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57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Resounding final chapter in the Wideacre trilogy
Unlike the first two books, which began with their protagonists on a high point before falling, "Meridon" begins with its protagonist at her lowest point. Adopted by gypsies, Meridon struggles to earn a living with her feckless stepfather by breaking in wild ponies. Sold with her stepsister Dandy to a travelling show, life becomes more settled. Meridon's talent with...
Published on 11 Dec 2003 by Star_Sea

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enough with the "Quality"!!!
If you haven't read the other books in the Wideacre Trilogy look away now!

The first book was jaw droppingly compelling, just how low could Beatrice go?! The second book was a little frustrating, just how helpless could Julia get?! This book is about Julias' child, given to the gypsies at the end of the last book she is now a 15 year old traveller (not a true...
Published on 7 Aug 2010 by nattyloo


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57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Resounding final chapter in the Wideacre trilogy, 11 Dec 2003
By 
Star_Sea "Xing" (Salisbury, England) - See all my reviews
Unlike the first two books, which began with their protagonists on a high point before falling, "Meridon" begins with its protagonist at her lowest point. Adopted by gypsies, Meridon struggles to earn a living with her feckless stepfather by breaking in wild ponies. Sold with her stepsister Dandy to a travelling show, life becomes more settled. Meridon's talent with horses - which readers of the previous books will recognise - enables her to escape from being a girl. She is most definitely a tomboy. Dandy, on the other hand, is growing up all too fast - which eventually leads to tragedy.
Meridon eventually finds her way to Wideacre, the mysterious "Wide" of her dreams - but of course, the reality is far different. Since it has been without a squire for fifteen years, the estate has become a commune. Meridon is both perplexed and annoyed with the changes, and continually torn between the appeal of the simple life on the land, represented by Will Tyacke, and Society, represented by Perry Havering and his mother. Eventually, under her new name of Sarah Lacey, she goes with them to London for the Season. However, she quickly finds that the rich can be just as deceiving and selfish as the poor, if not more so, and eventually realises that this cold selfish life is not for her.
This book has far more social commentary than the others - the idealism of Will Tyacke reminds the reader of Ralph, who is mysteriously absent. Perhaps this is meant to show that the past is gone, but I still felt that he should have made an appearance, however brief, because it would have been a link, and his absence after the first two books leaves a small hole. The miseries of high society are made crystal clear as Sarah feels bereft and alone. The commune of Wideacre is clearly detailed, although one has to wonder if such a thing really could have existed in the nineteenth century, because it's far more likely that Wideacre would just have been absorbed into the Havering lands, but there you go.
Meridon herself is a very complex and interesting character. Since the title is her name, the story is all about her identity. Physically, she resembles Beatrice - the red haired, green eyed granddaughter of which Beatrice dreamed in the first book - and her desire for Wideacre is also reminiscent of her grandmother. But she is looking for any kind of security - when she realises that she cannot completely possess Wideacre, she turns towards another way of making herself safe. She is not much like her mother, apart from the way she cares for animals and tries to take care of Perry. I was surprised that Gregory did not use something like Julia's journal (specifically mentioned in "The Favoured Child") to help Meridon, but that is the whole point of the book - she has to realise who she is for herself. Although Meridon keeps trying to be "Sarah Lacey", she cannot leave behind her roots, or the cold emptiness in her heart. In the end, having been stripped of the money she fought so hard to find, she rebels against her situation in a breathtaking flight with Will, one of the best scenes in the whole book.
The story has a satisfying ending, one that I doubt the reader could have predicted at the end of "Wideacre", or even at the end of "The Favoured Child". It could be read on its own, but certain echoes and hints would have more resonance after reading the first two books.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brillant conclusion to the Wideacre triology, 13 Feb 2002
Meridon, gypsy bareback rider has a very different start in life to her mother and grandmother. But at the beginning of the book, Meridon doesn't know that. All she knows of her true identity is snatches of the place she dreams about which she calls Wide.
Meridon and her sister Dandy are sold in a job lot to Robert's circus, where Dandy trains as a trapeze artist and Meridon trains and rides the ponies with robert's son, Jack.
When Dandy is killed, Meridon is devestated, and goes on the road with the horse she won in a bet, Sea. Not knowing, or caring where she ends up, Meridon somehow finds her way to Wideacre, where she finds out that she is really Sarah Lacey, heir to the estate...
Although each of the books in this trilogy is set in the same place, about the same family, Philippa Gregory manages to create original storylines and characters. all the main characters, Beatrice, Julia and Meridon/Sarah share some similar qualities which make them Lacey's through and through, they are each different and have different attitudes to the land and ownership. This book would make sense on its own, but, more so than "The Favoured Child" features the backstory of the Lacey's rule on Wideacre, so i would recommend reading the other two books first.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enough with the "Quality"!!!, 7 Aug 2010
If you haven't read the other books in the Wideacre Trilogy look away now!

