Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Category: FictionNumber One bestselling author Philippa Gregory's new historical novel tracks the rise of the Tidelands family in London, Venice and New England.
Midsummer Eve 1670. Two unexpected visitors arrive at a shabby warehouse on the south side of the River Thames. The first is a wealthy man hoping to find the lover he deserted twenty-one years before. James Avery has everything to offer, including the favour of the newly restored King Charles II, and he believes that the warehouse's poor owner Alinor has the one thing his money cannot buy – his son and heir.
The second visitor is a beautiful widow from Venice in deepest mourning. She claims Alinor as her mother-in-law and has come to tell Alinor that her son Rob has drowned in the dark tides of the Venice lagoon.
Alinor writes to her brother Ned, newly arrived in faraway New England and trying to make a life between the worlds of the English newcomers and the American Indians as they move toward inevitable war. Alinor tells him that she knows – without doubt – that her son is alive and the widow is an imposter.
Set in the poverty and glamour of Restoration London, in the golden streets of Venice, and on the tensely contested frontier of early America, this is a novel of greed and desire: for love, for wealth, for a child, and for home.
‘A gripping read spanning London, Venice and New England, all beautifully observed by Gregory’ Woman & HomePraise for Tidelands, the first in the Fairmile series:
‘A gripping and intelligent portrait of a woman fighting to survive in a hostile world’ The Times
‘The first in a planned series . . . The author crafts her material with effortless ease. Her grasp of social mores is brilliant, the love story rings true and the research is, as ever, of the highest calibre’ Elizabeth Buchan, Daily Mail
‘Vivid and beguiling – Philippa Gregory at her best’ Woman & Home‘A compelling novel that shines a light on the struggles of 17th century women’ Daily Mirror‘The novel's power lies in Gregory's evocative portrayal of the tidelands and the everyday lives of those who are bound to them’ Sunday Express
‘Philippa Gregory returns with an English Civil War novel that excels in everything she does best. Historical events are written with breathless immediacy, keeping the reader enthralled even if they know the outcome’ Alys Key, The i
‘If this novel is the first sign of what's to come then readers are in for a treat’ Emma Lee-Potter, Daily Express
The Plantagenet queens of England played a role in some of the most dramatic events in our history. Crusading queens, queens in rebellion against their king, queen seductresses, learned queens, queens in battle, queens who enlivened England with the romantic culture of southern Europe - these determined women often broke through medieval constraints to exercise power and influence, for good and sometimes for ill.
Tilly has come a long way from the run-down tenements in which she grew up. She has a small but comfortable home, a loving, handsome husband, two beautiful little'uns - Babs and Beth - and she earns herself a little money weaving wicker baskets. Life is good.
Until the day Tilly returns home to find a policeman standing on her doorstep. Her Arthur won't be coming home tonight - nor any night - having fallen to his death whilst working on Blackpool tower. Suddenly Tilly is her daughters' sole protector, and she's never felt more alone.
With the threat of destitution nipping at their heels, Tilly struggles to make ends meet and keep a roof over her girls' heads. In a town run by men Tilly has to ask herself what she's willing to do to keep her family together and safe - and will it be enough?
1902. Babs and Beth are identical in looks, but very different by nature. Kidnapped by gypsies a decade ago as young girls, Beth has accepted their plight, but Babs has always yearned for their real mother, Tilly, and their beloved hometown of Blackpool. Desperate to be reunited with their mother, Babs hatches a plan to escape. But Beth is too afraid and Babs realises if she ever wants to go home she'll have to leave her sister behind.
1914. Babs' life has been blighted by misfortune ever since she walked away from her sister. She's never given up hope of finding her family, but now having found peace and purpose as a nurse, the war is sending her to France, away from them. Or so she believes . . .