In Its Singular Magic As Its Heroine Oh man Beatrice Lacy you are one crazy little bitch It s not often that you get to read a story through the eyes of the villain, but I loved it I know a lot of people didn t care for the book because they found the protagonist hard to stomach Oh yeah, and the vomit inducing incest probably didn t help either She was perhaps one of the shrewdest, most vile characters I have come across She had no conscience and took down everything and everyone that stood in her way Half way through the book I started to feel a little uncomfortable because I actually liked her despite all this I think this was because although she was despicable, she was strong, crafty, and wickedly smart in a time that women were not supposed to be I also thought it was interesting how they approached the class issue of the rich verses the poor Overall, I found it to be a fascinating read, a definite page turner, and I am looking forward to the next two. I m a reader who holds grudges Disappoint me, and it s likely that an author will get cleaned off my shelves and dumped in the donation bin because if I try to read another title by them, the bad experience keeps lingering and trashes the current read But Philippa Gregory has been the exception.After two rather blah reads A Respectable Trade and Fallen Skies, the latter which I will certainly re attempt , this hefty saga was recommended to me by the awesome Sarah, whose similarly awesome review told me that I would most likely love the notorious Wideacre Incest, depravity, murder, gloomy Gothic dysfunction, and a totally unlikable protagonist antagonist Sign me up Three times was the definite charm with Gregory I m hooked, and I will probably one day consider myself a fan I loved it This was the first book in a long, long while that I could say had me riveted from first page to the last I can t think of any dull spots It was gripping, turgid melodrama with the plot taking twists and turns that had me flipping pages and perched on the edge of my chair.Sorry for using such lame clich s, but it was true Could Beatrice become any obsessed and amoral Who else would fall under her dogged steamroller of psychoses I had to keep reading and reading, and the ending What a grim climax it leaves to the imagination It s left up to the reader, and their own feelings about Beatrice, as to how that little scene plays out when Beatrice meets her Maker both the Divine and the Temporal one who started her on her path It can be as merciful or merciless as one wishes Do we get details in the sequel I hope not, but at the same time I m dying to know what Gregory thought up for one of the most memorable characters I ve ever read.Even though Beatrice is a very loathesome character, I found myself able to see things from her point of view, warped and void of morality as it was She despises the prospect of being kicked out of her home and her land upon marriage, just because she s not male Her feckless brother, Harry, has no feel for the earth and true traditions of Wideacre All he knows, and cares about, are the perks of the position But for what Wideacre is, Beatrice feels true kinship that becomes a demented fervor.And, like that village so often quoted about, she has to destroy it in order to save it The process is an inevitable, continual decline over the years As Beatrice falls, so does Wideacre Or was that blissful utopia of Nature only beautiful on the surface and it was the one rotten to the core Was Beatrice the fertile soil that made Wideacre realize its destructive, soul sucking potential Throughout the book, Beatrice refers to Wideacre in terms of a living thing, a thing with a heart, a pulse, and a soul that only she can sense and communicate with It s a symbiotic, parasitic relationship, evoking the best Beatrice has to offer while at the same time consuming it and leaving nothing but the husk of a mad woman with absolutely no scruples or morals.One can be squicked by the incest and never venture into the water, but there is plenty going on under the surface.I loved Gregory s writing Beatrice s voice is so cold and selfish all the while she insists she s giving up everything, including her soul, for Wideacre She s a total sociopath, and it really took me by surprise how much I still wanted to read about her when I ve wanted to tear books in half because of heroes and heroines that did much, much less Since the story is told from Beatrice s point of view, we watch her mental gears turn and crash as she frantically justifies her actions to herself and the reader, as her entire world is seen through her twisted little mind.Brilliant and engrossing Meaty gothic melodrama the way I love it, and I haven t been so absorbed by a dark, demented family since Marilyn Harris Eden series Like Beatrice, the anti hero Thomas Eden and his grandson John Murrey Eden were formed by long aristocratic traditions, a remote and self contained world, and a desire to control absolutely everyone and everything in their lives Wideacre is a natural companion piece to Harris morbid, melodramatic saga. Horrible drivel I had to scrub my brain after reading it The lengths the heroine goes to for her beloved Wideacre would be semi interesting if we gave a crap in the first place, but since the author can t even manage to do that well we don t give a crap and so it s a waste of our time and money Other books by this author are far, far better Skip it Read The Other Boleyn Girl or The Boleyn Inheritance Another one that went up on Bookmooch right away, and surprisingly was snapped right up That poor, poor soul I gladly paid the postage to mail it away Out damned spot D Didn t even finish reading this one The characters are put into neat little boxes Beatrice is evil, Harry is simpleminded, Celia is demure and kind, etc The incest was disturbing, but it wasn t the incest that it caused me to stop reading the book I just reached a point where I realized that I had already read 400 pages of a book I didn t like and was only 2 3 of the way through I felt like my time would be better spent doing just about anything other than reading this ridiculous book.I ve enjoyed the other PG books centered around Tudor England, but I have no intention of even