The Gilded Lily by Deborah Swift
|The Gilded Lily by Deborah Swift|
|Category: Historical Fiction|
|Reviewer: Robert James|
|Summary: 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.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 304||Date: September 2012|
|External links: Author's website|
In Restoration England, Sadie Appleby and her older sister Ella flee their home in Westmorland to try to lose themselves in London. They're forced to try and avoid the relatives of the dead man who Ella robbed and build a new life, but things aren't always what they seem in the capital and they're left trying to work out just who they can trust.
This is an enjoyable read which I got through fairly quickly due to Deborah Swift's writing style, which definitely encourages you to turn the pages quickly to try and find out what's going to happen next to her main characters. I liked Sadie, who's shy, quiet, and far too recognisable due to a birthmark on her face, much more than her more confident sister Ella, who I didn't particularly take to. However the relationship between the pair was well-portrayed, as was Ella's rise in fortunes and the interest taken in her by new employer Jay Whitgift, a charismatic young man with secrets of his own to hide.
Swift also brings the 17th century to life really well, and captures the city of London brilliantly, both the more glamorous side of the city and the seedier underworld. I'm reasonably well-versed on the 17th century - nowhere near an expert but have got a rough idea of the time period from a lot of reading on it - and her portrayal seemed to be very realistic and right for the time period. She gives really detailed descriptions which help transport the reader right into the heart of the story. I haven't read anything else by Deborah Swift, but I believe her previous book The Lady's Slipper included some of the same characters, and will definitely be tracking that one down.
Highly recommended to fans of historical fiction.
One of my favourite historical novels of recent years is Anne O'Brien's wonderful novel about Eleanor of Aquitaine, Devil's Consort by Anne O'Brien.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Gilded Lily by Deborah Swift at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Gilded Lily by Deborah Swift at Amazon.com.
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