by Philippa Gregory
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: origionally 1987, this edition 2001
Summary (via Goodreads)
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory comes the stunning first novel of a thrilling trilogy about the Lacey family, and the captivating woman at the heart of a power-hungry estate willing to go to any means to protect her family name.
Beatrice Lacey, as strong-minded as she is beautiful, refuses to conform to the social customs of her time. Destined to lose her heritage and beloved Wideacre estate once she is wed, Beatrice will use any means necessary to protect her ancestral name. Seduction, betrayal, even murder—Beatrice’s passion is without apology or conscience. “She is a Lacey of Wideacre,” her father warns, “and whatever she does, however she behaves, will always be fitting.” Yet even as Beatrice’s scheming seems about to yield her dream, she is haunted by the one living person who knows the extent of her plans...and her capacity for evil.
Sumptuously set in Georgian England from the “queen of royal fiction” (USA TODAY), Wideacre is intensely gripping, rich in texture, and full of color and authenticity. It is a saga as irresistible in its singular magic as its heroine.
At what point does ambition become obsession, that is the main question that is book brings to light. The first book in the Wideacre series follows Beatrice, the young and beautiful heiress of the Wideacre estate. After discovering she will be overlooked for her brother she struggles to conform to the strict cultural customs of Georgian England she comes up with a devious and dangerous plan to gain control of the land she loves.
Betrayal, lust and desire are the main themes behind this story and Gregory portrays each to their full impact. Beatrice for me presents one of the few lead characters that I completely hate as much as I admire and I found that I couldn't put this book down, I needed to know the ending. Beatrice is unyielding in her desires and, in my opinion, seems to go mad for power.