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Midsummer Eve 1670. Two unexpected visitors arrive at a shabby warehouse on the south side of the River Thames. The first is a wealthy man hoping to find the lover he deserted twenty-one years before. James Avery has everything to offer, including the favour of the newly restored King Charles II, and he believes that the warehouse's poor owner Alinor has the one thing his Midsummer Eve 1670. Two unexpected visitors arrive at a shabby warehouse on the south side of the River Thames. The first is a wealthy man hoping to find the lover he deserted twenty-one years before. James Avery has everything to offer, including the favour of the newly restored King Charles II, and he believes that the warehouse's poor owner Alinor has the one thing his money cannot buy—his son and heir. The second visitor is a beautiful widow from Venice in deepest mourning. She claims Alinor as her mother-in-law and has come to tell Alinor that her son Rob has drowned in the dark tides of the Venice lagoon. Alinor writes to her brother Ned, newly arrived in faraway New England and trying to make a life between the worlds of the English newcomers and the American Indians as they move toward inevitable war. Alinor tells him that she knows—without doubt—that her son is alive and the widow is an imposter. Set in the poverty and glamour of Restoration London, in the golden streets of Venice, and on the tensely contested frontier of early America, this is a novel of greed and desire: for love, for wealth, for a child, and for home


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Midsummer Eve 1670. Two unexpected visitors arrive at a shabby warehouse on the south side of the River Thames. The first is a wealthy man hoping to find the lover he deserted twenty-one years before. James Avery has everything to offer, including the favour of the newly restored King Charles II, and he believes that the warehouse's poor owner Alinor has the one thing his Midsummer Eve 1670. Two unexpected visitors arrive at a shabby warehouse on the south side of the River Thames. The first is a wealthy man hoping to find the lover he deserted twenty-one years before. James Avery has everything to offer, including the favour of the newly restored King Charles II, and he believes that the warehouse's poor owner Alinor has the one thing his money cannot buy—his son and heir. The second visitor is a beautiful widow from Venice in deepest mourning. She claims Alinor as her mother-in-law and has come to tell Alinor that her son Rob has drowned in the dark tides of the Venice lagoon. Alinor writes to her brother Ned, newly arrived in faraway New England and trying to make a life between the worlds of the English newcomers and the American Indians as they move toward inevitable war. Alinor tells him that she knows—without doubt—that her son is alive and the widow is an imposter. Set in the poverty and glamour of Restoration London, in the golden streets of Venice, and on the tensely contested frontier of early America, this is a novel of greed and desire: for love, for wealth, for a child, and for home

30 review for Dark Tides

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    As an old fan of Philippa Gregory’s, though I haven’t read a book from her in a number of years, I am excited I had the opportunity to read her new Fairmile series, including Tidelands and Dark Tides. Most of the books I’ve read by Gregory have been centered on royalty, but these two books focus on a midwife/herbalist, Alinor, her daughter, Alys, and her children, Sarah and Johnnie, running a warehouse business on the River Thames in England during the Restoration. There’s another storyline in Da As an old fan of Philippa Gregory’s, though I haven’t read a book from her in a number of years, I am excited I had the opportunity to read her new Fairmile series, including Tidelands and Dark Tides. Most of the books I’ve read by Gregory have been centered on royalty, but these two books focus on a midwife/herbalist, Alinor, her daughter, Alys, and her children, Sarah and Johnnie, running a warehouse business on the River Thames in England during the Restoration. There’s another storyline in Dark Tides where Alinor’s brother, Ned, moves to New England to break free of England during this time period. While you could read Dark Tides on its own, I recommend reading both books in succession for a richer story. Reading in this way also offers more perspective on the characters; Alys, especially, because her history is important. I was not quite as interested in Ned’s storyline once he moved to the US. To me, Alys and Alinor are the heart of the story, but I was happily along for all of it. Overall, I adore how Philippa Gregor draws me into her stories and characters. Right now I’m watching The White Princess from Starz, based on a book from Gregory I also loved, and it would be so much fun to see the Fairmile books on the screen one day! I received a gifted copy. All opinions are my own. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader

