'A polished achievement. The plot is set in post Civil War Westmorland and tells the story of Alice Ibbetson, an artist, who becomes captivated by the Lady's Slipper, a rare orchid... But she is not the only one who has a jealous passion for the flower...' --Westmorland Gazette
'The novel grips from the opening lines and carries the interest throughout. The several plot strands are seamlessly blended and come together in a wholly satisfying conclusion. Her characters are so real that they linger in the mind long after the book is back on the shelf. Highly recommended.' --The Historical Novels Review
'This is an utterly captivating novel written with a beautiful observation of detail. ....It is set against an often neglected period of history and the author manages to weave the plot strands of politics, spite, liberty, lust and obsession into a very rich and luscious tapestry.' --Karen Maitland, author of The Owl Killers
'Throughout The Lady's Slipper, Swift writes of things in such detail that you feel like you are holding the lady's slipper in your own hand.....Swift deftly layers plots to build a story that is complex and engaging.'
"With realistic dialogue, an author s obvious love for history, and characters that leap off the pages, THE LADY S SLIPPER is a brilliant saga set in a time of confusion in England as it recovers from years of civil strife." --Romance Reviews Today
"Deborah Swift s writing style, combined with her knowledge of mid 17th Century life is masterful in her portrayal of a crueller and less tolerant time, where suspicion is enough to condemn the innocent and women were regarded as the cradle of all evils." --Historical Novel Review Blog
"It is a genuinely engrossing story, with characters you can get interested in." --http://www.themum.co.uk/
"This is an utterly captivating novel written with a beautiful observation of detail. The lives of the characters intertwine in a way that is both intriguing and often completely unexpected. The reader is constantly having to shift their opinion about which character is 'good' and 'bad', making for a fascinating read" --Karen Maitland, author of "Company of Liars" and "The Owl Killers"
"Swift has obviously done her homework, with the historical detail and in particular the account of Alice s time in gaol, being intensely atmospheric .....a delicately handled, loving recreation of a bygone era with all its incongruence." --The Truth about Books
"The Lady's Slipper has all the characteristics of well-received historical romance. Recommended for fans of Philippa Gregory and Rose Tremain, as well as students of the English Civil War." --Library Journal
"A dark and gripping tale deeply rooted in rural English history, The Lady's Slipper reads at times like a 17th-century folk ballad come to life..... a novel as rich and haunting as the setting it evokes." --Reading the Past
"..the history provides a frame of reference for a great story fueled by timeless motives of greed, envy, and lust, and the universal theme of redemption. The intertwined stories of the orchid s fate, the mounting problems between the Quakers and the King s men, and Alice s murder trial and its aftermath make for a riveting narrative." --For the Love of Books Blog
"It is a beautifully told story, set in Restoration Westmorland in 1660, and tells of the tragic consequences of the desire to possess a rare and delicate wild flower. It s a terrific read." --Gabrielle Kimm author of "His Last Duchess"
"an impressive first book indeed.....Swift has done well in creating a richly-textured universe for her story, populating it with characters who are all too human" --PhiloBiblos Blog
"If you are a fan of historical fiction, then definitely pick up The Lady's Slipper, you will enjoy a great story about a beautiful flower and one woman's quest to save it during a time of political unrest. The book would make a wonderful book club pick." --Girls Just Reading blog
"wonderful nuanced characters and an engrossing plot, Deborah Swift has created a rich read. While many people know of the Pilgrims and Puritans fleeing England for religious freedom, Quakers facing religious persecution is a lesser known event. With their belief in non-violence, it is hard to see how they could be thought a threat by the government, but it was interesting to read of the means used to subdue this growing group. Definitely a great read for fans of sweeping historical novels."
--Night Owl Reviews
It is 1660. The King is back, memories of the Civil War still rankle. In rural Westmorland, artist Alice Ibbetson has become captivated by the rare Lady's Slipper orchid. She is determined to capture it's unique beauty for posterity, even if it means stealing the flower from the land of the recently converted Quaker, Richard Wheeler. Fired by his newfound faith, the former soldier Wheeler feels bound to track down the missing orchid. Meanwhile, others are eager to lay hands on the flower, and have their own powerful motives. Margaret Poulter, a local medicine woman, is seduced by the orchid's mysterious herbal powers, while Geoffrey Fisk, Alice's patron and former comrade-in-arms of Wheeler, sees the valuable plant as a way to repair his ailing fortunes and cure his own agonizing illness. Fearing that Wheeler and his friends are planning revolution, Fisk sends his son Stephen to spy on the Quakers, only for the young man to find his loyalties divided as he befriends the group he has been sent to investigate. Then, when Alice Ibbetson is implicated in a brutal murder, she is imprisoned along with the suspected anti-royalist Wheeler. As Fisk's sanity grows ever more precarious, and Wheeler and Alice plot their escape, a storm begins to brew, from which no party will escape unscathed. Vivid, gripping and intensely atmospheric, The Lady's Slipper is a novel about beauty, faith and loyalty. It marks the emergence of an exquisite new voice in historical fiction.