Think English country lanes, generations of wealth, corruption, crime, and compassion and life in the 18th century. I was transported to this world in every page of Philippa Gregory's Wideacre Trilogy.
The story of Beatrice Lacey, a daddy's girl who is dedicated to her beloved ancestral home of Wideacre Hall, a home that will never become hers. It's the story of Beatrice as a child, a young girl, and a woman who grows up with a passion, a stubbornness, and the desire to make her mark in her time.
The Evening Standard described Gregory's main character in the following way: "For singlemindedness, tempestuousness, passion, amorality, sensuality and plain old-fashioned evil, [Beatrice Lacey] knocks Scarlett O'Hara into short cotton socks."
Despite many a good review of Philippa Gregory's work, the Wideacre Trilogy: #1: Wideacre, #2 The Favoured Child, and #3: Meridon, was my first real experience of Gregory's work and I'm still recovering from it. I simply couldn't put it down. Just when you thought you knew the story, another situation occurs; just when you think you've finally worked out a character, a new side to their personality appears.
The Wideacre Trilogy will keep you up at night, it will burn your dinner and make you miss the bus. You'll forget to brush your hair, the washing pile will be neglected, and crumbs will remain on the kitchen floor, waiting to be swept away. Life in the present day won't exist as you turn page after page of these books. Instead, you'll be at Wideacre Hall, experiencing life in the 18th century, and you won't want to return.