What I've read lately: The Wideacre Trilogy, Philippa Gregory

Well that's not entirely true. I've just started the second book, and I'm hoping it will have me hooked as much as part one. That was simply titled, Wideacre, and was one of those books that kept my interest throughout; I was so keen to make progress that I'd dip into it even if I had five minutes to spare. That gave me comfort, which was odd really as after a short reading burst like this I'd often find myself re-reading a section. I was keen to make progress, but wanted to savour the story and not miss anything that would give me a clue to the ending. 

Photo credit: Photo by  Tom Hermans  on  Unsplash

Photo credit: Photo by Tom Hermans on Unsplash

I anticipated a bit of a reading fest while we were away, but it didn't quite work out that way. I did finish a book - The Pie Life - I'd been reading on my phone, and then Wideacre took over.  I thought the book that had me hooked was a long one at 646 pages, but I've just checked and it was only half the length of The Pie Life, so maybe that's why that one took me a while to get through. 

But back to Wideacre...

I like books with strong female characters, and Wideacre certainly has that with Miss Beatrice; she loves the Wideacre Estate and is devastated by her inability to inherit it, with it instead going to her younger brother. She knows the land and is heralded as the greatest farmer around. Set in Georgian England she fights and plots to ensure her bloodline inherits.  It's a gripping tale with plenty of well thought out characters, as you'd expect from one of Philippa Gregory's books. I've read her Tudor novels - and they get the same treatment from me - so I was pleased this also had me gripped.

There's dark secrets at Wideacre and as the first of the trilogy as you'd expect there are at least a couple of loose ends.  Beatrice does marry, and that adds further intrigue to the story, and my one criticism of the book is shortly after her marriage she celebrates her nineteenth birthday. I'd assumed by the time she married she was much older, and so I found myself skipping backwards to double-check it wasn't a mistake. It wasn't - of course - but I'd have liked a bit more of a clue to her age before that.

The second book starts, as you'd expect, with a piece that sets the scene and already I can't help but think there'll be similarities in the plot. I found myself reading this chapter hungrily, wanting to know whose voice it was.  I've learnt who, and I'm not going to share that, but I am going to recommend this series.

And to give you an idea of how much I wanted to continue the story, I've broken my own rule and paid £3.99 for the second book so I can continue the momentum!  I make no apology for getting my head stuck in a book, e-book or what, there's nothing like a good story, is there?