This is reissue of Philippa Gregory's disturbing novel of passion and betrayal in Tudor England. It is a haunting story of a woman's desire in a time of turbulence. Alys joins the nunnery to escape hardship and poverty but finds herself thrown back into the outside world when Henry VIII's wreckers destroy her sanctuary. With nothing to support her ...
This is reissue of Philippa Gregory's disturbing novel of passion and betrayal in Tudor England. It is a haunting story of a woman's desire in a time of turbulence. Alys joins the nunnery to escape hardship and poverty but finds herself thrown back into the outside world when Henry VIII's wreckers destroy her sanctuary. With nothing to support her but her looks, her magic and her own instinctive cunning, Alys has to tread a perilous path between the faith of her childhood and her own female power. When she falls in love with Hugo, the feudal lord and another woman's husband, she dips into witchcraft to defeat her rival and to win her lover, but finds - as her cynical old foster-mother had advised - that magic makes a poor servant but a dominant master. Since heresy against the new church means the stake, and witchcraft the rope, Alys's danger is mortal. A woman's powers are no longer safe to use!
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Amazing! Philippa Gregory can really describe these clever, charismatic, and slightly psychotic women - not in a way that makes you like them but so it mesmerizes the reader. In my opinion, this is the best since Wideacre (I loved that sociopathic Beatrice compared to whom Scarlett O'Hara is an angel) and The Other Boleyn Girl. It is tremendously well written and (to use a worn-out phrase) totally unputdownable. Also, the historical research is impeccable. The redemption chapter of The Wise Woman is nightmare stuff and somehow totally right. I wish I could give more than five stars!
Jan 20, 2011
Readable/Not Her Best
Have enjoyed the Philippa Gregory books I've read so far, but this one falls short. While an easy read and somewhat entertaining, it doesn't meet the standard of her other books historically or plot. If you're looking for something to take on vacation or just want a "quick read"....I would recommend this book.
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