Title: The Lady’s Slipper (Westmorland, Book One)
Amazon Author Page: Deborah Swift
Publication Date: August 20, 2016
Genres: Literature & Fiction, British & Irish, Sagas, Historical Romance
A sweeping historical novel of orchids, obsession, and murder
When artist Alice Ibbetson discovers a rare orchid, the lady’s-slipper, growing in a nearby wood, she is captivated by its beauty. It is the last surviving specimen and she wants to preserve it for future generations. There is only one problem – it is growing on the land of Richard Wheeler, a newly-converted Quaker, who will not allow her to touch it.Fearing for the flower’s fragility, she steals the orchid, little dreaming that this seemingly simple act will set off an unstoppable chain of events – a web of intrigue that will lead to murder and exile, and change her comfortable life forever.
‘Compelling and intriguing, this is a well-told story full of wonderful prose and surprising events. It’s a vivid addition to the genre’. –RT BookReviews
“It is a genuinely engrossing story, with characters you can get interested in.” –The Mum website
As a gardening enthusiast, I was drawn to this book because of the rare orchid. The book blurb literally drew me in.
The time period centers on the Quaker Revolution in Great Britain, a time period I was not familiar with. The orchid becomes the catalyst that moves the story forward in strange and unusual ways.
Alice Ibbetson, an artist who paints flowers and plants, is still grieving from the death of her little sister. Her neighbor, Richard Wheeler, a newly converted Quaker, shares the existence of the rare lady’s slipper orchid with Alice. The plant was long thought to have been extinct in England.
Alice pleads with Richard to let her dig up the orchid in order to protect it. Richard refuses, and Alice takes matters into her own hands and steals the flower hoping to save it, with the idea that she could grow more.
Richard is outraged and bound and determined to prove that she took the flower. Fearing for her life, Alice enlists the help of an overbearing lord who desires the flower as a cure for a disease he’s suffered from his entire life.
Trusting no one, Alice plots a way to preserve the plant, but thoughts of war are sweeping the land. Soon, Alice and Richard find themselves immersed in the conflict. They are sucked in by the trickery of the greedy lord, while Alice’s maid works her intentions on Alice’s husband and wealth.
There was sex in the book, so be prepared for the author’s portrayal of the raw realities of life during this time period which underscores the people’s affinity for believing the worst in people. This also illustrates the power their religion held over them. The story reads like a tragedy, although karma brings the story to a satisfying close.
I found “The Lady’s Slipper” to be entertaining and a real page-turner. If you love Historical Romance filled with intrigue, this is one book you will enjoy.
Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 Fairies
*I follow the Amazon Rating System*
Author, Deborah Swift
Thanks for visiting my author page! As you read this I’ll probably be writing from my tall stone house which was once a school and built in 1902. This is a house that is “new” in English terms, as many of our local villages date back to the 1630’s or even earlier.
I write historical fiction, a genre I love. I loved the Victorian classics such as Jane Eyre, Little Women, Lorna Doone, and Wuthering Heights. As I child I loved to read and when I had read my own library books, I used to borrow my mother’s library copies of Anya Seton and Daphne du Maurier. I have loved reading historical novels ever since; though I’m a bookaholic and I read widely – contemporary and classic fiction as well as historicals.
In the past, I used to work as a set and costume designer for theatre and TV, so I enjoy the research aspect of creating historical fiction, something I loved doing as a scenographer. Each book takes about six months of research before I am ready to begin writing. More details of my research and writing process can be found on my website. I like to write about extraordinary characters set against the background of real historical events.
I live in North Lancashire on the edge of the Lake District, an area made famous by the Romantic Poets such as Wordsworth and Coleridge.
I took an MA in Creative Writing in 2007 and now teach classes and courses in writing, and offer editorial advice from my home.
The Lady’s Slipper (shortlisted for the Impress Prize)
The Gilded Lily
A Divided Inheritance
The Pepys Trilogy:
Pleasing Mr Pepys
A Plague on Mr Pepys
Entertaining Mr Pepys
The Highway Trilogy for Young Adults:
Shadow on the Highway
Spirit of the Highway
Lady of the Highway
Thanks for stopping by to meet Deborah Swift. See you next week. ❤
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