  2. 4 out of 5

    Chrissie

    Dark Tides, the sequel to Tidelands, suffers from a number of flaws — namely, poor characterization, no atmosphere (which she actually had going for her in Tidelands), and the most transparent, preposterous, and convoluted storyline imaginable. If there's a third in this series, I will not be returning for it. This makes me question Gregory's other works — which I have not read, but heard so much about. First, there's such a slow start to Dark Tides in addition to constant back-and-forth between Dark Tides, the sequel to Tidelands, suffers from a number of flaws — namely, poor characterization, no atmosphere (which she actually had going for her in Tidelands), and the most transparent, preposterous, and convoluted storyline imaginable. If there's a third in this series, I will not be returning for it. This makes me question Gregory's other works — which I have not read, but heard so much about. First, there's such a slow start to Dark Tides in addition to constant back-and-forth between the two settings: London and New England. Gregory would've done better to not chop it all up, especially at the beginning, into such tiny segments of changing points-of-view to set up the novel. In fact, I really don't think Ned's storyline was necessary at all. Adventures with Ned and his Chain of Ethical Issues on how English colonists should get along with American Indians instead of trying to cheat them or drive them out of their own lands (with which most of us agree by now, and which was not a common viewpoint back then) that he drags around with him was so clearly draped across his shoulders by the author. The weight of what basically amounts to an essay is a lot to carry, especially when all the plot is actually happening across the ocean in London. His story is dull, dry, and entirely predictable, dropping the history lesson like a piano in a cartoon. The characters themselves suffer from no development, particularly since Gregory once again favors telling and not showing. And no one grows over the course of this book. Static characters. Twenty years has passed and no one seems to have experienced any growth — aside from the deceptive first ten percent of the book when Gregory lays out some loose groundwork that is meant to do all the heavy lifting for the rest of the book. Alys should be a savvy businesswoman, yet she falls so quickly into allowing herself to be duped that it is wholly unbelievable. How is she more naïve than in the first book?! And James, with all his talked about heartache and pain, should have experienced more than just passing disappointment once he believes that he has no son and never did. Apparently he never truly loved Alinor; for all his twenty years of pining, with letters sent every year, his feelings seemingly disappear within an instant's notice. Alinor should be a much wiser woman, given her age, her experiences, and her belief in her gift — she was never a dummy to begin with. And while she's not acting much out of character in this installment, I have to say it's mainly because she's hardly in this book. She's shoved into the corner, barely playing a role. The biggest blow to Alinor's character is actually her relationship with Alys. It is entirely muddied and mishandled. Throughout the book, Alinor continues to keep her feelings hidden from Alys, as though Alys wouldn't understand or believe her. As though they have not lived together Alys's entire life — have not remained close and even gotten closer. It's confounding and disappointing. What a missed opportunity to really display a bond between these two women — having raised two children together — in this time period of history! Speaking of the children, Johnnie and Sarah, they play strange roles within the story (his basically disappears), but Sarah really shines brighter later on when Alinor sends her on a secret mission to Venice. While the Venice section really picked up the pace in a much needed way, it only added to the absurdity by the end of the book. Sarah herself wasn't much of a character beyond what was needed for the direction of the plot — and she had some conveniences with which I really struggled accepting. Mainly this is centered around Sarah's multilingualism and literacy. I'm willing to accept her level of literacy, seeing as how she's her mother's daughter and whatnot — fine. However, Sarah flippantly remarks that she can speak some Italian and, when in Venice, she acts as though she understands some words only because of her understanding of French. How in the world does this young woman who is an indentured servant and apprentice in a milliner's shop in 1670 London know more than one language on top of being able to read and write with no problems? We are repeatedly told of how poor they are, and how they barely scrape by. I found her character to not only be hard to believe, but to be just a game piece on the board being moved around by the author. She felt completely out of the story. And then there's Livia. She's obvious from the start and in such a painful way. Utterly transparent, she was exhausting and so thinly developed that she may as well have had an evil cackle she accidentally let loose once in a while. I found it increasingly hard to believe that anyone would fall for her nonsense — not just from the start, but continually so. It only worked because Gregory conveniently has all the characters refusing to talk to each other about things that are happening — it was like a damn YA novel where the main character refuses to ask for help and if she had, all the problems would've been solved and there would've been no story. However, on top of that I have a real issue with the pseudo-relationship between Alys and Livia. Livia clearly works at seducing Alys into trusting her, capitalizing on her years of loneliness. But the vagueness with which Gregory leaves their scenes hanging ... you have to simply guess at what exactly happens in their shared bed. How far does Livia take the deceptive relationship? How far does Alys allow it to go? And for someone who dropped the word ‘cock’ without hesitation in Tidelands, I find it hard to imagine that Gregory simply wanted a nondescript (let's say) scene. Was it just because it was two women? Disappointingly unbalanced. And what does that say about Livia? She's another villainous LGBTQ+ person who wields her sexuality any which way she wants? What does this say about Alys? Is she bisexual? Was she just manipulated with very little effort? What are we doing here? Regardless, the book loses itself halfway through once James proposes to Livia — at that point it completely stops making sense. Telling and not showing strikes again. I typically don't like being so far removed from the characters, but having a baffling storyline on top of that made for a frustrating and painful read. I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This affected neither my opinion of the book, nor the content of my review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Caught up within the Dark Tides....... Philippa Gregory casts her story within the deep rushing waters of characters transfixed on deviously dark motives. I would suggest reading the first book in this Fairmile Series, Tidelands, first in order to get a feel for what has already transpired in the past. A change of setting for these multi-layered characters will bring on even more adventures. Alinor Reekie has left her home in the Tidelands and is now living along the River Thames near London in 16 Caught up within the Dark Tides....... Philippa Gregory casts her story within the deep rushing waters of characters transfixed on deviously dark motives. I would suggest reading the first book in this Fairmile Series, Tidelands, first in order to get a feel for what has already transpired in the past. A change of setting for these multi-layered characters will bring on even more adventures. Alinor Reekie has left her home in the Tidelands and is now living along the River Thames near London in 1670. Alinor, a renowned herbalist and midwife, is now an invalid from a near death drowning. Her daughter, Alys, and Alys' teenage children, Sarah and Johnnie, run a warehouse business along the wharf. They live month by month with very little profit. Gregory spotlights two incredibly different individuals who will enter into their lives. Sir James Avery wishes a meeting with Alinor. He and Alinor had a past relationship which James desires to rekindle. He is up in years and wants a family to bestow his estate to. Alinor wants nothing to do with James and refuses his offer. But this will not be the last of James. No sooner does James take leave of Alinor when a fashionably dressed young woman with a newborn shows up at Alinor's door. She claims to be the widow of Alinor's son, Robert. Nobildonna Livia da Ricci of Venice brings shocking news. Robert has died and she is his widow with their son, Matteo. With no other recourse, they take the young widow and baby into their home. Oh, Momma. This is the beginning of a wild ride. You'll never sweep Livia into a corner. Not ever. To magnify situations even higher, Gregory does a split-screen here with a corresponding storyline of Alinor's brother, Ned Ferryman. Ned has left England and traveled to New England. He was a follower of Oliver Cromwell and can no longer tolerate the reign of Charles II, son of Charles I who was beheaded. He only wishes to have a plot of land and run a ferry as he did in England. We will experience the escalation of broken treaties and land grabbing by the settlers. Because of this, resentment is building up by the Native Americans and war may be eminent. Dark Tides is heavily cloaked with historical and religious situations of the time period. That's Philippa Gregory's strong suit and she doesn't disappoint in this one. Dark Tides has spirit as you'll experience as these characters are prone to antagonizing one another. Mind battles will dominate as craftiness comes into play. We'll find that high energy brain cells have been gifted to the poor as well as the privileged. Let the games begin...... I received a copy of Dark Tides through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to Atria Books (Simon & Schuster) and to the talented Philippa Gregory for the opportunity.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Veronica ⭐️

    Dark Tides is book 2 in The Fairmile series. Tidelands (book1) left us with two strong, determined women leaving Sealsea Island, heading to London to start a new life.daughter I was excited to to see how Alinor and her daughter Alys would fair in this new adventure. Dark Tides is set 21 years later. Alys has 21 year old twins, Sarah and Johnnie. Alys now runs a wharf on the poorer south-side of London whilst Alinor brings in money making packs of herbs and selling them. They are not rich but they Dark Tides is book 2 in The Fairmile series. Tidelands (book1) left us with two strong, determined women leaving Sealsea Island, heading to London to start a new life.daughter I was excited to to see how Alinor and her daughter Alys would fair in this new adventure. Dark Tides is set 21 years later. Alys has 21 year old twins, Sarah and Johnnie. Alys now runs a wharf on the poorer south-side of London whilst Alinor brings in money making packs of herbs and selling them. They are not rich but they get by and both Sarah and Johnnie have apprenticeships. Alinor's brother Ned has also left the tidelands now that the new king is on the throne. He has decided to make a new life where he can be his own master in New England (USA). There is no backstory to fill in the missing twenty odd years which makes Dark Tides read well as a standalone. The story moves back and forward between London and Hadley - New England. They are two completely different stories only occasionally connecting through Alinor and Ned's correspondence or when Ned sends herbs to Alinor in London. With the introduction of Rob's widow Livia arriving from Venice, babe in arms, Philippa Gregory has given her readers an amazing antagonist. I loved how Livia worked, confident and conniving. Everyone was immediately smitten with her, completely under her spell. Well, almost everyone. She was a perfectly drawn character, charismatic and manipulative, totally believable and I was enthralled as I watched her weave her web of lies and deceit. The story held plenty of suspense as the setting moves from London to Venice and my Fitbit will attest to the increase in my heart rate as the tension mounted. I was equally invested in Ned's story, although not as compelling, I loved learning about the native Indians, the Pokanoket people, and their ways with the land. Ned was, as I expected, one with both the natives and the settlers. He was keen to learn the ways of the natives and their wisdom. I could clearly see Alinor with her herbs and natural healing would also be one with these people. Gregory explains how these peaceful people were lied to, cheated and betrayed by the settlers and how they were not prepared to loose everything, including their way of life. I loved Dark Tides (book 2) even more than the first book Tidelands. I have no idea where the story will go from here but I am eagerly awaiting book three in The Fairmile series. *I received a copy from the publisher

