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The Gilded Lily Paperback – 13 Sep 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Main Market Ed. edition (13 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330543431
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330543439
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 653,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"There is no greater compliment than 'Give me more!' A delight." --Susanna Gregory

"Ms Swift's prose is compelling, her characters convincing" --Westmorland Gazette

"The Gilded Lily is impeccably written historical fiction. The detail is superb and life in London is so vividly depicted that the city seems to take on its own persona and become a lurking character in the story." --Let Them Read Books

"Where the author excels is in making the reader care for the two girls... I thoroughly enjoyed this tale that explored the darker side of Restoration London." --Historical Tapestry

"The intense evocation of the period never falters" --Gabrielle Kimm

"A heart-rending story of two sisters on the run, searching for a better life. Beautifully written and meticulously researched, the novel drew me straight into the teeming streets of Restoration London. An addictive, page-turning read." --Mary Sharratt

"The Gilded Lily had me hooked from the first chapter even the first page... I loved it." --Peeking Between the Pages

"The plot is gripping with plenty of twists and turns to keep readers interested. The characters are beautifully developed and three-dimensional. Each character has their own struggles to overcome as circumstances force them to do things and change in ways they would never have dreamed of...I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading Deborah Swift's next."
--History and Women

"Superb dialogue, steeped in contemporary language, adds credibility and atmosphere to this compelling tale which examines the ties that bind together siblings, the consequences of greed and ambition, the fickleness of fate and women's constant battle to survive in a man's world. The Gilded Lily is also a fast-paced adventure peopled with ruthless villains and feisty heroines whose exploits grab the imagination and add suspense and excitement to a historical gem." --Lancashire Evening Post

"Deborah Swift's captivating writing makes you feel as if you're in Restoration London alongside the two lead characters of this excellent historical novel. Highly recommended." --The Bookbag

Book Description

Beauty is skin-deep. Blood is deeper.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Terry Tyler TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 25 Nov. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've just read this in two days - yes, folks, I couldn't put it down!

The Gilded Lily is a Restoration period drama about two sisters who run away from rural Westmorland to London after the elder one, Ella, robs the house in which she was in service. There is also doubt cast about her part in two deaths. It's about survival in the frightening, dark, murky alleys and squalid lodgings down by the Thames, and the steps Ella and Sadie take not to be discovered for their crimes. The novel is extremely well researched, so real. The domestic detail is fascinating, and the author describes so well the bleakness of the girls' lives.

It's hard to say why you find a novel unputdownable, but I've just spent about 4 hours curled up with the second half, and there was no way I was not going to finish it today! Ms Swift is a marvellous storyteller and I look forward to reading more of her books. Highly, highly recommended to all lovers of historical fiction; I didn't know much about this particular period but it's made me want to know more. You'll probably like it even if you think historical fiction is not your thing; it's just a great story, fabulously well told - a well deserved five stars!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Gilded Lily tells a frightening tale of two young girls in Restoration London. Young Sadie has been brought from her country home in Cumberland by her more worldly older sister, Ella, to start a new life. Ella has stolen from the house of her dead Master and now she is suspected of his murder. Perhaps they could have gone unnoticed, but Sadie has a distinctive port wine stain on her face and the dead man’s brother is hunting for them.

As Ella becomes entwined in the dangerous world of ambitious Jay Whitgift, she decides Sadie must hide away. As a reader, I empathised with Sadie, feeling trapped in this city, teeming with unkind, threatening people but Ella’s thoughtless behaviour is rooted in her tragic childhood and her longing for love and prosperity.

The story shows the hard toil of girls making wigs in a perruquier’s workshop, the corrupt world of rich, self-obsessed young men and the lives of ordinary people such as clerks and barber-surgeons in 17th century London. I particularly liked the role of the Thames, which fills Sadie with awe, as she watches a ship set sail on a distant voyage while later Ella sells beauty products from a stall on the frozen river. The details of life, the complexity of the plot and the variety of characters take time to unfold but the pace hots up in the last few chapters where the plight of Ella and Sadie worsens and there seems no escape from the gallows.

For Sadie and Ella, the bond of sisterhood is sorely tried by their difficulties and separation but they cannot deny their need for one another. The Gilded Lily which shines so brightly in Ella’s eyes proves to be fool’s gold concealing ugliness.
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Again I liked the story, didn't think it as well written in the middle. Excellent beginning, and good ending found somewhere in the middle a bit slow. Overall a nice plot.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the second book that I have read by Author Deborah Swift and they are both as good as each other.
I look forward to reading more by this author.
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Having read The Lady's Slipper previously, I was very pleased this continued a branch of the story further. Both books are an excellent read, graphic in description as you can almost smell the filth/sewage on the London streets. This is my first read of Deborah Swift novels and I will certainly look for more.
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I enjoyed reading this well written novel and admire the author's skill in bringing the period to life.
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most enjoyable
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Format: Paperback
I'll be honest here I'm in the fortunate position of receiving quite a few free books and win quite a few too and the excitement of winning a signed copy of a brand new title of a book I've heard good things about never dissipates (OK I admit that I'm a hopeless book addict). Which is why I literally jumped for joy when I won a signed copy of The Gilded Lily.

I KNEW I was going to like this historical fiction set in grimy, 17th century, restoration London. When I received my copy and saw the gorgeous cover I was smitten, my only concern being that there is a previous book by the author The Lady's Slipper featuring some of the same characters and I worried it might be a little difficult to follow not having read it. My concerns were unfounded, this makes a great stand alone novel and a perfect introduction to the authors beautiful writing.

The Gilded Lily is the story of two sisters, Ella and Sadie, fleeing from their rural home in the North, taking items with them from Emmas previous employer to which she has no right. The girls head for the seething mass and anonymity of the city of London in a bid to escape persecution for a greater crime than the theft of some treasures, Ella swears she did not commit although it soon becomes apparent that she is a much more flighty and unreliable character than her shy, timid sister born with a disfiguring birthmark on her face.
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