Meridon by Philippa Gregory

June 1, 2003
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Meridon
Philippa Gregory

Touchstone
June 1, 2003
Trade Paperback/569 pages
ISBN: 0-7432-4931-3
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". . . a rich tapestry about women determined to make the wrong choices for their lives."

"Gregory persuades the reader that a visit to Sussex would reveal the ruins of Wideacre."

". . . thrill to the unexpected twists convoluting the lives of three generations of women."

MERIDON is the third in a trilogy depicting, in broad strokes, the great changes in England’s economic and societal development in the 18th century, and includes a wealth of detail to daily living for quality and common folk.

 

But you will read them, all three, in breathless admiration for the strong protagonist in each, who knows what she wants and demands it of life. The first book is WIDEACRE, next is THE FAVORED CHILD, and finally MERIDON. The reader will thrill to the unexpected twists convoluting the lives of three generations of women and will, as each of them did, fall in love with the beautiful estate, Wideacre, in this rich tapestry about women determined to make the wrong choices for their lives. One man, Ralph Megson, whose brooding presence overshadowed all three women and the destiny of Wideacre, does not appear in MERIDON, and the haunting question of his fate remains unanswered.

Common wisdom says a successful story must have a likeable protagonist, someone to root for, to care about. Gregory proves the exception: in the first book, Beatrice wreaks havoc on anyone opposing her unholy obsessions (she’s Scarlett O’Hara on steroids); in the second, Julia wreaks havoc on her own happiness by trying to please those around her; only in the third does Meridon eventually find her way through a maze of poverty and bitterness to find her heart’s desire. She learns from those who came before, determines who she really is, and finally gets it right. Of the three, MERIDON is the strongest and is the one capable of standing completely on its own.

Gregory persuades the reader that a visit to Sussex would reveal the ruins of Wideacre. It exists somewhere so credibly real that long after closing the last book, the reader is left wondering, “And then what? What are Meridon’s great-grandchildren doing now?”
Reviewer: Doris Lakey

 

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