  5. 4 out of 5

    Vonda

    21 years after Tidelands comes Dark Tides. A masterful tale that will grab you in immediately and you never want to put it down! Only thing that bothered me was the main protagonist in Tidelands becomes a weaker character and stays in the background of Dark Tides. Not to bother! Her daughter and grandchildren step up nicely. There are new characters that are deeply enriched and turns this into a tale that twists and turns and shocks! This one is HIGHLY recommended. It could be a stand alone.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn Bashaar

    On one day in June of 1670, elderly Alinor Reekie receives two unexpected visitors at her humble home in London. One is her lover from many years ago. The other is a beautiful young Italian woman named Livia. Livia claims to be the widow of Alinor’s son Rob, who was a physician in Venice. But Alinor has no interest in reconnecting with James Avery, who betrayed her long ago, just when she most desperately needed his support. And she believes that her son is still alive. The story’s main action t On one day in June of 1670, elderly Alinor Reekie receives two unexpected visitors at her humble home in London. One is her lover from many years ago. The other is a beautiful young Italian woman named Livia. Livia claims to be the widow of Alinor’s son Rob, who was a physician in Venice. But Alinor has no interest in reconnecting with James Avery, who betrayed her long ago, just when she most desperately needed his support. And she believes that her son is still alive. The story’s main action takes place in London, where Livia upends the lives of Alinor, her daughter Alys with whom she runs a small dock and warehouse along the Thames, and Alys’s young-adult children, Johnnie and Sarah. We also see action in Venice, when a member of the Reekie family travels there to learn the truth about Rob’s reported death. And we meet Alinor’s brother Ned, who now lives in New England, after fleeing England when Cromwell was defeated by the resurgent King Charles II. This book is the second in the series that started with Tidelands. I absolutely loved Tidelands and was very much looking forward to this novel, but overall I was disappointed. One aspect of the book that I did love was the descriptions of how hard Ned has to work to survive a New England winter in the 17th century. It was very vivid, and made me extremely grateful for central heating, indoor plumbing, and our good old Giant Eagle grocery! But I feel that this book was rushed into publication. Before going to print, it should have had at least one more pretty thorough rewrite and the scrutiny of an editor who wasn’t asleep at the switch. First complaint: WTF is up with question marks at the end of declarative sentences??? One example from page 155 of my edition: “I didn’t see you” IS NOT A QUESTION. Why is it punctuated with a question mark? I could give probably a HUNDRED more examples of this weird error. It really disturbed the flow of my reading. Second: I loved the sections about Ned in New England, but they had nothing to do with the rest of the action in the story. Maybe Gregory is setting up for a third book where the New England story and the London story come together. But it just seemed random to me. Third: I don’t want to spoil the book for anyone by being too specific, but some of the things that happen in Venice really strained credulity for me. Finally, my main complaint about this book is that there is no single protagonist to root for. The story’s antagonist is Livia, but she’s up against pretty much every other character in the book. We don’t get deeply enough into any of the good guys’ heads to feel deeply invested in them. The book felt driven by plot, not character. Philippa Gregory is incapable of writing a truly bad novel, but this one came close. Still, I would read a third book in this series if she writes one. Like my reviews? Check out my blog at http://www.kathrynbashaar.com/blog/ Author of The Saints Mistress https://camcatbooks.com/Books/T/The-S...

  7. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Sophia

    That first book was a depressing slow drag and ode to toxic masculinity. Phillipa had better redeem herself and give Alinor joy, healthy love and prosperity. I will change this rating based on the outcome of the next book. - I hope Alice is not still trash. - I hope James Summer stops being trash or stays all the way on the opposite side of this world. I hope he is hit with the full realization of how wrong and horrible his self righteous self was in the Tidelands. - I hope Alinor’s husband is foun That first book was a depressing slow drag and ode to toxic masculinity. Phillipa had better redeem herself and give Alinor joy, healthy love and prosperity. I will change this rating based on the outcome of the next book. - I hope Alice is not still trash. - I hope James Summer stops being trash or stays all the way on the opposite side of this world. I hope he is hit with the full realization of how wrong and horrible his self righteous self was in the Tidelands. - I hope Alinor’s husband is found dead. I know history is horrible to women in Europe. I know that women with thought and talents have it extra hard. But why was Alinor forced to face every indignity? Where was the balance?

  8. 5 out of 5

    Erin Clemence

    Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review. Expected publication date: Dec. 1, 2020 “Dark Tides” is the second novel in the “Fairmile” series, the first one being “Tidelands”, by renowned historical fiction author Philippa Gregory. Although the novel itself can be read as a stand-alone, I recommend reading “Tidelands” first, to allow for a deeper understanding of the characters and the importance of the se Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review. Expected publication date: Dec. 1, 2020 “Dark Tides” is the second novel in the “Fairmile” series, the first one being “Tidelands”, by renowned historical fiction author Philippa Gregory. Although the novel itself can be read as a stand-alone, I recommend reading “Tidelands” first, to allow for a deeper understanding of the characters and the importance of the settings. When a young woman arrives on the shores of the River Thames, she seeks out Alys and Alinor, claiming that she is the widow of their son and brother, Rob, and she is desperate for a place to stay. As she has a child with her, one she claims was sired by Rob, the women take her in. Immediately, the woman, Livia, befriends Alys, and starts to immerse herself in Alys’ warehousing business. Alinor, however, is convinced that her son Rob is not dead, and sets out to determine the true identity of the stranger. Alinor’s brother, Ned, is trying to live his new life as the ferryman in the new county of New England. But as his ties with England serve as a barrier between him and his Native friends, Ned is forced to choose between the home he knew, and the home that he has made for himself. Without reading “Tidelands”, Alys would indeed be an off-putting character, as she is portrayed as cold and aloof in this novel. However, knowing her history as I do, I thoroughly enjoy Alys, Alinor and Aly’s daughter, Sarah, as they struggle to become independent businesswomen in a society and a world that is reluctant to accept them. Ned returns in the story as well, although, again, separated from “Tidelands” he seems completely irrelevant to this plot. For someone who read Gregory’s previous novel, I enjoyed Ned’s struggles less than the rest of the Reekie family, but I was still intrigued enough to persist. Gregory’s writing is timeless, creative and engaging, and I always enjoy her historical fiction. This one, also, is not based on any members of any of the past Royal Families, which is how Gregory earned her notoriety, but her writing is definitely on par with her more famous novels.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    These two books were for me a wonderfully rewarding reading experience. The thoughtful application of thorough research in creating lively characters readers can invest in deserves thanks and respect for this author. Philippa Gregory knows how to bring history brilliantly alive. Library Loan

