- Paperback: 544 pages
- Publisher: Pan; Main Market Ed. edition (24 Oct. 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 033054344X
- ISBN-13: 978-0330543446
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.3 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 843,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
A Divided Inheritance Paperback – 24 Oct 2013
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'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)
A family divided by fortune. A country divided by faith.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
Author of "The Slant", "The Drop" and "Valeddom - Mercury Awaits"
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 .Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What an epic! I enjoyed this from the very beginning. Particularly liked the aspect of a smart young woman trying to respect the repressive culture in which she is maturing, yet... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Lynne Spreen
This is the third of Deborah Swift's books I have read. Deborah has a canny knack of painting pictures with words and, reading A Divided Inheritance, I found myself completely... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Mrs Lois Best
Why am I not seeing this book piled high in bookshops? It's easily the equal of historical novels that are flying off the shelves at the moment and garnering all sorts of praise. Read morePublished 18 months ago by A. Hawkins
Deborah Swift's latest novel is a tight, complex and wide ranging story of intrigue and family love. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Peter Fisher
This 3rd novel by Deborah Swift is the best yet. The pace moves you on and the characters draw you into the story. Read morePublished on 3 Dec. 2013 by JR
A Divided Inheritance is set initially in Jacobean England when distrust of family, neighbour and friend had reached its zenith. Read more
Early-1600 London and Seville come alive as Deborah Swift skillfully weaves fiction and fact into a story about identity. Read morePublished on 30 Oct. 2013 by Ann Weisgarber