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The Favoured Child (Wideacre Trilogy 2) [Paperback]

Philippa Gregory
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 Dec 2001 Wideacre Trilogy 2

The second novel in the bestselling Wideacre Trilogy, a compulsive drama set in the eighteenth century. By Philippa Gregory, the author of The Other Boleyn Girl and The Virgin’s Lover.

The Wideacre estate is bankrupt, the villagers are living in poverty and Wideacre Hall is a smoke-blackened ruin.

But in the Dower House two children are being raised in protected innocence. Equal claimants to the inheritance of Wideacre, rivals for the love of the village, they are tied by a secret childhood betrothal but forbidden to marry. Only one can be the favoured child. Only one can inherit the magical understanding between the land and the Lacey family that can make the Sussex village grow green again. Only one can be Beatrice Lacey’s true heir.



Product details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; New Ed edition (3 Dec 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006514626
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006514626
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 577,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gregory was an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote the internationally bestselling novel The Other Boleyn Girl. Now she is looking at the family that preceded the Tudors: the magnificent Plantaganets, a family of complex rivalries, loves, and hatreds.

Her other great interest is the charity that she founded nearly twenty years ago: Gardens for The Gambia. She has raised funds and paid for 140 wells for the primary schools of this poor African country. www.PhilippaGregory.com


Product Description

Review

‘For sheer pace and percussive drama it will take a lot of beating’
Sunday Times

From the Back Cover

The Wideacre estate is bankrupt, the villagers are living in poverty and Wideacre Hall is a smoke-blackened ruin.

But in the Dower House two children are being raised in protected innocence. Equal claimants to the inheritance of Wideacre, rivals for the love of the village, they are tied by a secret childhood betrothal but forbidden to marry. Only one can be the favoured child. Only one can inherit the magical understanding between the land and the Lacey family that can make the Sussex village grow green again. Only one can be Beatrice Lacey's true heir.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dispiriting novel from a usually engaging author 20 Jan 2010
By Bookish
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having been introduced to Philippa Gregory via the brilliant and compelling 'Other Boleyn Girl' I was keen to get my hands on as many of her other books as possible. So far so good until I started reading the Wildacre trilogy. The first title in the series was gripping albeit dominated by unlikeable characters and miserable plotlines of incest and murder! I began 'The Favoured Child' in the hope that with the villains of the first book out of the way it would be a little more light-hearted and hopeful. Nope, still thoroughly depressing! My biggest issue is how Julia, the 'heroine' of the story keeps harping on about how much she loves Richard despite the fact he is a bully, rapist and serial killer. I liked her much more in the Bath chapters and was hoping that she would develop into a stronger and more powerful force in Wildacre. Instead I became increasingly more irritated with her as the book went on.

The Wildacre Trilogy was written much earlier in PG's career and I would recommend sticking with her more recent books, particularly those based around the Tudors. I am as yet undecided about reading the third Wildacre novel, only because I want to know how it all ends.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Mysticism, romance, turbulence, rivalry, passion - a gripping historical novel. It is a shock to discover such a great author that I've been missing out on! What a great writer Philippa Gregory is.

The Favoured Child is a sequel to a book called Wideacre, but can equally as well be read on its own. I was over halfway through the book before I realised that I was reading the second book in a series. The story is set in late-eighteenth-century England, on a run-down landed estate on the South Downs, called Wideacre. The estate suffers from a legacy left by the previous Lacey landowner, Beatrice, who perished along with her beloved Wideacre Hall in a suspicious fire a few years previously. The estate is now bankrupt, the village poverty stricken, resentments are felt throughout the estate and this is the inheritance of the next two Lacey heirs, cousins Julia and Richard. The cousins have been growing up together under the protection of Julia's mother and family, in the shadow of the blackened ruins of the Hall, and with little money and just each other for company - friends, rivals and secretly betrothed since childhood, their relationship is a tempestuous one. Although they are to inherit jointly, there is an old saying in the village that only one can be the favoured child, only one of them can have the mystical relationship with the land traditionally passed down to each generation, a connection with the land that can bring fertility and prosperity back to the Wideacre estate; in truth only one of them can be the true Lacey heir.