  10. 4 out of 5

    eyes.2c

    ...dark tides rising! 1670 and King Charles II has been restored to the throne of England. Alinor Reeckie and Alys Stoney have moved fromm the Tidelands at Foulmire to Southwark where they've set up a warehouse catering to smaller businesses. Brother Ned, a soldier with Oliver Cromwell, would not live under a king. He has migrated to the Americas searching for the freedom he yearns for, but he might just find that independence threatened by war between the settlers and the First Nations peoples o ...dark tides rising! 1670 and King Charles II has been restored to the throne of England. Alinor Reeckie and Alys Stoney have moved fromm the Tidelands at Foulmire to Southwark where they've set up a warehouse catering to smaller businesses. Brother Ned, a soldier with Oliver Cromwell, would not live under a king. He has migrated to the Americas searching for the freedom he yearns for, but he might just find that independence threatened by war between the settlers and the First Nations peoples of the area. A Venetian woman claiming to be Elinor's son Rob's wife visits along with a baby son. Rob, a physician is dead, drowned in the dark tides Venice Lagoon. Not only does Elinor not 'feel' it. After all Rob grew up in similar territory "in the paths between sea and land”. That's important given Elinor's gifts. I do not like his widow Livia "Nobildonna da Ricci” at all. Added to this, James Avery, Elinor's former lover who repudiated her, has returned looking for absolution. As Ned's story and that of his family merge I find myself somewhat distracted by the switching between his story and that of the women. I'm sure it's going somewhere, only not now. Is Darktides as as powerful as Tidelands? I'm unsure. I have been completely engrossed with how Livia cajoles her way into people's lives using her wit, her beauty and her vanity. She's so manipulative! How this plays out is compelling. I do like the way the action crosses between all the players, from the widow to Rob's niece Sarah. A story that in part intrigues and closes earlier circles. An Atria Books ARC via NetGalley

  11. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    I received this book through Goodreads First Reads. I admit that I didn't read the first book in this series and from what I have been reading for reviews based on that book, it doesn't seem I was missing much. With that being said, I don't think my thoughts on Dark Tides would have been any different being that I felt this book was a complete bore. I felt there was no real characters to root for and not much way in character development. I am still trying to figure out the whole point of Ned's s I received this book through Goodreads First Reads. I admit that I didn't read the first book in this series and from what I have been reading for reviews based on that book, it doesn't seem I was missing much. With that being said, I don't think my thoughts on Dark Tides would have been any different being that I felt this book was a complete bore. I felt there was no real characters to root for and not much way in character development. I am still trying to figure out the whole point of Ned's story. Aside from being connected to the main characters, on a family level, he didn't bring much to the overall plot so it ended up being a disappointment.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews

    *https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.com ‘He was not drowned in a stormy night in dark tides?’ Philippa Gregory makes a welcome return with the second historical novel in her Fairmile series, which follows previous issue Tidelands. A story of the ordinary and hardworking folk of 17th century England, Dark Tides follows the trials of Alinor and her extended clan, as they each navigate a hostile world. Dark Tides is another intriguing tale from the number one bestselling author. Opening in the 1670s, D *https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.com ‘He was not drowned in a stormy night in dark tides?’ Philippa Gregory makes a welcome return with the second historical novel in her Fairmile series, which follows previous issue Tidelands. A story of the ordinary and hardworking folk of 17th century England, Dark Tides follows the trials of Alinor and her extended clan, as they each navigate a hostile world. Dark Tides is another intriguing tale from the number one bestselling author. Opening in the 1670s, Dark Tides introduces an immediate source of tension and speculation when two visitors arrive at a warehouse nestled on the River Thames. While one is searching for a lost love, the other is a dangerous beauty from Venice, bringing with her some devastating news. Running alongside these two intriguing threads are the experiences of Ned, a man who has recently settled in New England confronting issues of landownership and war. With concerns over the claims of the stunning widow stating her husband drowned in Venice, the search is on to uncover the truth. In this fatal game of deception, false truths, debt, prestige and conflict, across three different locations, Dark Tides is a story of overwhelming desire for the things that matter in life. Dark Tides follows directly on from the tense ending of Tidelands, published in August 2019, but it jumps forward in time to over two decades later after the events that concluded the previous instalment of this series. I was keen to meet up with Alinor, the fabulous main character of Tidelands, but Dark Tides sees this enigmatic female lead take a backseat in favour of other characters, such as her daughter and brother. This was an interesting angle to take even though it wasn’t as favourable to me. Whilst I enjoyed the scenes with Alinor as a supporting protagonist, I don’t think this book quite matched its predecessor in terms of plot engagement. In Dark Tides, Philippa Gregory transports her readership to seventeenth century England, around the famous River Thames and then onto the opulence of Venice. These were two contrasted locations, which allows Gregory to explore issues of wealth acquisition, poverty, class differences and labour expectations. All in all, it became clear that there were rich divisions in terms of societal classifications at this point in history and that day to day living was tough, you had to work hard to survive. Complications and high tension in Dark Tides comes in the form of a heartbreaking but possibly false claim, which must be investigated. As the narrative begins to unfold, it becomes quite clear what the outcome will be. Underlining the London and Venice sequences are some scenes that immerse the reader in New England, as Alinor’s brother Ned battles issues of land rights and war. Whilst this section of Dark Tides was historically well presented, I did find this area of the novel didn’t really spark my interest, I would have liked to have remained with Alinor for the duration. Despite some misgivings with this one, my loyalty to the writing of Philippa Gregory urged me to continue reading Dark Tides. The end did come to a dark and alarming close. I am still very interested to see how Gregory progresses the Fairmile series further. Dark Tides is a story of change and progression under a veil of class distinction and unfair wealth distribution. A reminder of how the everyday citizens of Britain, Europe and New England worked to simply survive, or achieve small triumphs is an important direction in Dark Tides. Philippa Gregory’s second volume in the Fairmile series was a fair read, but it certainly was not up there with the highly atmospheric and gripping first issue, Tidelands. *Please note that a free copy of this book was provided to me for review purposes through Beauty & Lace and Simon & Schuster Australia.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Hupe

