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Wideacre : A Novel by Philippa Gregory
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Wideacre : A Novel (original 1987; edition 2003)

by Philippa Gregory

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1,536414,781 (3.25)36
Member:MyBookishWays
Title:Wideacre : A Novel
Authors:Philippa Gregory
Info:Touchstone (2003), Paperback, 656 pages
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Wideacre by Philippa Gregory (1987)

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I'm a huge fan of this author, but I can't really get into this book no matter how hard I try. The main character is terribly boring. and I really just wanted to get off that farm. ( )
  saradiann | Apr 21, 2014 |
On one hand I found myself despising Beatrice for everything she did, and she made me so angry with her narcissism - constantly referring to herself as beautiful and talking about her 'lovely body'. But as the book progressed, I started to almost feel sorry for her. The way she felt she had to do all these horrible acts to keep hold of Wideacre for herself, but they only contributed to her downfall. The way she no longer felt any love for the land she loved when she was younger and worked so hard for, the way she was ignored and hated by people who once loved her. I was both frustrated and quite enthralled by the book so I kept reading it, although from about the middle it was obvious how it would conclude. I think she is one of the few protagonists that I have really truly despised, but like I said my emotions became conflicted as the horrific acts lessened and she lost control. Her treatment of John was especially cruel and I actually found that part quite hard to read.

I'd recommend it if you're a fan of historical fiction that's a bit... saucier than usual, let's say. There's some squeamish parts that I don't really want to go into, and I think the main thing that kept me reading was that Beatrice's character was just so horrible, I wanted to see how it all ended.

Also posted on my blog, Rinn Reads. ( )
  Rinnreads | Sep 24, 2013 |
Oh dear, where to start with Philippa Gregory's Wideacre. As a real admirer of her work, I wanted to like this book, and I wanted to get drawn into another well researched and constructed work of historical fiction, but there were simply too many things working against it for me to rate this book.

The story of Beatrice Lacey and her dysfunctional family is set in the eighteenth century, but one could be forgiven for thinking it was the 1980s, so compelled was Gregory to transpose modern concepts and mores onto her main protagonist. She throws almost every melodramatic scenario at her characters, and it becomes quite wearing in the end. This creates an inherent tension between the beautiful descriptions and believable setting, and the outlandish and over-the-top behaviours and motivations of the characters. The incestuous relationships and unconvincing (and at times, clunky) scenarios meant that it was impossible to suspend my disbelief for long enough to enjoy the story. By mid-way I was starting to ask myself "why bother", and I had to push myself to read to the end. But in all honesty I don't think I was well rewarded for the effort of reading it, and along with a number of other readers, I reached the point where I simply didn't care enough to want to continue. I did stick it out, but I won't be reading the other books in the Wideacre series, and I know that Gregory can write so much better than this. Sorry to say, but I can't recommend this one.
© Koplowitz 2012 ( )
  Ant.Harrison | Apr 28, 2013 |
On Saturday, December 30, 2006 I wrote about this book:

This is such a great read. I bought this in Scotland and immediately started reading it. Loved all of it.
I am reading book 2 now, The Favoured Child. Glad there are 2 more books of this series cause I did not want it to end.

4.5 stars and a 9 out of 10 on Bookcrossing ( )
  Marlene-NL | Apr 12, 2013 |
I came across 'Wideacre' by chance in my local bookshop, due to a 3 for 2 offer on books. Having already heard of Philippa Gregory and enjoyed 'The Other Boleyn Girl', I thought it was worth a shot. I love how Gregory manages to combine historical fact into the rich and lively plot of the novel. Gregory's writing style flows nicely and I found the novel easy to get through, purely due to how fascinating the plot is. An excellent read, I'd highly recommend it to anyone interested in historical fiction. ( )
  Ash_Charlton | Nov 10, 2012 |
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Wideacre Hall faces due south and the sun shines all day on the yellow sun until it is warm and powdery to the touch.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743249291, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:05:34 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

From the Publisher: 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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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