The first book was jaw droppingly compelling, just how low could Beatrice go?! The second book was a little frustrating, just how helpless could Julia get?! This book is about Julias' child, given to the gypsies at the end of the last book she is now a 15 year old traveller (not a true Romany as her Stepfather is a bit of a blagger rather than from true Romany stock).

I really enjoyed the first half of this book, it's very easy to get sucked into the world that Phillipa Gregory creates around the characters. And the characters themselves are easy to get to know, sometimes a little too easy, and if you have read the previous books the red flags are waving very quickly as to the goodies, baddies and oooh deary meees!!

The second half of the book really annoyed me at times as the main character suddenly turned into a less than sympathetic character. Yes, it was explained, yes there were reasons, but it all got a bit teeth grinding for me!

The other thing that reeeeallllly annoyed me was the constant use of the term Quality, referring to the "upper" classes. The word "Quality" cropped up far too many times with it's capital letter making sentences lumpy. Several times I thought to myself that if I saw the word again the book would be flung out of my window! We get it they are higher class, enough of the Quality!

But it's a good end to a decent trilogy and worth a read. The trapeze descriptions made my palms sweat just thinking about it!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great finish, 13 Sep 2012
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Having read the other two books in the series I was suitably supprised by this. It was not at all what I expected and as such was a very good read. Sorry I have now read all three and have no more to read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Happy at Last!, 18 Jun 2012
I bought the kindle version of the final book in the Wideacre trilogy having read the first two on paper. I hate to be a pedant but there were quite a few typos in the kindle version and one of the horses (Bluebell) changed gender faster than I change my socks!
Back to the story itself. I enjoyed the book it was my favourite out of the trilogy. Although for most of the book I was inwardly screaming as Meridon/Sarah made bad decision after bad decision. Thankfully there is a happy ending which was a relief after the misery of the first two novels.
I don't know what it is about Philippa Gregory's writing but it always seems to affect me emotionally. I don't think that her writing is the best historical fiction out there but it definitely gets under my skin and I keep going back to read more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Return of the Lost Lacy, 22 Mar 2012
By 
The last book of the Wideacre Trilogy concerns the life of Sarah Lacy, know as Meridon. She is the long lost daughter of Julia and Richard who was raised by gypsies from the day of her birth, but dreams of her real mother calling her Sarah and someplace called `Wide' setting the scene for her return home. The novel follows her travels back to the estate to claim her rightful place and her attempts to wrestle control of the estate back from the villagers.