    Thank you, Atria Books, Philippa Gregory, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book! Dark Tides by Philippa Gregory is book two in the Fairmile Series. Possible Spoilers Ahead if you have not read book one, Tidelands. Twenty-one years after the events in Tidelands, Alys and Alinor are set up at a wharf along the river. James Avery has had his lands returned to him after the restoration of the King, and now he needs his heir–an heir that he believes the Alinor carried all those years bef Thank you, Atria Books, Philippa Gregory, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book! Dark Tides by Philippa Gregory is book two in the Fairmile Series. Possible Spoilers Ahead if you have not read book one, Tidelands. Twenty-one years after the events in Tidelands, Alys and Alinor are set up at a wharf along the river. James Avery has had his lands returned to him after the restoration of the King, and now he needs his heir–an heir that he believes the Alinor carried all those years before. But James Avery isn’t the only visitor. Livia is the grieving widow of Alinor’s son, Rob. Alinor cannot believe her son is gone, but that would mean Livia is betraying them. However, she has always had the sight and she must trust it now more than ever. I had such high hopes for this book. The first book was good, slow but good. But it was the ending that made me desperate to read this book. Unfortunately, it failed. It is hard to imagine but it is even slower than the first book. It also lacks the historical detail and aesthetic that the first one. I was hoping for Alys and Alinor to be fierce women who survived the garbage men of their past. Sure, they survived but they are still idiots. Good god. My 5 year old wouldn’t believe Livia for a hot second. It was PAINFULLY obvious from the first moment she arrived. There was absolutely no mystery to her, she isn’t clever…everyone around her is just an idiot. So I spent most of the book just angry at the stupidity. Oh, and also how unbelievable this plot actually is, it did not feel realistic to the time period in the slightest. Then don’t get me started on the random Ned storyline that takes place in the Colonies. While I did appreciate the plot of how the Colonies took over the Indigenous Peoples land and how cruel the Colonists were to them. The problem is that it did not fit in with this story in the slightest. It would have made a phenomenal spinoff story and I would have much preferred it as its own story. Needless to say, this book just didn’t work for me, which is a shame because I was really looking forward to it. I rate this book 2 out of 5 stars. This book will be released tomorrow (11/24) if you are a Philippa Gregory fan!!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    DARK TIDES By Philippa Gregory If you are a historical fiction fan like I am, you read Philippa Gregory for the absolute best in this genre. I have not been disappointed by anything Gregory writes. In the Dark Tides, the follow up to the Tidelands, the second book in The Fairmile series, we are transported to 1670's London, Venice and the early frontiers of early America, in New England. In a story told through multiple POV's we learn about the characters and the rich historical detail of the stor DARK TIDES By Philippa Gregory If you are a historical fiction fan like I am, you read Philippa Gregory for the absolute best in this genre. I have not been disappointed by anything Gregory writes. In the Dark Tides, the follow up to the Tidelands, the second book in The Fairmile series, we are transported to 1670's London, Venice and the early frontiers of early America, in New England. In a story told through multiple POV's we learn about the characters and the rich historical detail of the story line of this book. This was a fantastic and well-written historical fiction novel that is both intriguing and heart breaking. For historical fiction fans, this is a must read and could not be missed.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    I have read 15 Philippa Gregory novels and loved them all, but I'm sorry to say that this one was just not that good. I enjoyed the first book in the series and was so excited that I received an ARC from NetGalley for this one. The plot just made no sense. The book started off so slow and at the halfway point I thought it was going to finally get good, but it didn't. I even skimmed the last few chapters just to see how it all ended. The chapters with Ned were completely pointless. All the action I have read 15 Philippa Gregory novels and loved them all, but I'm sorry to say that this one was just not that good. I enjoyed the first book in the series and was so excited that I received an ARC from NetGalley for this one. The plot just made no sense. The book started off so slow and at the halfway point I thought it was going to finally get good, but it didn't. I even skimmed the last few chapters just to see how it all ended. The chapters with Ned were completely pointless. All the action was happening in London and Venice.I thought James was at least going to be smart and string Livia along, but he was just an idiot and so was Alys. Everything that happened in Venice was ridiculous. Felipe was just going to believe Sarah and become a changed man?! Just disappointed. "You want me to lie to her," Alys accused. Alinor nodded. "Do you think she doesn't lie to you?"

  16. 4 out of 5

    Susan Johnson

    This was a disappointment to me for several reasons. First of all you must have read the first book to understand what is happening. I have read the first one but it was some time ago and lots of books ago and it would be nice if the author had done a little reminding of what we had read. She does not and just plops us back into the story. It took me awhile to get my bearings and remember how everyone was related. The beginning of the book was slow but James Avery was introduced along with Livia This was a disappointment to me for several reasons. First of all you must have read the first book to understand what is happening. I have read the first one but it was some time ago and lots of books ago and it would be nice if the author had done a little reminding of what we had read. She does not and just plops us back into the story. It took me awhile to get my bearings and remember how everyone was related. The beginning of the book was slow but James Avery was introduced along with Livia, Rob's widow. She just shows up at the door and announces the son's death by drowning. Alys, the mother is sure that Rob, her son, could not have drowned without her knowing because of her past experience. Livia is one of the more maddening characters you would want to meet. She supposedly has old antiquities she wants to transport from Italy to make her fortune. The story then evolves into Livia planning her sale. James Avery, now rich, is roped into the planning. It is going to make Alys rich too. Alinor, the daughter, then develops a strange relationship with her that includes them brushing each other's hair a lot. It's just irritating. The last 50 pages are quite entertaining. There was a section on Interfaith marriage that was quite interesting. It's just a lot of work to get to that point. Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Asheley

    My most anticipated read of the year!! And it was SO GOOD. 4.5/5 Alinor Reekie used to be a midwife and herbalist, like her mother and grandmother before her. Years ago, she fell in love with a man she shouldn't have, and her life fell apart. Now, she is an entirely different woman, sickly and frail, living with her daughter Alys Stoney by the dirty waters of the river. It has been twenty years since Alinor and her children, Alys and Rob, left their beloved home in the tidelands. At the beginning My most anticipated read of the year!! And it was SO GOOD. 4.5/5 Alinor Reekie used to be a midwife and herbalist, like her mother and grandmother before her. Years ago, she fell in love with a man she shouldn't have, and her life fell apart. Now, she is an entirely different woman, sickly and frail, living with her daughter Alys Stoney by the dirty waters of the river. It has been twenty years since Alinor and her children, Alys and Rob, left their beloved home in the tidelands. At the beginning of this story, a beautiful and mysterious Italian woman named Livia arrives at their door with baby in tow, dressed in black mourning clothes, claiming she is Rob Reekie's widow. Alys welcomes her in, but Alinor isn't convinced her son is dead. Also! Out of the blue, James Avery shows up to outrage and no-fanfare-whatsoever, after twenty long years of no word at all. He desperate to make amends with Alinor after allowing unspeakable horrors to happen to her long ago. But none of these women nor their circumstances will make it easy for him to reacquaint with Alinor. Before anything else, I want to say that I LOVE the way Philippa Gregory writes women. The women in this series are such badasses. At first glance, they don't seem to have much and they seem like their lives matter very little. But these women have a strength that is larger than life and they can handle far more than anyone in their world wants to give them credit for. This story is not at all like Tidelands in terms of atmosphere and tone. The main POV's have shifted around a little bit and the world is much larger. The first story took place in a very small community in England, but this story has spread to London, Venice, and New England. It was super compelling and all I wanted to do was read it. (I thought about it nonstop when I couldn't be reading.) The chapters are short, which made it easy for me to sneak a few pages here and there throughout the day: while I was in the line at the grocery store, while dinner cooked, in between subjects while homeschooling my kids. Here's the thing: I had a hunch that something was up with Livia from the beginning. She was coy and her story often didn't line up with reality. (I loved to hate her!) I kept hoping everyone would wise up to [what I assumed were] her schemes, and then when things really picked up, I couldn't wait to see how everything would unfold for these characters. GAH, it's going to be a long wait for the next part of the story!! The ending thankfully isn't a cliffhanger, but there is definitely more story to be told. I'm really happy for some of these characters and I really feel like some of them got what was coming to them. Sidenote: I can't wait to reread Dark Tides via audiobook. Right before I started this one, I reread Tidelands via audiobook and it was fantastic. Louise Brealey narrated and did such a fantastic job. Her accent is beautiful and I cannot wait to hear her bring Dark Tides to life. I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Thank you, Atria Books!

