Wow, this book has more polarized reviews (so many one-star "I hated this book" reviews!) than most. I love the review that says that Beatrice, the main character, "commits multiple acts of murder, participates in very creepy incest, and betrays people who love her" and "has no redeeming qualities". I'm going to just say it: if you can't imagine yourself falling in love with a main character whose redeeming qualities are murder, incest, and betrayal, then you are not going to like this book.
I didn't have a lot of expectations for this book (historical accuracy, meh) so I just jumped right in, and Gregory did not disappoint. There is nothing more satisfying than an antihero with a legitimate grudge. Yes, Beatrice, you deserve Wideacre more!!! You should definitely plot to...um, oh, that's extreme, but okay, well maybe you can fix it by, oh, wow Beatrice, are you sure about that? Yikes! Unputdownable! You have to love a girl who sticks to her principles even when they lead her into really really awful consequences. And, being the person I am, I also have to love a girl who feels that living the comfortable but inconsequential life of a rich woman in Georgian England would be WORSE consequences. Beatrice is fabulous. HIGHLY recommended.
Recommended to me by <a href="http://www.theawl.com/2012/05/wideacre-philippa-gregory">Nicole Cliffe</a>, who is the best.