I picked up this novel on a whim and am so glad I did. I used to read quite a lot of historical fiction and then gave them up when I found the plots were becoming quite thin and reedy, or too similar to each other.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not good...unfortunately 25 April 2010
Format:Paperback
When I stumbled over "the other Boleyn girl" a few years back I was delighted to discover Philippa Gregory. I gulped that book up in a few days and read the whole Henry 8th series in one go. Since i have dipped into some of her earlier work and also recently bought a few of her newer ones ("the white queen" and others) but have been very disappointed. Her newer work retain her flowing prose but have become slightly dull. The earlier stuff is pretty terrible though. The Favoured child initially caught my interest but it is veeeeery long and about one third into the book i was struggling. The story is unbelievable and inconsistent throughout. The prose is unsure and there are too many repetitions of phrases and even long sections. It was lightly entertaining but stick to the Henry the 8th stuff and you will get Gregory at her best
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An unexpected dud 20 Aug 2009
By HC1977
Format:Paperback
Florid and overblown, with predictable characterisation and plot twists that an 8-year-old could see coming a mile off, this novel isn't a patch on Gregory's other books. Julia Lacey, the narrator and - apparently - heroine, is an irritating sap, and the other characters are 2-D mock-ups straight from a GCSE student's creative writing paper. The epilogue feels tacked on, and any initial sympathy for Julia quickly evaporates, leaving the reader dying to get to the end just so they can read something else!
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48 of 57 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars please, let's return to reality 7 Jan 2006
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I read this having first finished "The other Boylne girl" and loving it, but I warn prospective buyers who also enjoyed Gregory's much better known book that her earlier work is just not up to standard.
"The favoured child" starts off promisingly, with the kind of deep emotional writing that Gregory does so well, but after the first half of the book (which, by the way, seems far too long for the relatively simple story that unfolds) it descends into the kind of melodramatic, mournfully escapist claptrap that gives historical novels such a bad name. Isn't a story that involves incest, insanity and betrayle exciting enough without resorting to vague hints at magic and prophecy? In fact I found it a little patronising, as if Gregory thought we couldn't handle the idea that this sort of thing could happen in the real world.
I was also irritated by the heroine's persistant refusal to grow a spine. Yes, I love my siblings too (not in the same way), but if they raped me, murdered my best friend and sabotaged my only chance at a loving relationship, I might not take their word as gospel.
It's this absolute refusal to create rationally behaving characters that lets this (and other works of Gregory) down; without the witchcraft her work would be gritty and emotionally challenging. With it, her books will be constantly labled as "chick lit", inferior versions of what Johanna Harris does so well.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great writer.
Published 7 days ago by Olive mason
5.0 out of 5 stars an interesting trilogy the idea that our genes do to ...
an interesting trilogy the idea that our genes do to some extent steer the course of our lives.
Published 8 days ago by joan smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fantastic books love this series of books very well written and captivating story lines.
Published 9 days ago by janet worthington
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good reading....thoroughly enjoyed
Published 14 days ago by ann reese
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very good wish its twists and turns
Published 22 days ago by Susan
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written
Once again Philippa Gregory beautifully described the colours, smells and textures of the seasons and the countryside. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Kate Byrne
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Another great book by Philippa Gregory well written once more
Published 1 month ago by mark walker
4.0 out of 5 stars Loved this series A bit long winded at times but ...
Loved this series A bit long winded at times but enJoyed the characters As always when there is a villian in the cast one wants to see them get their just desserts
Published 1 month ago by Christine Morris
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
As you may well realise, this is the 2nd book in the Wideacre trilogy and is as full of passion, betrayal, intrigue and horror as the first book. Read more
Published 1 month ago by georgia rose
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read
Couldn't put this book down
Published 1 month ago by Abbi G
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