  18. 5 out of 5

    theliterateleprechaun

    As a fan of Philippa Gregory’s royal family novels for 25 years, I was really looking forward to reading this book. Tidelands (Book 1) was queued on my Kindle but I hadn’t made time to read it. When I was gifted an ARC of Dark Tides (Book 2) by Simon & Schuster via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, I had to make time. I love historical fiction and love Gregory’s writing style. I was anxious to try this new series as I had taught about the English Civil War but had never read a novel se As a fan of Philippa Gregory’s royal family novels for 25 years, I was really looking forward to reading this book. Tidelands (Book 1) was queued on my Kindle but I hadn’t made time to read it. When I was gifted an ARC of Dark Tides (Book 2) by Simon & Schuster via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, I had to make time. I love historical fiction and love Gregory’s writing style. I was anxious to try this new series as I had taught about the English Civil War but had never read a novel set in this period. However, both these books just seemed to fall flat. I realize Dark Tides is only the second book in a series and there are more threads to pull together to create the big picture, but I pushed myself to finish it and I’m so disappointed. I really wanted to like this series. Dark Tides, book 2 of The Fairmile Series, continues to follow a family from a remote island in Sussex, England to the lagoon in Venice and finally to frontier USA. It’s a story about deceit and lust interwoven deftly with concern for money, unrequited love and prestige. Gregory has written in the third person sharing three different perspectives; three businesswomen in London during the Restoration, Ned forging a new life in New England, and Sarah intent on uncovering deceit in Venice. You’ll read about no-nonsense, strong women on the banks of the Thames River who struggle to make an honest living, a deceitful widow who arrives from Venice with a child and attempts to inch her way into a family, a ferryman who rebelled against the Crown now living amongst the native tribes in New England and a wealthy man with royal contacts suffering from unrequited love. Gregory knows her religion and history; it comes across in the manner the characters interact. However, I struggled with the timelines, identifying the protagonist, connecting with the characters, and was unsure at times why Gregory had added so much superfluous information despite clear, defined characterization and wonderfully descriptive writing. I felt it was not typical of Gregory’s work. I don’t anticipate reading another book in this series.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Red Ink Book Reviews

    Dark Tides (Book 2 of The Foulmire Series) – Philippa Gregory I was given an advanced copy of this book by the publisher in order to provide an honest review of the book. “Dark Tides” is the sequel to the first book in The Foulmire series, which is “Tidelands”. It has been twenty-one years since we have been in the world of Alinor Reekie and her daughter Alys and the lord James Avery. Alinor and Alys live together in London. Alys running the Reekie wharf known for its good name, they don’t make much Dark Tides (Book 2 of The Foulmire Series) – Philippa Gregory I was given an advanced copy of this book by the publisher in order to provide an honest review of the book. “Dark Tides” is the sequel to the first book in The Foulmire series, which is “Tidelands”. It has been twenty-one years since we have been in the world of Alinor Reekie and her daughter Alys and the lord James Avery. Alinor and Alys live together in London. Alys running the Reekie wharf known for its good name, they don’t make much but it’s enough to live on with their honest and hard work. Alinor has not been the same since that fateful day, has not been herself and is now a frail shadow of the woman she once was. Yet the house near the wharf is as full of love and warmth as ever with the two children, Johnnie and Sarah, that have been raised and loved by the Reekie women. They are all happy. Then one day two very unexpected visitors arrive on their doorstep, but who can be trusted and who will abuse and betray their trust – James Avery or Rob’s (Alys’s brother) son and his widow. James Avery they know – they know from past experience that he cannot be trusted, that he is capable of lies and deceit – those lies and deceit are much to blame for Alinor’s poor health and the state of their lives. Yet Rob’s mysterious widow, Livia, and the mother of his child, Matteo – they know nothing of her. She appears to be genuine in her grief, dressed in black - she paints herself a beautiful heartbroken widow eager to be with the family of her lost beloved. So when she asked for their help to ship her furniture, her dowry from her marriage to her first husband – of course Alys agreed to help and float the payment until she was able to sell dowry. However, Alinor was not convinced of Livia’s sincerity, she was convinced there was something more to her story, something she was not telling them. So Alinor enlists the help of dear young Sarah, who sets about trying to uncover the truth about Livia and what really happened to her Uncle Rob. Meanwhile, James Avery is blundering along trying to do what he can to help a family who rightly does not want his help and nothing to do with him – so when the widow of young Rob offers him an opportunity to seemingly help the Reekie woman without them knowing where the help is coming from – he doesn’t hesitate to agree. Little does Sarah realise it is a race against time before Livia completely ruins the name and reputation Alys has built for Reekie wharf, and the untimely demise of James Avery and everything he has worked hard to earn back. “Dark Tides” is a much darker novel than the first in The Foulmire series, albeit a realistic view of the hardships faced by many people and especially women trying to survive in those times. I did find the story a little slow moving initial however, the author really used this part of the book well in setting up the back story and filling in the reader of most of the missing pieces of the past 21 years for our beloved characters. Philippa Gregory was able to weave a beautiful tapestry that has many threads of hardship, sadness and love. It was the perfect book to sit down and enjoy a nice cup of tea with, relaxing, warm and comforting. I recommend this book to any who enjoys a good historical fiction novel that tells it like it is, heartbreakingly real and raw.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Pete

    Tidelands was much better. Alinor was a dominant interesting character In Tidelands and I expected her to continue her life in London. She took a back seat in Dark Tides and was a minor character. I was disappointed with the story.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

    Dark Tides is the second book in Philippa Gregory’s historical fiction series, The Fairmile, and begins twenty one years after Tidelands ends. Alinor Reekie and her daughter, Alys, have long left Sealsea Island behind and now reside on the banks of the Thames River, operating a small warehouse that services unlading ships. Alinor, who has has never regained full health after the near drowning she endured, supplements the family’s income with herbal preparations, while Alys’s children, twins Johnn Dark Tides is the second book in Philippa Gregory’s historical fiction series, The Fairmile, and begins twenty one years after Tidelands ends. Alinor Reekie and her daughter, Alys, have long left Sealsea Island behind and now reside on the banks of the Thames River, operating a small warehouse that services unlading ships. Alinor, who has has never regained full health after the near drowning she endured, supplements the family’s income with herbal preparations, while Alys’s children, twins Johnnie and Sarah, contribute what they can from their wages as apprentices. They live simply, honestly, and quietly, but unexpected visitors suddenly throw the family into turmoil. The first of their visitors is James Avery aka James Summers, the man who deserted Alinor at her most vulnerable, leaving her heartbroken and pregnant. Having recovered his title and family fortune, and recently widowed, he is seeking the child he assumes Alinor birthed, desperately desiring an heir. The second visitor brings tragic news, calling herself Nobildonna Livia da Ricci, with a babe in her arms, she claims to be the widow of Rob, Alinor’s son. Tearfully she tells the family Rob, who was practicing as a doctor in Venice, drowned in a boating accident and now she has come to England to raise their son as an Englishman. To be honest I’m as disappointed by this sequel as I was surprised by Tidelands. Alinor is reduced to a minor character, I never much cared for Alys, and care for her even less here. Avery is still a fool, Livia and her machinations are entirely transparent, and Sarah’s potential is squandered. I could have forgiven a lot if the plot hadn’t turned out to be almost wholly predictable, it’s immediately clear that Livia can’t be trusted and the story pivots around her obvious deceptions. Additionally the story itself largely lacks the atmospheric appeal of Tidelines, Gregory uses not more than broad strokes to describe the life along the Thames, and I felt she gave Venice short shrift. There is a second storyline that runs through the book which features Ned, Alinor’s brother, who fled to the New World (America) when Cromwell was unseated and a new King retook the throne. While I had some interest in Ned’s experience, there was very little action, and though the theme’s echoed that of his sister’s story, the storyline as a whole was superfluous. I realise my assessment here is quite harsh, but I am struggling to find anything particularly positive to say. I did finish it, so it wasn’t unreadable, but I don’t think it was any more than barely okay, though I’m sure others will disagree.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum

