Book Review: Dark Tides (The Fairmile Bk2) by Philippa Gregory

I have had this book on my TBR since it was released in 2020. After I read the first book in this series, although I was curious to know what would become of the characters, I wasn’t also too eager about it because I felt that it may be something really dark and I haven’t had the appetite for such stories in a while. However, I recently read ‘The Wideacre’ trilogy by the author and this reminded me of why she is still one of my favorite authors of all time and I finally decided to pick this one up.

‘Dark Tides‘ tells us of how Alinor and her family are fairing 21 years after they left Fairmile in shame. They have made a somewhat good life for themselves with a business they have grown from scratch and are content with their livea although Alinor has been unwell for a long time. Then, two unexpected visitors arrive on their doorstep, one of which is Rob’s widow (Alinor’s son) with news that he had drowned in the Venice lagoon while the second is Sir James Avery, the man who caused Alinor’s shame and exile. Alinor does not welcome James Avery and his offer to pay penance for all his sins and she is also suspicious of the widow immediately she sets her eyes on her as she doesn’t believe that her son is dead. Taking us from the streets of London across the seas to Venice and then to faraway New England and back, this is a story about deceit, lies, ambition and strong family ties.

I spent most of my time while reading this book holding my breath. The suspense was out of this world for me and I was blown away as the story kept on unfolding in layers. Rob’s mysterious widow with her many stories and secrets definitely added so much color to the story and James Avery’s appearance was also something that made me think about my views on forgiveness and restitution . Although my new favorite character is now Sarah, Alys’s daughter for her courage and wits, my love for Alinor still remained throughout this story. My least favorite parts of the book were the parts about Nerd’s experiences in New England. I almost found these parts boring at some point and always couldn’t wait to get back to London or Venice. Besides that, it would have been a 5 stars for me.

I highly recommend this book because I really enjoyed it but it may be better to read the first book in the series for perspective. The third book comes out later this year in November and I can’t wait to read it.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Published: November 24th 2020 by Atria Books

Pages: 464

Genre: Historical Fiction


The Author:

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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