attempting to read the other two books in this trilogy. Even though it is at times grossly sexual and I mean gross as in disgusting , the Wideacre trilogy is one of my favorite stories of all time For me, it really captures the essence of the era, and I loved it so much that I read the entire trilogy easily 1,500 pages in about two weeks If you re not uncomfortable with incest, rape and sodomy, it truly is a wonderful, entertaining read, if for no other reason than to show what lengths people will go to get what they think they want Highly recommended. I ve never read any of Ms Gregory s Tudor novels The Tudor era doesn t particularly interest me though I m not opposed to the period if a novel has elements I enjoy , so I was intrigued by this trilogy for three reasons 1 the Georgian setting 2 her earlier supposedly less romantic work 3 the negative reviews due to an antagonistic incestuous heroine.I agree the incest is gross It s definitely not the sort that draws a reader s sympathy like, say, Flowers in the Attic But once Beatrice s initial romanticism has passed, said incest becomes another facet of her anti heroine status She is an unreliable narrator and, as such, she is the only choice to relay this kind of story If Celia was the primary POV, Beatrice would be nothing but a villainwhich is unfair, even for a character who does such vile things Nobody can deny Beatrice impacts, warps, frequently ruins everything around her But the root of her negativity her terrors of homelessness, of lacking security, of leaving her childhood home without a ripple of effect on the land she holds dear are sympathetic She craves knowledge that she is loved, in that she s a tragic character than anything else She s a combination of Victoria Aurora Floyd Scarlett O Hara.So while Beatrice definitely isn t a good person, her villainy has understandable roots Her defeat is inevitable in that she s unlike Scarlett O Hara, who had enough goodness to prevent total downfall But I m sad that so many readers don t look past the grotesque plot points enjoy the heart of the novel a sprawling, semi gothic epic of a twisted family its relationship with the land Who is the true parasite the family or the land they live upon It s a romance in the old fashioned sense a tale of warped standards, a la Zofloya and that sort of romance doesn t need a moral paragon to narrate 4.5 stars, but this time I rounded up.Take that, one star reviews. I loved the first half of this book Beatrice Lacey is by far the most horrible, hateful, despicable narrator I ve ever read, but I found myself rooting for her throughout all her scandalous deeds the conspired murder, the attempted murder, the committed murder, the incest, the hidden pregnancies, and on and on the list goes I even found myself disliking sweet little Celia, as wonderful a woman as she was, simply because she was Beatrice s enemy That, I think, is the mark of a truly wonderful author In any other case, I would despise a woman like Beatrice, but while reading this book, I couldn t help but be on her side So naturally, when the second part of the book came, and Beatrice s downfall seemed inevitable, I found it hard to get through Everything was working against her and I lost the initial connection I d felt with her as a narrator Her desires didn t make as much sense to me any No longer able to root for the narrator, and watching the world around her fall apart, I found it a difficult book to finish Because I loved the beginning and disliked the end, I give Wideacre three stars Not a bad read and I do intend to read the next two books in the series Find book reviews at A Quick Red Fox. Beatrice Lacey This girl, later woman, was very hurt, very obsessed, brimming with deservedly self importance and very very ahem lustful.That is never a good combination for practially ANTHING.Deranged, oppressive and god damn near suffocating.It s like watching someone so committed to her road to ruin success and you have to give props to the woman, disagree with her or not, it takes extraordinary strength and courage and than a pinch of delusion to do it with that sort of ownership It is delicious in its depravity. This book was something else I LOVED it Beatrice is the most insane, deranged, evil , main character I ve ever come across in historical fiction I mean seriously badass The book was also shocking in many ways all involving the deeds and plans of Beatrice Lacey She is like a ramped up Scarlett O Hara.All the while I was reading this my own inner reading voice was making me laugh No, she didn t just do that She can t do that What is wrong with this woman What a bitch Say, what now No one is safe I mean no one This is quite a salacious read in parts so although I am strongly recommending this book, don t read it if you re easily offended I nearly shut this review down before mentioning the history I had never really thought about the consequences of enclosure and what that meant for rural villagers Commons were where the poor could catch rabbits, gather free firewood and once the commons were enclosed and turned into fields for crops, this was no longer an option Combine this with rich landowners sending their crops in their entirety to London, keeping prices high, villagers no longer had access to affordable grain I m interested to see in the next in the series how this situation improves or worsens.
www.PhilippaGregory.com become addicted to the updates of historical research, as well as the progress of her ducklings.Her other great interest is the charity she founded nearly twenty years ago Gardens for The Gambia She has raised funds and paid for 140 wells in the primary schools of the dry, poverty stricken African country Thousands of school children have learned market gardening, and drunk the fresh water in the school gardens around the wells.A former student of Sussex University, and a PhD and Alumna of the Year 2009 of Edinburgh University, her love for history and her commitment to historical accuracy are the hallmarks of her writing She also reviews for US and UK newspapers, and is a regular broadcaster on television, radio, and webcasts from her website Philipa s Facebook page
- 656 pages
- Philippa Gregory
- 17 November 2018 Philippa Gregory