    Dark Tides by Philippa Gregory is the second book in the historical fiction Fairmile series and picks up 21 years after the end of Tidelands. I was eagerly awaiting this release, but the huge time gap between books was a complete surprise. I was really looking forward to following Alinor and Alys as they left the mire with their cart and faced the dangers and challenges ahead. Unfortunately, the reader picks up their story after these struggles and we find them with an established household worki Dark Tides by Philippa Gregory is the second book in the historical fiction Fairmile series and picks up 21 years after the end of Tidelands. I was eagerly awaiting this release, but the huge time gap between books was a complete surprise. I was really looking forward to following Alinor and Alys as they left the mire with their cart and faced the dangers and challenges ahead. Unfortunately, the reader picks up their story after these struggles and we find them with an established household working as poor wharfingers in a small warehouse on the south side of the Thames. Alinor has aged and while still very much the matriarch of the family, she is no longer the main character of the novel. Rob's widow arrives on their doorstep from Venice with her newborn baby and the devastating news he has drowned. Alys and her daughter Sarah dominate the story along with the widow Livia, with intervening chapters from Alinor's brother Ned's point of view. Ned has moved to New England and is quietly trying to eke out a living as a ferryman. There he finds himself caught between the settlers and the American Indians and his storyline is full of foreboding and dread about what is to come. Ned's chapters were a complete contrast to the goings on in London and Venice and to be honest, I could have done without them. I typically don't enjoy reading about early settlement in the USA, so I didn't enjoy Ned's story in New England. Back in London, wealthy widow Livia is turning the Reekie family on its head and I could tell it wasn't going to end well. Rob's widow is a well-written antagonist with some biting dialogue, but her storyline had an overbearing sense of a family betrayal brewing that made this reader feel uneasy. The sense of foreboding evident in Tidelands is also present in Dark Tides, however the fact that all storylines were heading towards seemingly unavoidable disaster made this a worrisome read. While there was ample foreshadowing throughout the novel, Gregory's signature writing talent was on full display. Here's a quote I enjoyed from very early on in the book: "He thought the world was not whole anymore; but sundered into country and court, winners and the lost, protestants and heretics, royalists and roundheads, the unfairly blessed and the unjustly damned." Page 6 Themes of class and the divide between the poor and the wealthy were again brought into focus with the seemingly wealthy widow's disappointment and shock at the Reekie family's position and living conditions and her desire to improve her station in life for the benefit of her son. Dark Tides by Philippa Gregory is recommended for historical fiction fans with an interest in 1670s London, Venice or New England, and those who enjoy investing in a good generational family saga. I look forward to the next installation of the Fairmile series. * Copy courtesy of Simon & Schuster *

  23. 5 out of 5

    The Lit Bitch

    2.5 stars When I saw Tidelands was coming out, I was so excited. I wanted to read something by Philipa Gregory so badly and I jumped at the chance to read Tidelands. But I came away feeling a little underwhelmed. Most of the time, I love Gregory’s novels and have really enjoyed how rich and nuanced her history, characters, and romances are but in this one, I just felt like the story itself was cumbersome and dry. However, at the end of Tidelands I felt invested enough in the characters and the sto 2.5 stars When I saw Tidelands was coming out, I was so excited. I wanted to read something by Philipa Gregory so badly and I jumped at the chance to read Tidelands. But I came away feeling a little underwhelmed. Most of the time, I love Gregory’s novels and have really enjoyed how rich and nuanced her history, characters, and romances are but in this one, I just felt like the story itself was cumbersome and dry. However, at the end of Tidelands I felt invested enough in the characters and the story to continue reading the series, in hopes that it would get better and the characters more exciting along with the story. So I leapt at the chance to read this installment of the series. I think one of the things the surprised me about this novel was that I expected it to be better and it just wasn’t. In the first book, there was a lot of ground work that needed to be laid for the characters and their ultimate choices, however in this book I hoped that things would pick up more and that there would be more in the way of actual plot rather the ground laying. But this one read equally as slow as the first book. Tidelands had a lot of atmosphere and this one just didn’t have the same level of atmosphere as I had hoped and frankly expected in this one. Gregory has such a knack for writing great atmosphere and Tidelands was no exception but this one just lacked a lot of mood and atmosphere. In the first book, I didn’t love the characters. In fact most of them I didn’t enjoy in the least but at the same time I could sympathize with the women who in the story because they simply lacked ‘good’ options in that time so they did the best they could. But in this one I hoped for more redemption of the characters and I just never felt like I obtained any redemption, in fact I ended up disliking some of them more in this one than I did in the first book. I also felt like Ned’s story was completely pointless to the larger narrative. In the first book I thought he would bring more to this next installment but he just didn’t and I was actually sad about that because even though I didn’t like him, I did want to see how and if he could impact the larger story. So where does that leave me with this book? On one hand, I didn’t love it but on the other hand I did finish it so I liked it enough to keep reading but I didn’t love it enough to give it anything over 2.5 stars. It was ok but I don’t know that I loved it in the way I had hoped. See my full review here

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I read this book not realizing it was the second book in a series. Normally this would not be an issue as books in a series usually give you the backstory of the previous characters from the previous book so you understand why the characters are living as the do. This book was not like this. There were tons of references to a previous story between characters, but nothing was explained. I wanted to like the characters and I thought I would like Alys but she quickly went from a strong, independen I read this book not realizing it was the second book in a series. Normally this would not be an issue as books in a series usually give you the backstory of the previous characters from the previous book so you understand why the characters are living as the do. This book was not like this. There were tons of references to a previous story between characters, but nothing was explained. I wanted to like the characters and I thought I would like Alys but she quickly went from a strong, independent, hard working woman to a weak woman that would risk her business and her families home for the sisterly love she felt for Livia. It was like I turned a page and the character became a different person. It seemed the characters fell under the spell of the conniving woman from Venice at the drop of a hat. It just came across as unbelievable. I love historical books as it always opens my eyes to how people really lived during those times. This one did show the difference of living in one side of the Thames compared to the other but that was all it really touched on historically. The opportunity to explain why the Jewish man was so scared to meet Sarah alone and for her to touch him was left unexplained. There was a quick mention of the ghetto and the star seen on their clothes but it made no sense to mention that if there was no explanation. Seeing as this is a series I understand why some stories did not end properly but a good series leaves you wanting to know more about the characters’ future, not holding a book and having a dozen questions. I appreciate the opportunity to read this ARC and this author has written some lovely books, sadly this is not one of them.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lisa - (Aussie Girl)

