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Dr Karen McArdle

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The Gilded Lily
The Gilded Lily
by Deborah Swift
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping read with historical accuracy, 30 Sep 2012
This review is from: The Gilded Lily (Paperback)
This book held me from beginning to end. I am not usually a reader of historical fiction but I found this to be a gripping read.
What I enjoyed most was the juxtaposition of two characters who were sisters. I was convinced by both of them and enjoyed their relationship as it grew in depth.

The plot is admirably constructed. There is never a dull moment and there were no loose ends except a slight twist at the end that makes me long for a sequel. The plot is not straightforward. It is complex and compelling and holds the reader to the final denouement.

I am not a historian but the historical detail that I did know led me to believe all the rest. Occasionally I was puzzled by some of the language in inverted commas but this may be my ignorance of the dialect on my part. I loved the historical detail, gobbets of sheer delight that made me see the landscape and the inner home scape of the two sisters clearly and with fascination.

I liked this book so much that I bought a copy for a friend at work. She has not finished it yet but she too was fascinated by the social history and the life of the two sisters. I have read another book by Swift Called the Lady's Slipper. The main character of the Gilded Lily has a life in this book as well. I just hope that there is a sequel so I can follow the characters further.

I even liked the cover of the book! So, you must be thinking, what didn't you like? As an academic I am expected to be critical. I find myself thinking that the only thing that annoyed me was some of the words I did not know. Were they dialect or historical vocabulary? Maybe future works could have an explanatory note or glossary for the reader.


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