Meridon Hardcover – Jul 3 1990
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From Publishers Weekly
With this elaborate tapestry of a young woman's life, the Lacey family trilogy ( Wideacre and The Favored Child ) comes to a satisfying conclusion. Meridon is the lost child whose legacy is the estate of Wideacre. She and her very different sister, Dandy, were abandoned as infants and raised in a gypsy encampment, learning horsetrading and other tricks of survival. They are indentured to a circus master whose traveling show is made successful by Meridon's equestrian flair and Dandy's seductive beauty on the trapeze. Meridon's escape from this world is fueled by pregnant Dandy's murder and her own obsessive dream of her ancestral home. After claiming Wideacre, Meridon succumbs for a while to the temptation of the "quality" social scene, but eventually she comes to her senses, and, in a tricky card game near the end of the saga, triumphs fully. The hard-won homecoming in this historical novel is richly developed and impassioned. Doubleday Book Club alternate.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Val Hennessy London Daily Mail When it comes to writers of historical fiction, Philippa Gregory is in the very top league.
Pittsburgh Press Captivating.
Chattanooga News-Free Press Compelling, absorbing...an unforgettable page-turner. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Meridon is a fifteen-year-old girl raised by a poor family that is not even part of the gypsy community. Her twin sister, Dandy, is the only person Meridon cares for and this theme repeats throughout the entire story as Meridon struggles to protect her sister from things she cannot be protected from. Meridon spends her days training horses with her father to sell as they travel from community to community until she and her sister are traded with a horse to Robert, who is not a gypsy but travels in their circles. Robert is working to build a traveling circus with his son and several horses; Meridon and Dandy become integral to his success as they improve old acts and create new ones. All this time, Meridon has vague memories or a place she only knows as Wide, a place where she is convinced she and Dandy will be safe from both poverty and loneliness.
Midway into the book, Meridon indeed finds Wideacre and is (too easily) given her inheritance. The only problem is that during her sixteen-year absence, James Fortescue and Will Tyacke, a lawyer and a farm manager, have built a communal farm. As left-wing as it gets, Wideacre is a sharp contrast to the property of neighboring Havering, which is squeezed of every profit it can muster for Lady Clara. Meridon, now called by the name she was born into, Sarah Lacey, is instantly drawn to the Haverings and the selfish security of their estate, while building a friendship with Will.Read more ›
Yeah. I rather liked it better when she had to stick to the rules. I'm having a terrible time with Wideacre, and can't imagine ploughing through two more books like this one.
First of all, the parallels with Scarlett O'Hara's obsession with keeping Tara, the plantation she grew up on, are OBVIOUS, and it takes balls to compete with a classic story like Gone With the Wind. And I'm sorry, but this madcap, melodramatic plotline actually only makes Gone With the Wind look even BETTER in comparison.
And for all of her repetitious use of the word "Wideacre" as a preceding adjective to virtually EVERY noun in the book, I'm not in the least convinced that the homestead is worth all this trouble. And if I can't sympathise with that drive in Beatrice, I can't see her as anything but despicable.
Second thing - I don't know about this preoccupation with brother-sister incest....I'm afraid to open another one of her novels. In Boelyn it had its place, but in this book it's just icky. And seems forced. And I DON'T believe the S&M business at all - that was just one more thing, tossed in there for bad measure.
Too many things just seem out of place, unbelievable, unnecessary, tasteless - this book is a train wreck. And it's too bad, because I do enjoy her writing. I may try her next historical fiction, where she's reined in a bit, but I don't think I'll pick up another of her free-for-alls.
Yet, despite the fact that Wideacre as a place appears in this book relatively infrequently, Wideacre as a representative of the class struggle comes out much more strongly in this novel than the two previous ones. Meridon herself has lived on both sides of the track, and her unique experience gives her a completely different viewpoint from either of the two previous Laceys. Through the use of interesting side characters who each in their own way are struggling with money (the pursuit of it, why you need it, why you want it, and what to do with it once you have it), the at the time revolutionary ideas of spreading the wealth across the whole population are emphasized.
The only thing that I missed and wondered about was that there was no mention of Ralph in this book. Since he was so important in the first two books, I thought that he might make an appearance of some kind in this one... in any case, the character of Will Tyacke does well in illustrating that deep desire to help the poor.
All in all, I thought that this was an amazing finish to the trilogy, and a definite must-read.
Most recent customer reviews
Realized I have read before, but that is no problem! I love this author and particularly love this series!Published 9 months ago by Kathryn Rogers
I began reading Wideacre but cannot continue. I just dislike the main character and think she is so weak and pathetic had to put the book down. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Vanessa Lewis
I am glad i purchased this book. I love Philippa's books and read most already. I purchased the trilogy and set to reading! This is a most read for the summer! Get the trilogy! Read morePublished on June 5 2014 by Jude
I've never been so upset with a heroin of a book as I was with this one. I wanted to jump in and give her head a shake. So, that's telling you how good this book is.Published on Feb. 8 2014 by William Mc Murchy
This book almost stands alone without the prequels. More action and closure spiced with humour. A different Phillipa Gregory than experienced in the Tudor yearsPublished on Feb. 4 2014 by Donna O'Neil
...I loved this book. I'm fifteen years old, an avid reader, but never has a book made me feel the way this one did - warming my heart, then ripping it open, then repairing it just... Read morePublished on Oct. 11 2012 by Magicia