I had mixed feelings about the first one of this series (Wideacre, see my review), but as it ended I found myself wanting to know what happened to the characters afterward. This time, it isn't the heroine who is unsympathetic, it's another character, and the young heroine finds herself pulled along by circumstances. Until the end, she struck me as somewhat weak. It was a great follow-up to Wideacre, but didn't leave you wanting more as much. Regardless, it was hard to put down, and I will be reading Meridon, book three of the trilogy. I'd like to see the estate put to rights by good people, finally! I'm hoping the third book wraps it up nicely, after such a series of unpleasant characters.
This is a gripping novel and I found it hard to put down. Philippa Gregory's ability to command word enables you to have sensory experiences the same as her characters are having, you are in the moment, in the novel.
Written with sensitivity, this is a sequel to New York Times best-seller Wideacre . The story, set in 18th-century Sussex, England, revolves arouond Julia Lacey; Richard, her cousin and joint heir; and Wideacre, the once-great Lacey estate. As Wideacre again prospers under Julia's almost magical agricultural ability, superstitious villagers who glimpse her visions of the future ask if she is the "favored child" predicted by Wideacre's former mistress before her violent and untimely death. Gregory's precise images and skillful descriptions make this 18th-century microcosm vivid. Love, terror, friendship, incest, class conflicts, and brutal power struggles are set against the pastoral beauty of an estate being restored to its former importance.
The second in Gregory's Wildacre trilogy, Beatrice's son and Celia's daughter live in a small house on the Wideacre estate, quietly escaping the aftermath of events in the first novel. While both children inherit Wideacre, only one can rule; follow Gregory's horrendous and shocking tale as one child strives for land and the other merely strives to survive.
This is the second book in the Wideacre trilogy. It continues with the story of Lacey family in 18th century England. Another great book from Philippa Gregory!