There is a strong theme of identity throughout the book reflected in the way Merdion tries to reclaim her identity as Sarah Lacy and reconcile that with her identity as Meridon. Her life in the circus was some of the best part of the novel, I really liked all the scenes with the trapeze ropes, they in particularly came to life. I especially enjoyed the touching relationship between Maridon and Dandy her adopted sister. However I found the premise around Meridon finding Wideacre, and everyone accepting her as the real Sarah Lacy slightly unrealistic. Meridon has a lot more backbone that her mother Julia Lacy, but is not quite as without morals as her grandmother Beatrice Lacy, which did make her a nice protagonist. I found her overall more enjoyable to read then Julia or Beatrice in the previous two novels. Lucky she has no sibling so there is thankfully no more incest in this novel which was a nice change for the series. One of the problems was that she made bad decision after bad decision like her choice of husband and the running of the estate, which did put me off her a bit. She also became quite unsympathetic and frustrating to read for a good portion of the book. Although there were good reasons for this shift in character it didn't help the fact that she seemed to be making bad choices because she could rather then because she truly believed that they were right. The historical detail of the early 19th century was well detailed and it was nice for the first part of the novel to be travelling and see different walks of life apposed be staying on the Wideacre estate and sticking solely with the gentry as in the previous two novels.

It was a quite fun to read and had a happy ending which made a lovely change from the previous novels but there was quite a few things that were unrealistic in the book so I never quite lost myself completely in it. Would recommend it as a fitting end to the series as it brings the conflict between the Lacy's and the villagers to a good conclusion.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent end to the trilogy, 25 Nov 2014
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The last in the Wideacre trilogy and my favourite. It's good when a series ends with the best book, I've read so many that fall down at the last hurdle. The first half, in particular, is fascinating because it takes place in the world outside of Wideacre and transports you to a land of gypsies and show grounds. I like the fact that Gregory never romanticises the life of the poor - Meridon is a gruff character who acts as a girl with her experience would. But for all her rough edges, Meridon is a likeable character and you follow her with interest. The only problem I have with this book is that it doesn't tie up all the loose ends of the trilogy. What the heck happened to Ralph? He was a pivotal character and we just don't find out.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Great read but without the surprises of 'Wideacre', 8 July 2009
By 
Script Angel (Solihull, England) - See all my reviews
Having read the stories in this trilogy in order I did enjoy 'Meridon' and it was nice to get out from the Lacey estate which dominates the other two books, and escape into Meriodon's gypsy unbringing. As with 'The Favoured Child' though I didn't think that there was really enough story to sustain the length of the novel and, despite the very engaging prose style, it sometimes felt rather slow. Still, a hugely enjoyable read, particularly so if you've read the previous two in the trilogy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars book nostalgia, 11 Feb 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Meridon (Paperback)
When I think about this book, I feel book nostalgia. It's what you feel after reading the truly great historical fiction, when you've been seduced by the characters and by the intoxicating intrigue of historical fiction. The BUT is that you have to get through the two first books, which are to put plainly quite painfully depressing, so as to really understand what drives the women of Wideacre. Meridon is on a par with Phillippa Gregory's "The Queen's Fool".
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If Im honest...A bit drawn out..., 15 Mar 2009
By 
LittleReader (Leeds, UK) - See all my reviews
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'The Favoured Child' was the first novel of PG's that I've read and I LOVED it. I literally could not wait to pick up 'Meridon', the final book in the trilogy. I may well have over-hyped it in my mind, and that is the reason for me not enjoying it quite so much, but whereas I could not put 'The Favoured Child' down, I found this novel hard going at times and speed-read the last quarter simply to finish it.
The plot was ok, (though the pace was fairly slow and plodding) and some of the characters were whole and believable (Lord Havering for one, Will Tyacke, another), but for me Meridon, the pivotal character, was left lacking.... In consistency, humility and strength - I found myself wondering where we were supposed to glean certain aspects of her from - for example, she was 'in love' with one of the characters but I only knew this from actually reading the sentence! It wasn't apparent in her behaviour, thoughts or feelings. After tragedy befalls Meridon, her entire personality changes to such an extent that I felt I didn't even know her - and though grief is obviously huge - it just felt forced and over the top.
That said, it hasn't put me off - I continue to enjoy PG's narrative in general and am looking forward to starting 'The Other Boleyn Girl'...
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Meridon (The Wideacre Trilogy: Book 3)
Meridon (The Wideacre Trilogy: Book 3) by Philippa Gregory (Paperback - 17 Jun 2003)
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