Thursday, March 29, 2007

Wideacre by Philippa Gregory

Books Read: 37
Completion Date: March 2007
Publication Year: 2003
Pages: 656
Owned Prior to 2007
Book 1 in the Wideacre Trilogy

Beatrice Lacey, as strong-minded as she is beautiful, refuses to conform to the social customs of her time. Destined to lose her family name and beloved Wideacre estate once she is wed, Beatrice will use any means necessary to protect her ancestral heritage. 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 plans...and her capacity for evil.

Sumptuously set in Georgian England, 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.

I know that Phillippa Gregory is a lot of people's favourite historical fiction novelist, but I keep trying and I keep wondering what I am missing. It took me forever to read this book. I started it last year, actually, and am only just finishing it now! I kept hoping that it would get better, but it just did nothing for me.

I am left trying to explain why I did not like this book. I am pretty easy-going. Romance may not be my normal genre, but I will read it, so the fact that this book could easily be classified as a romantic historical fiction novel is not a turn off for me. I am also pretty open-minded when it comes to different styles of relationships in books. This book, though, is really just a book full of incest. It just got to be too much, I have to admit. Romance is one thinking, reading 500 pages of a girl bonking her brother started to get just a bit too much. If it was a small part or even a moderate part, I would not have minded it, but it just got out of hand.

I understand why the heroine is the way that she is. Women during her time period had very few chances to have a life for themselves, so she found herself trying to find a way to get the power she needed in order to have land. Controlling her brother would give her a better chance than any other plan, but it just was not my cup of tea. I have read better historical fiction books, that's for sure. I have no plans to read the rest of this trilogy, it might get better, but there are too many good books out there that I would rather read.


To read other reviews of Gregory's books I have read, just click the titles:
The Constant Princess
The Other Boelyn Girl
Bread and Chocolate
The Queen's Fool


  1. I fixed the comments on here, accidently had them turned off!

  2. Thank you for fixing the comments!!! I had really been wanting to rant about how awful this book was! The series isdeceptive. The first book is awful; the second book is good (no incest) until the last hundred pages--and then the brother rapes the sister not knowing its his sister. And more murder. Anyway, the only book that is even halfway decent is the third book. The third book in the series is actually normal. But I agree there are much better books in the world out there waiting to be read.

  3. I just finished reading the book last night. The protagonist's obsession was well recorded but the writer went overboard with the incest angle. A more open-minded individual may term my repugnance as dramatic but I just could not take it, nor could I keep the book down without knowing the end, which was in fact quite predictable and less dramatic than I hoped it would be!!! Well, I am going to start the 2nd one and see how it goes...


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