    I've read nearly all of Philippa Gregory's books over the years and enjoyed her writing very much. Unfortunately I just can't get into The Fairmile Series and this book particularly was disappointing with a fairly thin plot and characters that I just couldn't connect with. Dare I say it.. it was just tedious. I'm not sure if I will read any more books in this series if she continues it but I hope with a different subject or series I will be able to enjoy her writing sometime in the future. Q - S I've read nearly all of Philippa Gregory's books over the years and enjoyed her writing very much. Unfortunately I just can't get into The Fairmile Series and this book particularly was disappointing with a fairly thin plot and characters that I just couldn't connect with. Dare I say it.. it was just tedious. I'm not sure if I will read any more books in this series if she continues it but I hope with a different subject or series I will be able to enjoy her writing sometime in the future. Q - Secondary Character - Quiet Squirrel

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I loved this although parts of it frustrated me, mainly how gullible most of the characters are. But her writing is so vivid that I found myself completely forgetting where I was. The parts with Venice made me want to climb into the book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Katie Buckingham

    Well Book 2 takes you on a ride around the world. Jumping from Ned over in the America east coast with Savages to the ladies of Foulmire that now live in London near the Strand. I enjoyed the description of Venice and will be looking for more books set in this period. I found the ending very surprising for Gregory!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Elizabethw

    Dark Tides, by Philippa Gregory. Philippa Gregory is an old friend. I’ve followed her through the War of the Roses, the locked rooms of the Tower of London, and the gloomy Highlands. I’ve loved her Tudor and Plantagenet series - her research is meticulous (with the possible exception of Anne Boleyn) and she’s brought every last princess and queen to life fo me. So, I was intrigued by but maybe a little skeptical about her new Fairmile series, which is decidedly not about princesses and queens bu Dark Tides, by Philippa Gregory. Philippa Gregory is an old friend. I’ve followed her through the War of the Roses, the locked rooms of the Tower of London, and the gloomy Highlands. I’ve loved her Tudor and Plantagenet series - her research is meticulous (with the possible exception of Anne Boleyn) and she’s brought every last princess and queen to life fo me. So, I was intrigued by but maybe a little skeptical about her new Fairmile series, which is decidedly not about princesses and queens but about a poor woman scrabbling to keep her family alive in the marshes of south England just after Cromwell’s victory against Charles I. This is the second installment in that story, and picks up years after Tidelands left off (you definitely will want to read these in order). This time, Gregory puts us right in the middle of Restoration London, and treats us to a trip to Venice, governed by the secretive, dangerous Doge. The characters are perhaps a bit predictable, but we aren’t really there for them, anyway. We are there because reading Gregory is the next best thing to time travel. Thanks Atria Books & NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sherri

    ***I received an advanced e-copy of the book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review This book takes place twenty-one years after the end of "Tidelands". I re-read that, just to remind myself how it ended so now I can remind you. It ended with the town attempting to drown Alinor Reekie for being a witch after the miller's wife discovered money missing, and some of the trinkets Alinor collected in its' place. It turned out Alinor's daughter Alys had taken the money because she was short o ***I received an advanced e-copy of the book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review This book takes place twenty-one years after the end of "Tidelands". I re-read that, just to remind myself how it ended so now I can remind you. It ended with the town attempting to drown Alinor Reekie for being a witch after the miller's wife discovered money missing, and some of the trinkets Alinor collected in its' place. It turned out Alinor's daughter Alys had taken the money because she was short on her dowry, and it was her wedding day - she knew the family would not allow her to marry their son without the full payment. After the town tries and fails to drown Alinor, Alinor and Alys escape and leave for London to start over. Now, twenty-one years later, James Avery shows up once again, this time eager to claim the child that Alinor was carrying when they tried to drown her. He needs an heir to his estate and he is a widower with no children so he is ready to accept Alinor and his offspring. At the same time, a beautiful Italian woman in widow's garments shows up carrying a baby saying she is the widow of Alinor's son Rob. She claims he drowned and she is penniless and has nowhere else to go. Alinor refuses to believe Rob is dead and feels something is off about Livia, but she isn't sure what just yet. It is obvious through the entire book that Livia is up to something shady, something to do with her antiquities, or possibly she isn't even who she says she is, but you are not sure what. Livia immediately begins sinking her hooks into James Avery, after realizing he is a wealthy man, and I spent the rest of the book on the edge of my seat as she built her shady house of cards, hoping something would happen to expose her before it was too late. Interspersed throughout the book are parts about Ned, who has also left the tidelands and is now in New England, where he is living among the Indians and trying to adapt to the new way of living over there. I have to say, I enjoyed the first book more, but this one was still good. I felt like this seemed to drag at times. Also, I really Like Alinor and there was not much of her in this book and Alys is very unlikable and she is one of the main characters in this one. I really enjoyed Aly's daughter Sarah, though. She had a lot of spunk and I hope to see more of her in future books in the series.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Amy Blehm

    (2.5⭐️ rounded up) We return to the Reekie family. This time in London and 21 years from where we last encountered them. And while the last installment was more of romance mixed with family drama, this one is much more old English soap opera. A new character, Rob’s supposed widow, is added in this sequel. And with her comes the cunning deception of any quintessential, duplicitous soap opera villain.... twisty, dark, misdirected, and far more interesting than honest. One thing that remains the sa (2.5⭐️ rounded up) We return to the Reekie family. This time in London and 21 years from where we last encountered them. And while the last installment was more of romance mixed with family drama, this one is much more old English soap opera. A new character, Rob’s supposed widow, is added in this sequel. And with her comes the cunning deception of any quintessential, duplicitous soap opera villain.... twisty, dark, misdirected, and far more interesting than honest. One thing that remains the same is the deep stubborn streak holding strong in both Reekie women. Is this stubbornness a matter of self preservation or if stupidity? It’s often hard to tell. I was pleased that this story takes place after the political strife which bogged down the previous book. Unfortunately it was replaced by Ned’s troubles in the New World. You learn of Ned living amongst the English and yet befriending the local “savage” natives. To me, this storyline had no place in the novel. Aside from the fact that Ned is Alinor’s brother, these read as two completely separate entities. While I rooted for Alinor in the previous book, I wasn’t as strongly connected to any character in this book. I missed Alinor’s strong sense and charm, as she was mostly absent from this book. Overall, the story is fine. But after the ending of the previous book, I had hoped for more than fine. Thanks to Atria Books and NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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