This is the third and last book in the ‘Wideacre’ series and I am so glad I have followed this series to the end. These books continue to remind me why I love historical fiction so much.
This story follows Meridon, the daughter of Julia Lacey whom she gave away to Gypsies at the end of Book 2 in a bid to stop the Wideacre madness for land. Meridon grows up in a hard world and eventually joins a circus group with her sister Dandy. However, at night she dreams of a place called Wideacre and she believes that this is her real home. Fate drags her home to Wide acre but life isn’t how she expected to meet it. Soon she discovers that the life of being “Quality” isn’t too different from being dirt poor and she is faced with the decision of changing the narrative the Laceys’ have kept on for generations or try to put things right like her mother Julie has always intended.
This has turned out to be my best in this trilogy. The only issue I had with this story was the fact that I found the parts around Meridon’s childhood a bit too long and stretched which almost got me bored. However, as the story progressed, I understood why the back story was necessary and how it made the entire story richer and better. I love stories that teach me something new or makes me understand certain behaviors/cultures better and this story covered both for me. I was also glad that it ended with a somewhat HEA “ish” way for the protagonist and Wideacre as a whole. At least I can sleep easy without spending my time permutating what may or may not have happened to who and who as I now have total closure to this story. Most importantly, Phillipa Gregory will always steal my heart with her exquisite writing style and her ability to keep me hooked to a story. She makes me love historical fiction more each day.
This trilogy is not the easiest of reads due to it having themes with incest, rape and violence but I would still recommend it to lovers of historical fiction.
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Published: July 2nd 2003 by Washington Square Press (first published May 3rd 1990)
Genre: Historical Fiction
Philippa Gregory was an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote the novel The Other Boleyn Girl, which was made into a TV drama and a major film. Published in 2009, the bestselling The White Queen, the story of Elizabeth Woodville, ushered in a new series involving The Cousins’ War (now known as The War of the Roses) and a new era for the acclaimed author. Gregory lives with her family on a small farm in Yorkshire, where she keeps horses, hens and ducks. Visitors to her site, 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.
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