I won this book in a random giveaway on Silver’s Reviews courtesy of Simon & Schuster and this is my honest review . . .

As an avid reader of historical fiction, I have come to know and respect Philippa Gregory’s ability to meld fact with fiction. This book is a strong example of her work but in a raw stripped-down style. It stands as a testament to real-world struggles of days gone by, without unnecessary embellishment. I enjoy compelling, atmospheric stories with multi-faceted characters and I can completely identify with young Alinor Reekie. She is a resourceful woman, a midwife, and a healer, tasked with being the head of the household after her husband goes missing. In a time and place where women have limited choices, Alinor struggles to navigate through poverty, motherhood, and community bias with her dignity intact. Having raised her children well, circumstances in their lives begin to shift, and better options start to emerge for Alinor and her children . . . but ultimately at what cost?

Many others I see have been disappointed, but I came in with no particular expectation. Philippa has created a world of stinking mud, hardship, and burlap when maybe they were looking for silk, game-playing, and hours of passion. Let them eat cake.

I highly recommend Tidelands and look forward to more installments in this series. Four Stars.

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