A spellbinding historical novel of beauty and greed and surprising redemption
England, 1660. Ella Appleby believes she is destined for better things than slaving as a housemaid and dodging the blows of her drunken father. When her employer dies suddenly, she seizes her chance--taking his valuables and fleeing the countryside with her sister for the golden prospects of London. But London may not be the promised land she expects. Work is hard to find, until Ella takes up with a dashing and dubious gentleman with ties to the London underworld. Meanwhile, her old employer's twin brother is in hot pursuit of the sisters.
Set in a London of atmospheric coffee houses, gilded mansions, and shady pawnshops hidden from rich men’s view, Deborah Swift's The Gilded Lily is a dazzling novel of historical adventure.
PARTICULARS OF THIS BOOK :
Published by: St. Martin's Press
Pages: 471 and Reader's Guide
Genre: Historical Fiction
Author's Site: Deborah Swift
ABOUT THE AUTHOR :
Find out more about this exciting new historical fiction author by clicking this link at Macmillan New Writers: http://macmillannewwriters.blogspot.com/
Her other book out now:
Both of these books may be found at:
Barnes & Noble and Amazon
THE BOOKISH DAME'S REVIEW :
How I enjoyed this historical fiction! "The Gilded Lily" is a large book with some 470 pages, but worth every word read. I wasn't very well versed in the Reformation and the historical details of that period of English history, so I found the book fascinating in costume detailing and incidences of the times. This is a beautifully developed novel that captivated and held me spellbound.
Characters Sadie and Ella are sympathetic and living creatures in this story. Ms Swift immediately draws a natural connection with them for us She holds us rapt with attention as they forge their way through the tough streets and warrens of London in the 1600's. I found the development of their hard-scrabble lives provoking an anxiety in me that matched what they must have been going through, and Ella's small successes made me feel relief, as well.
My favorite character was Sadie, who was a kinder and more empathetic figure throughout the novel. Ella was tough and feisty as she needed to be for the two of them to survive! Jay, under world fop and proprietor's son of the town's famous pawn shop, is a complex character I loved to puzzle out.
I thought the visual creation of the settings of London were wonderful in this book. The pawn shop in particular came as alive as a Dickens novel! For instance, I climbed and explored the rafters with Ella as she toured them initially with Jay who took her there with his vision of a glorious "lady's beauty" secret getaway. The creation of the actual "Gilded Lily" was fascinating. This is a book with ambiance.
This is a historical novel that moves swiftly, telling the story of two sister's survival against all odds. It's a feminist novel of sorts, and that made it a great find, as well. Not a sappy novel where the women are pawns of the men. I highly recommend it for a good read.
4 stars Deborah/TheBookishDame