The inaugural volume of Gregory’s (Dark Tracks, 2018, etc.) new series is set during the English civil war. A wise woman is at the center of this launch.
Alinor, an herbalist and midwife, is reminiscent of Jacquetta (The Lady of the Rivers, 2011), another Gregory protagonist, foundress of the Woodville dynasty of beautiful and resourceful women who figure in the War of the Roses and attract accusations of witchcraft.
In 1648, the risk of such accusations is even higher, since Alinor lacks Jacquetta’s noble lineage and because an army of Puritan Christians led by Oliver Cromwell has dethroned King Charles, now confined on the Isle of Wight.
Extensive atmospherics slow the action but convey a strong sense of place—the Sussex tidelands, where, on Sealsea Island, Alinor earns a sparse living selling herbs and… (a subscription to the Jimplecute is required to continue reading this article).
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