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A Divided Inheritance Kindle Edition

15 customer reviews

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Length: 544 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Product Description


'Women's Fiction at its best' History and Women

‘Beautifully written’ Freda Lightfoot

‘Swift, who understands the power of details, shows a side of London that is rarely seen in historical fiction . . . a compelling and often heartbreaking story’ Ann Weisgarber, Orange Shortlisted author of The Personal History of Rachel DuPree

'Riveting narrative' For the Love of Books

'Utterly captivating' Karen Maitland, author of The Owl Killers

A true gem. It has a pacy storyline, the characters are complex, intriguing and often unexpected - and it is packed with fascinating historical fact (Gabrielle Kimm, author of His Last Duchess Gabrielle Kimm, author of His Last Duchess)

'The past comes alive through impeccable research, layers of intriguing plotline, an understanding of the complexities of 17th century politics and the sheer power of descriptive prose.

Add to all this Swift's rich characterisation and subtle evocation of a period of religious upheaval and you have a classy, compelling adventure story and a true journey of discovery'

(Lancashire Evening Post)

Book Description

A family divided by fortune. A country divided by faith.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1741 KB
  • Print Length: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Main Market Ed. edition (24 Oct. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CYM19CA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #358,846 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

I live in North Lancashire on the edge of the Lake District, an area made famous by the Romantic Poets such as Wordsworth and Coleridge. I'm a bookaholic and I read widely - contemporary and classic fiction as well as historical novels.

In the past I used to work as a set and costume designer for theatre and TV, so I enjoy the research aspect of creating historical fiction, something I loved doing as a scenographer. Each book takes about six months of research before I am ready to begin writing. More details of my research and writing process can be found on my website.

I took an MA in Creative Writing in 2007 and now teach classes and courses in writing, and offer editorial advice from my home.
My books are:
The Lady's Slipper (shortlisted for the Impress Prize)
The Gilded Lily
A Divided Inheritance
Shadow on the Highway (part I of the Highway Trilogy for teens)

The photograph is by Jonathan Bean Photography.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Terry Tyler, author on 6 April 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
What a story! A masterpiece indeed.

A Divided Inheritance starts off in London, where Elspet Leviston finds herself usurped in her father's eyes by the appearance, out of nowhere, of her cousin, Zachary Deane. The story travels to Spain in the time when Muslims were being persecuted and driven out of their country, not a period of history I knew anything about, though this didn't matter as I soon picked up exactly what was going on; however, there's a brief history at the back of the book that you might like to read first.

There were so many elements about this story that I loved, not least of all Deborah Swift's clearly intricate research and wonderful storytelling capability. It's got the lot: the bleakness of life for a young woman in the slightly impoverished middle classes, the marriage forced on her for business expansion, followed by Elspet's personal growth when she is thrown outside her secure, limited existence, tested in ways that make her alter her entire outlook on life. The story takes the reader from the dark alleys of London to the bright colour of 17th century Seville, and I loved the multi-faceted Zachary, in many ways the villain of the tale but so beautifully painted that I rooted for him throughout.

With lost love, double dealing, desperate flight in terrible circumstances and the horror of religious persecution, this is terrific, unusual novel that I think puts Deborah Swift right up there with the best and well known historical fiction writers. Highly, highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jean Fullerton on 4 Dec. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Ms Swift's third book is by far the best, which is certainly saying something as the first two were crackers. A combination of a fast paced plot and engaging characters makes Divided Inheritance un-putdownable. The historical detail is slipped into each scene naturally so as not to intrude on the action and as always, you experienced Jacobean London rather than read about it. Fantastic and I look forward to Ms Swifts the next book with eagerness.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bookworm on 30 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback
This is one of those novels which, as well as having a pacey storyline and complex and intriguing characters, is packed with fascinating historical fact. In less skilful hands, this can sometimes make for difficult reading, but Deborah Swift's stories always wear their research lightly. This book is no exception. I found out so much that I didn't know - about sword-fighting and Spain and the terrible excesses of the inquisition (her depiction of the expulsion of the Moriscos is really shocking at times), but for me, the overriding drive of the book is the antagonism between Elspet and Zachary and the unexpected inheritance which both unites and divides them. The gorgeous setting of heat-bound Seville is compelling; the plot moves as swiftly as Zachary's newly-forged sword, and with as much courage and verve.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert Gibson on 21 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The bare textbook statement that "The Moriscos were expelled from Spain in 1609" has now been brought to life for me. Paradoxically, the tragedy does not destroy the magic of Spain or the aura of the Golden Age; it enhances its brilliance with sinister contrast.
Other plusses for Deborah Swift's book:
The characters, especially the two main ones, are unpredictable, real people, who grow during the story; the ending is not obviously forseeable; the insights into the art of swordsmanship are fascinating.

Robert Gibson
Author of "The Slant", "The Drop" and "Valeddom - Mercury Awaits"
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By CAROL MCGRATH on 16 Jan. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Divided Inheritance is a fabulous read. Deborah Swift's other two novels set in the seventeenth century, The Lady's Slipper and The Gilded Lily, are thoroughly enjoyable books, well-plotted with depth of characterisation. A Divided Inheritance is, without doubt, the most sophisticated work of the three novels and a brilliant achievement. An excellent historical novel owns two elements: the total immersion of a reader into a previous historical era and engaging characterisation. With A Divided Inheritance, Deborah Swift succeeds on both counts.
The story is set during the early years of the reign of James 1st , opening in London to a background of trade and religious tension following the late Elizabethan period and The Gunpowder Plot. Elspet Leviston hopes to inherit her father's London lace business but is thwarted by the arrival of a lost cousin. As a consequence her inheritance will be divided. Zachary Deane has a disreputable background, yet despite his shadowy past, her father draws him into their pleasant London home and his business. To Elspet's chagrin he sends this mysterious cousin on a grand tour to look for new markets and to knock off his rough edges.

Elspet is a devout English Catholic, intrepid, and not deterred by obstacles, she takes on a terrifying sea and land journey into Spain, a country in the grip of Inquisition, in search of Zachary after her father's sudden demise. The journey to Seville sets in motion intriguing events as the two protagonists become locked in a battle of wills, involved in a school for training swordsmen and in the expulsion of a persecuted people, the Morisco population of Andulusia, one often composed of baptised Christians .
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