Midsummer Eve, 1648, the scene is set. A grey church, a grey sky and a woman waiting to meet a ghost. Instead, she meets a handsome priest, running from danger, and her life is changed forever. Philippa Gregory had me hooked from the first paragraph and did not turn me loose until the last sentence. Alinor is a midwife and herbalist, struggling to feed her family after her abusive husband has disappeared, and she is struggling to dismiss the superstitions of her neighbors, suspicions that she just might be a witch. When her son is chosen to be the companion to Lord William’s son, she faces more envy. Set against a background of the English civil war with its conspiracies and plots, everything about this book is great. The wonderful atmosphere of the Sussex tidelands on Sealsea Island and the everyday life of the people are described in rich detail, the characters ring true. This is the first book in a proposed series and I do hope the second arrives very soon.
eGalley review Publication date 8.20.19
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